personal running

Heart to Start

Another month, another 5k. This was the Providence Heart to Start, part of the Hood to Coast … family? of events? Collective of jaunts? I don’t know. It took place at Cook Park in Tigard, Oregon, about 20 miles southwest of Portland. It was a lovely day for running, overcast, temperature in the mid 40s, the tiniest sprinkle of rain at times.

Getting here was easy, so I don’t have to belabor you with any commute issues. Cook Park is lovely and has lots of trails that I would like to walk on someday, but today is not that day! Today we race!

Atmosphere was chill, not a lot of people for this race. Sometimes races feel like a Big Deal (Shamrock Run) and others feel like a group of folks getting together for a thing (Tar n Trail). This one was kind of in the middle. There was a kids run before the 5 and 10ks, so lots of little warblers running around.

When I got my bib a couple days before, there was no swag. I think there were free passes to one of the big athletic stores, but neither of the women at the station were like “Here these are free things,” so I just left with my bib. At the event though, they had a few bits of free stuff, which included:

  • Protein bars. Lots of different kinds of protein bars,
  • A stress ball in the shape of a heart (remember, this race is for heart health),
  • A pin that read, “Think With Your ❤️”, which, I’ll be honest, I personally think is a bad idea,
  • A beer or seltzer after the run (10 Barrel Brewing IPAs or Michelob Ultra Seltzer, to be precise). Probably could’ve had a lot of beers/seltzers if you wanted to, I dunno,
  • Bottle openers (there were no bottled beers or seltzers, only cans).

I think that was it. Not too shabby, but not my favorite group of swag. Again, I really do think you should think with your 🧠, not your ❤️. Lots of bad decisions have been made thinking with your ❤️.

Anyway, the Big Discrepancy! I started Strava right at the start line and I had this corroborated with two friends of mine who were at the race: the race was likely only 3 miles [but probably was actually a full 5k]. I know, I know. Please sit down. We’ll get through this, together.

When I passed the finish line, Strava showed 3 miles, so I stopped briefly to grab my medal and then started running again, to pick up the other .11 of a mile, but was flagged down by a guy who needed the chip tag thing on the bottom of my bib, so I gave that to him and then proceeded to run the additional .11 of a mile. Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is that I think my time would’ve been slightly faster if I didn’t have to stop. I’m not mad at the event for short changing us a 5k, but it is frustrating to get your results and see that they are 38:01, only to discover that that’s your 3 mile result.

Although … if you reverse calculate a 12:15/mi pace (which is on my official results) into a pace calculator, for a 5k, the result is 38:04. So … maybe Strava fucked up on this one. WOULD NOT SURPRISE ME. I wonder if Strava gets nervous out in the woods or something? I mean, chip time is literally just the time between when you cross the start line and when you cross the finish line. I can’t imagine it being out of whack, especially since it’s a company that has set it all up and whose job is to set up chip timers. I think Strava’s GPS just screwed up somewhere.

Either way, I’m taking the chip time. 38:01! A very good run!

Running-wise, I think I did pretty good. Obviously we can’t completely rely on the damn Strava app for this, but we’ll use it anyway.

I really hoofed it out the gate, mainly to get around all the slow people walkers. The “track” was a thin concrete trail, maybe 5ft wide at most, and was a nightmare to deal with for the first 8th of a mile. A lot of us ended up running around in the grass, and I think I ran on some parts where plants usually grow, which probably was a bad idea. The start of the race is always a clusterfuck like this, but this one seemed especially annoying. I appreciate the Shamrock Run, which organizes runners based on their pace, with slower runners towards the back.

I only stopped three times, with the longest gap being a suddenly sharp hill that I absolutely did not want to run up or down. You can also see that dip at the end of mile 3, where the race ended [which was probably actually 3.11 miles, maybe]. Annoying. Meanwhile, when I run my pace is all over the place, which is something I’d like to work on, but I’m glad that the difference between the first mile and the third mile is only little more than a minute. That’s progress; my first mile pace at Race for Warmth was 11:53, while the 3rd mile was 14:13, a 2:20 difference. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say.

The weirdest part was at the end: when I decided to run the extra .11 of a mile, I felt like I could keep going. That’s dangerous territory, folks. That’s long run territory. Maybe we’ll talk about that some other time.

A very good idea I did before the race was massage my feet, specifically my left foot. Doing this virtually eliminated the numb foot I’ve been getting around mile 2. Plus it just felt good! I also moisturized my feet a couple days ago. This was nice, but I think it also made my feet slightly slippery this morning. Could be my imagination though. My feet were happier with me overall though, which was good!

After the race and the little extra run I chatted with a friend and commiserated over Strava, and then I went to the taqueria truck that was making burritos and ordered a big and delicious chorizo burrito with the works and a champurrado. I always forget how weird champurrado is. It’s good, just different. Could’ve gotten a horchata, but a warm drink felt like a better option.

And then I drove home! The end. See you at the Shamrock Run!

personal running

parkrun #5

Despite what the image says, I did very well on this run. In fact, finally ran a 5k under 40 minutes. My time on Strava was 39:41, my parkrun time was 39:47. I haven’t ran a 5k under 40 minutes since April of 2016. Obviously, it’s a milestone for me in my exercise resurgence.

I’m not sure what to attribute this boost in speed lately. Sure, I could blame the sprints I ran on Monday, trying to push myself harder. But I could also blame the entire frozen pizza and two bags of chips I ate on Friday night. (Side note: Kettle Chips makes air-fried chips now and they are soooo much better than regular chips. Less greasy, taste the same!)

I also rode my bike 11 miles on Friday, which makes my result at parkrun so ridiculous to me. I honestly thought I would run slower because my legs were aching from the ride. But I didn’t!

Even despite all those walking bits (and a couple points where I had to stop to regain feeling in my foot) I still managed to get below 40 minutes. This is a good sign. I even felt more rejuvenated during the downhill bit (basically running back to the start). I’m not sure where that spike of energy came from, but it bodes well for future runs.

Even the last bit to the finish line is fascinating me. I’m running under 11 min there, around 10:45. At the end of the run. I did that because I was coming up on 39 minutes and I had to get below 40. So I actually pushed myself more than I’m usually capable of. This is a good sign. These are all good signs.

I should also mention, tangentially related, that I purchased Pixel Buds and this run was my first with them in my earholes. Resounding success; I got the pro version which has that cool Transparency Mode so you can hear stuff around you. These things don’t have hooks for your ears or those little bits that press up against your ear fold thingy, I don’t know ear terminology. You just put them in your ear, and they stay there. I don’t know how that works. Magic? Sound quality was great, the best I’ve ever had with earbuds. I normally hate earbuds, but these are good. I guess I needed quality ones. I even wore them while doing all sorts of apartment chores today. The little charging case looks like an egg. Oh and I can charge the case on my magnetic charging thing for my Pixel Watch! TECHNOLOGY!

So, I said last week that I was going to rest this week, and then I didn’t, but I think this week I totally am going to rest, at least for an extra day. This is because I have a race on Saturday and I want to be fresh for it. Time for some walking and strength training instead.

Until next week!

betterment personal running

SFA (Stop Fucking Around)

For today’s run, I decided to Stop Fucking Around.

I ran hard today. Sprintervals, I call them, though I can’t have been the first person to do so. Walking to the track is when I decided that this week would not be a deload week, as I had previously intended. Instead, I ran a full mile with a 11:46 pace, and then the 2nd mile was split into the Sprintervals — half a lap walking, half a lap running as fast as I could.

This Strava pace chart is interesting to me. (And maybe only to me.) A relatively even pace for that first mile, dipping towards a 12:00/mi pace at the end there, but once I start doing sprints, my pace jumps to around 9:30/mi for the first sprint and then 8:00 and 8:30/mi for the second two. What’s fascinating to me is that people can run faster than that for much, much farther. But what else is fascinating is that the first sprint was hard, but on the second sprint I purposely ran even faster, trying to really bump my heart rate into the anaerobic zone. I’m very good at keeping my heart rate to a max of around 160, which is good, but I do feel like sometimes you gotta push yourself beyond that. So I did, and I felt like I was going to die. But the third sprint, where I purposely tried to get back to the speed I ran on my first sprint, was faster than the first sprint, even though it didn’t feel like it. That is interesting to me.

So, on the way to my run I decided to Stop Fucking Around. Originally I was going to run a mile at an easy pace because I was worried I overdid it at the last parkrun. But I didn’t overdo it. I was just slow, and being slow means that I’m spending more time running, which means I’m more prone to injury or soreness. I think, instead of pushing myself to get better, I’ve been settling back, out of fear of injury or collapsing or puking or looking like an idiot at parkrun or on the track, I don’t know what.

But an average 13:30/mi pace is abysmal. It’s slow for me, which is saying something. I think the Race for Warmth made me realize that I’m faster than I give myself credit for. Yes, I’m also out of shape and heavy. But I’ve still got the muscle from years of squatting, just sitting there, deflated, ready to work again. My pace seven years ago was a full minute and change faster than today, but at the Race for Warmth, my pace was 13:07. That means I am well on track to get back to my old pace, and even faster, as long as I keep pushing myself.

Is every days a SFA day? No, of course not. Next time I run it will be slow and easy, for endurance and to recover a bit before Saturday. Parkruns will always just be whatever I’m capable of. Races I will push myself. But Mondays … Mondays are to Stop Fucking Around and kick my ass into high gear.

personal running

parkrun #4

Number 4 down the drain and it was rainy right up until the actual run started, which was awesome. Strava fucked up my GPS again, shorting me a full 5k. My time with it is around a minute faster than my parkrun time, too, which … whatever, it’s parkrun, not the Olympics.

I didn’t bring my headphones this time because I wanted to experience the run on its own. It’s great, I recommend it. People are friendlier when you don’t have headphones on. (Depending on the circumstances at least.) There was a visitor from Scotland this morning who was very sweet. I wanted to chat with her after the run but ran the damn thing again, so I didn’t get to ask her the one thing I wanted to ask: Do you know who Limmy is?

I ran 4/1 splits again, which is what I’ve been doing this whole week as part of my 5k-all-run training. I think, overall, that I nailed it. I cheated a couple of times, stopping 10 seconds earlier than I should, but to be fair, I didn’t bring my headphones so I didn’t have my interval timer app telling me when to walk, which meant I had to keep checking my phone, which was annoying. Again, it’s parkrun, it’s nothing official.

I did end up having to stop a couple times because around mile 2, my left foot pad starts to go numb. Not entirely sure why, other than general wear and tear from this nearly 300lb man. It goes away if I stop and stretch out my ankle a bit, so I think it’s a nerve issue more than a lack of blood flow or anything. I do plan to get it checked out by a doc, though I suppose they’ll just tell me to take ibuprofen and stay off it for a week.

Which I may end up doing anyway! I was thinking about a deload of sorts for the next week. Where I can shift focus a bit on strength training for my legs. I think my goal will just be to run a mile on Monday and Wednesday. That’s it. Do an easy mile on Monday and then maybe try to run a fast mile on Wednesday. Then parkrun #5, and then back to the training schedule.

I have to be careful, because I know recovery and rest is important but I don’t want to overdo the rest to the point where I slide back into being sedentary, or lose my progress. I know that’s kind of hard to do but still. I eventually want to run longer distances, but first I have to ensure that my legs can keep up with me.

After the run I went to the Albertsons nearby and bought the perfect recovery drink:

Chocolate milk! It’s so god damn good you guys. I haven’t had chocolate milk in years but it is nearly perfect. Unless you’re lactose intolerant, of course. But you should still drink it, I think. Just get the shits, it’s worth it.

Until next week!

betterment personal running

Race for Warmth

*sports announcer voice* “And oh what a race for warmth it is today, Todd!”

“That’s right, Jerry, it’s colder than a witch’s tit out here.”

“It’s colder than the balls on a brass monkey.”

“It’s cold as fuck Jerry!”

This morning I left my apartment at around 8:15 am. The Portland air was crisp and cold. I drove to Vancouver, Washington, which took about 15 minutes. I then parked at a high school parking lot. Upon exiting the vehicle, I discovered that Vancouver was WINDY AS HELL.

And that was my opening impression of the Race for Warmth, a 5/10k out in the Couv, put on by Clark (County) Public Utilities to benefit Operation Warm Heart which helps low-income families pay their heating bills during the cold months (or just in general, I guess). The race began and ended at the Clark Public Utilities building, which is right off the I-5 bridge, making for an easy trek. The packet pickup the day before was a drive through event, which reminded me a lot of when I got the covid vaccine, except this time I got the vaccine of … future exercise. How about that.

The “swag bag” (remember when swag was a thing the youths would say?) consisted of some free and discount coupons, two tickets to see a Ridgefield Raptors baseball game in June (hell yeah, why not), and one of those emergency blankets and a hand warmer, which I think people used during or before the race but seems to be more intended for an emergency kit for your car.

The atmosphere of the event was great. It wasn’t too crowded, everyone was fucking freezing, and there were a couple of tents with free stuff. Relevant Coffee provided the morning bean juice, which was very good. They also gave away a $5 gift card in the swag bag, which I fully intend to use in the future. Meanwhile, a tent for Why Racing Events gave away some stuff, including my favorite free thing, some old PDX carpet sunglasses. They had some other stuff too that I totally forgot to grab.

“I make this look good.” Remember Men in Black?

They seem to do a lot of triathlon races but also noticed I was wearing my Shamrock Run hoodie and suggested I run sign up for their version, the Couve Clover Run, which happens a week after the Shamrock Run. Maybe I will, Why Racing Events … maybe I will.

(Side note: I always thought it was “Couv,” not “Couve.” Both are colloqualisms, so who cares, but maybe I ought to trust the Washingtonians.)

The tent next to theirs was for NW Personal Training, also based in Vancouver. They gave out INCREDIBLY HELPFUL drawstring bags so I could carry all of my free shit. This was very good. Also, some sunglasses and the Weirdest Free Thing, a license plate frame.

Lastly, there were Franz cookies, which of course were delicious.

As for the race itself: I did good! I managed to run the entire first mile without stopping, which was one of my two goals for the race. According to Strava, my first mile was 11:44 and I was a 25:33 for two miles, both of which are current PRs. I knew running the first mile like I did would cause me to lose energy toward the end. My pace dropped pretty significantly during miles two and three, which is not really what I want, but I wanted to go faster overall and I guess I made that sacrifice.

My other goal was a sub 40 min 5k, which I didn’t hit, but I think I was only about a minute over. My Strava time was 40:54, but that was for 3.07 miles because Strava does that sometimes. I thought I started the app with ample time to hit 3.1 but I guess not! Regardless, I think that’ll be about my chip time. If there was a gun time, it will be about a minute or so slower, because the start was a goddamn choke point, and also because there were a surprising amount of people walking. It was a walk/run event but it seemed like most people around my area were walkers. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, except it was like running through a minefield trying to dodge walkers left and right.

UPDATE: My chip time was 40:44, 10 sec faster than Strava, which is weird. Gun time was as expected, 42:24.

There were some slight uphills along the way, which I tried to run every time. You won’t get better at running inclines unless you actually run them. My grandaddy told me that once. (This is untrue.) Also a nice stretch along the Columbia River and this Vancouver Waterfront section that I think is fairly new. I don’t remember the drive into Vancouver being so nice. Is Vancouver nicer than Portland now? That would be wild.

So, for next time, I think the goal is to actually slow down my first mile pace so that my second and third miles are steadier. Like, if they’re all 13 minutes, that would be great, plus I’d get under 40 minutes. I think the adrenaline of running a race with people made me start out a lot faster. But who knows? Maybe in a month or two from now, 11:44 will be my 5k pace. Here’s hoping.

After the race there was an after party with a live band (god bless you musicians for playing in the cold), some turkey stew which was alright, cans of Michael Bubly, and more cookies. I had a sit and ate my stew and then promptly left. One of these days I’ll make some runner friends, but today is not that day!

Overall, a nice race that I would absolutely run again next year.

See you in a couple weeks for the Providence Heart to Start!

betterment personal running

parkrun #3

Last week, at the end of the last parkrun, I, after running for three miles in a steady downpour, said to one of the volunteers, “Well, at least it’s not snowing.”

“Don’t say that!” she replied. “You’ll curse us for next week.”

Well … this morning it snowed. In fact, this morning was the only day we’ve had real precipitation in about three or four days, and it is sunny now and will be mostly rain-free until Friday.

So yes. I did curse this week’s parkrun. My penance, I think, will be to keep running.

It was cold this morning, too. Does not bode well for the rest of the winter. A couple of degrees above freezing (I’ll let you decide what that means in Celsius or Fahrenheit). The snow was really more like a small, light hail. These were not snowflakes, they were a recon mission for future bombardment.

I Came, I Ran, I … Did Alright. Shaved a couple seconds off my pace. Today’s interval training was three minutes running, two minutes walking, nine times. I thought that would be grueling, but it actually wasn’t too bad at all. Even the uphill runs were better than I expected.

Hell, I even made the Local Legend of the Rock Creek Trail parkrun on Strava. What does that mean? Well, it means I’ve logged the run the most in the last 90 days, I think. I’ve logged it three times, which means … the other people must’ve stopped using Strava.

I’m getting better, and I feel better, and yet … that near 14 minute mile pace is driving me nuts. I had my mouse hovering over the Half-Marathon registration for the July 4th Foot Traffic Flat on Sauvie Island. I was gonna do it. I was very close to doing it. But I did some sort of pace extrapolation thing on another site which told me that at my current pace, it would be a 3 hour half (a 3 hour half) — an over 3 hour half, technically, I just wanted to get that joke in. That’s just too fucking long to be running a half marathon.

So I signed up for the 5k instead and my 2023 is now hellbent on reducing my pace to under 12 minutes. Twelve was the bane of my existence back in the day, too. My fasted pace was 11:44, on an 8k in 2013, which is weird as it’s the only 8k I’ve ever run. Everything else has been over 12 minutes. I don’t like it. I’m okay with being a slow runner, but, like, a 10 minute mile slow.

Thus, the training continues…

Next week I will likely be walking my parkrun as the Race for Warmth is the next day. I’m also hellbent on going to parkrun every week, even if I have races. Sometimes the habit is more important than the impact.

See you next week, parkrun.

betterment personal running

January Running Update

Or, A Running Update on January.

The problem with running is that it’s hard.

I’m doing fine. My pace is getting lower with almost each run. I’ve got two parkruns under my belt and about a week and a half from this post will be my first 5k race for 2023, the Run for Warmth in Vancouver, WA (The Couv). Judging by a recent email I received from them, their goodies bag will be very good. You know I’m sucker for a goodies bag. Medals are nice and all, but a bag with goodies in it? Get out of the city!

But still, running is hard. The motivation is hard. Especially as I hit that part in January where it’s cold and the realization that it’s another year doing all this sinks in. This is going to by my 40th year on this Earth, which doesn’t help. (It sort of helps.)

Like I said, I have two parkruns left in January. Tomorrow will be normal but the one after I will have to walk, because I am running the Run for Warmth the next day. I’ve been thinking about volunteering that week, but it also feels weird to jump into volunteering so soon. We’ll see.

I was also feeling a little unsatisfied with my laissez faire run schedule so I grabbed a training … kit? Training schedule? Whatever. I got it from the Runner’s World website.

This is meant to help boost me up to running 5k without walking. I just started–tomorrow will be the Week 1 Saturday–and it seems like it’s working. I’ve realized that I was cheating myself out of the longer runs, because I had no timer to keep me on track. I would run, think I had run for, what, five minutes?, but really it was like one minute. Timing keeps me honest, which I appreciate. The training will get harder going forward, but I’ve been paying attention to my food intake and making sure I eat enough to fuel me, which is important. I had this problem when I was weightlifting too; I want to lose weight but you actually kind of have to increase your food intake in order to have the energy to exercise in the first place. So my weight loss will be slower than I’d like, but that’s alright.

I’ll be back here tomorrow with my parkrun #3 update!

betterment personal running

parkrun #2

My second week of parkrun was as you might expect for the Portland Metro area in January: cold and rainy. Again was I virtually at the end of the pack, a cross of running and walking, and despite running out of gas early on, and despite thinking that I was slower this week than last week, I was actually faster, by 27 seconds (on Strava at least). That seems like nothing but it’s actually a pretty good jump in time.

I was concerned that my last night, late night workout would impede my ability to run this morning, slowed down by sore muscles and whatnot. But I woke up this morning virtually sore-free (Soreless? Sans sore?). The opening mile of the run felt like my legs might give out a bit, and for some reason I was sucking in air early on, which is what happened last week too; my 2 mi run on the track on Thursday saw me running two whole laps (around 8 min), so having to stop at around 4 min this morning was a little discouraging. But it’s not about the walk, or the run, really. It’s just about moving. So I kept moving. I walked when I needed too, I ran when I wanted to. I’m glad to have a Pixel Watch because I can check my heart rate, allowing me to pick up into a run when my heart fell to around 140 bpm.

My goal for the year is twofold, but is essentially the same: one, to get my time down to 10 min/mile, and two, to run the entire 5k without walking. It’s going to be an uphill battle against age and the past few years of sedentary lifestyle, but I think I can do it, and honestly, I think I can do it a lot earlier than I realize. Every time I run I get a little faster. It’s only a matter of time.

betterment personal running

And it’s not about you joggers, who go round and round and round (parkrun #1)

The title of this post refers to a Blur song called Parklife, which is now stuck in my head.

So I did a thing today: a friend and old high school classmate of mine, Annie, DMed me a couple days ago to refer me to parkrun, a casual, timed, 5k run started in the UK (Annie lives in London now) but has spread all over the country. There is one near Portland, at Rock Creek Trail which is either in Hillsboro or some unincorporated area called Somerset West; I don’t know how cities work anymore. It’s free and they time you and you get a barcode and everything. Sounded neat, so I went!

I only got one photo and there is a trash can and TWO poles in it. Great.

This event occurred about five days after I finally tested negative for covid, after being riddled with it since December 20th. So, you know, I wasn’t expecting much. In fact I assumed I would be walking the vast majority of it due to my lungs still healing from the badness.

Instead, I ran a PR. Granted, this is a 2022/23 PR, not a ten years ago PR, but still, the fact that I ran very well for this after having covid is amazing to me. I’m extremely proud of myself. What’s even better is that I had eaten cold pizza for breakfast just before leaving. This seals it — cold pizza is the best pre-run meal.

The drive there was fine. The drive home went through West of Ross Island Bridge territory, aka a Clusterfuck of Streets, which was annoying but not terrible. I will always write about my drive to and from races.

The event itself was excellent. A handful of very friendly volunteers (including a leader who was definitely from England herself) and a lovely little trail between some nice looking suburbs. Rock Creek Trail itself is a wetlands area (Rock Creek is a tributary of the Tualatin River) and I can’t wait to run through here in the spring and summertime. Everyone was friendly and encouraging; this was the first time running in my life where someone said “Good job, keep going” while they passed me on the course. That is worth 1,000 medals, believe me.

I plan to go to this every Saturday. In fact, I am replacing one of my New Years resolutions with this, because my “eat X amount of carbs in January” resolution flew out the window. This is a much more interesting resolution.

betterment personal running

The Inaugural Josh Belville Christmas 5k Extravaganza

My trainer.

Here’s the story: a couple months ago I missed the signup for the December Holiday Half. At the time I thought, Oh that’s alright, I’ll just run my own 5k in December. So I’d have a 5k every month, right? Ain’t no progress without repetition.

In between then and now, my leg was giving me some serious guff. What with the hurting and the muscle seizing up and whatnot. By the end of the November my revised thought was, You know? I think I’ll just rest my legs until next year.

Then, a week ago I decided to incorporate strength training into my exercise routine. Specifically, I started a bodyweight routine I found on the goddamn Red Bull website. To be fair, these were exercises you could find on hundreds of websites, but the fact that I found one I liked on the Red Bull site was funny to me.

So cut to yesterday: I’m up, I’m feeling energized, I think, Hey, let’s go to the track and run a couple of laps. I figured I would run a mile or until my leg started hurting, then call it a day.

This is not a shot from that day. That pole is where I start my runs.

I get to the track. There are always soccer games happening on the weekends, I think high school games? So there was a nice gaggle of people to make the experience feel wholesome. And I ran. And I ran two laps entirely (three laps is about a mile). The third lap I ran 75% of. At that point, after hitting a mile, my leg was feeling a little stiff, but otherwise fine, and I decided to keep going, splitting the track 50/50 for running and walking. When I got to mile two, I realized I could do 5k. So I did! That’s the end of the story.

My time was a full five minutes (and twelve seconds) faster than the Turkey Trot. I am amazed by this. My pace was 1:47 faster. I attribute this to the 50/50 splits, because when it got to the running portion, I pushed myself to run as fast as I reasonably could. Definitely going to incorporate this into future runs because I think it was very successful.

I also side note own a Pixel Watch now so I was able to track my BPM as I ran. I was, as you might say, running a bit hot, especially with those running splits. I think my highest was around 170, going down to about 130-140, then back up, etc etc. Not terrible but I’m hoping to lower that a bit as well. I’ve got some work to do.

All in all though, strength training! It’s good for you! Building muscle helped my body protect the parts that weren’t doing as well. Ice and rest helped too, of course, but I truly think the squats and stretches were the key factor. Felt good, bro.

Anyway, next year hopefully I’ll A) get to do the Holiday Half and B) actually do a half marathon. (This is a 2023 resolution.) Until then, it’s 5k races and getting my pace down.