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.
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.