CW: there is some weight/food talk in farther below.
That’s right folks, this past Saturday I volunteered at parkrun for the first time.
It was great! I was the barcode scanner, which means that I took all the times the timekeeper got from the runners and scanned them into the results! Had a great time and it was especially helpful for meeting some of the other volunteers and runners. I highly recommend volunteering if you want to get to know your fellow parkrunners! Afterwards I joined some of the volunteer folks at the nearby crepery for the first time, where I discovered that it was probably better for my waistline and my wallet to have not gone to the nearby crepery.
Since the disaster that was the Pacific Coast 5k, my leg has gotten much, much better, to the point where I think it was actually just a muscle strain rather than a tendon issue. I’m not sure why I thought it was a tendon issue, to be honest–I remember learning in some YouTube video or whatnot that tendons are incredibly strong, and to really injure one takes a lot more effort than, say, just pulling a muscle instead. This past week has been some tenuous walks, some not-so-tenuous walks, and finally a longer walk on Sunday that included four quarter-mile, very easy runs, which all felt good.
This week includes more slow and steady running to build back the mileage I’ve lost. Garmin Coach is on the backburner. Sorry Papa Jeff, you bumped my mileage up 200% over the course of one week and got me injured. It’s all your fault! I’m aiming for 6 miles this week and have already gotten about 2.3 in so far. My calf feels a bit betrayed so I’m going to really take it easy and remember to stretch and do my strength exercises, and also get up and walk while working because sitting at a desk is not helpful for all of this.
I also ate a lot last week. I was aiming for getting more protein to help repair muscle but kind of spiraled out a bit. It felt strange to return to a type of binge eating I hadn’t really done since my last apartment. Some of it was the product of being a little depressed because of my leg and because I’m 40 now and my body is withering away like an old banana. But to dive as deep as I did with the sort of behavioral self-awareness that I have now was very interesting. It was Rational Brain watching Lizard Brain take over for a bit. “You’re hurt and you’re an old banana? Don’t worry, I gotcha. Just sit back and relax and here’s All The Food.”
A prior version of me probably would’ve spiraled all the way down, but I contextualized this moment as part of the 80/20 philosophy. Sure, 80/20 can be a weekly thing, but it can also be a monthly thing, or a yearly thing. Eighty percent on track, 20 percent deviation. An easy thing to accept when it’s walking down a trail in the forest, right? Stay on the trail but sometimes you wander out to sniff a flower or take a shit behind a tree. So I try to approach food in that manner as well. Get your chicken and rice and veggies but sometimes you eat a pizza or a bag of Doritos. C’est la vie. I’m never going to be perfect on nutrition. I don’t want to be perfect on nutrition. I want the cauliflower and the cannoli. If that shaves a few years off my life, so be it.
My next 5k is a fun run, the Starlight Run, and it’s not until June 3rd, so my intent over the next couple of weeks is to rebuild mileage very slow and very easy. I can bring speed in later. Now it’s just getting back to a 10 mile or so foundation before I build (SLOWLY) onto that. You hear me, Coach Jeff?!