4/26/2009

Temporarily back to the treadmill for the Gold's Gym 5K



Cars covered in yellow. The back garden's thermometer crossing into the 90's. Two factors that lead me to decide to go back to the gym to run yesterday afternoon. I'm not ready to risk a total collapse three miles into a run in the heat, not until I have a better handle on how to adjust my runs accordingly.

Thankfully, I have a membership at Gold's Gym, so I was able to just go there to run with the air conditioning. So, yesterday afternoon I went and decided to try my hand at doing a simulated 5K. After all, I had planned on running one that morning but skipped it due to factors I won't mention here.

When I began this whole thing, I was convinced I would be so uncoordinated. I was fairly certain I would go flying off the other end. I would very gingerly increase my speed on the treadmill and it would take me a while to get up to a fast pace. And, in the early days, I considered 6 miles and an hour to be fast. 6.5 seemed so dangerous. 7.0 seemed impossible.

Over time, though, that all changed as my coordination came together and as my endurance picked up. As the weather has blossomed into this glorious spring, I took more and more of my runs outside. I've been exploring Albemarle County and Charlottesville through running and have a much better sense of how the landscape meets the built environment. I've been using the Rivanna Trail quite frequently, and have come to enjoy the tranquility. I also enjoy running past the gym.

But, back on the treadmill yesterday, I ran a simulated 5K and tried to go as fast as I possibly could. I ran the fake 5K in 23:55, after failing to heed the general advice of having your first mile be the slowest. I also ran slower because there was no one cheering me on, and there was no one to compete against. Still, I ran.

Next week I am running in one of two 5Ks up north. I'm either going to Frederick, Maryland to run in a twilight 5K on Saturday night, or I'm going to DC to run another one for charity. Either way, I'm getting out of town for a weekend in part to do something active and alive.

Before exercise, I assumed I was healthy. Now I know I was not. I was carrying forty extra pounds that I didn't need, and even now, I wonder if it's possible to shed a few more. None of my clothes fit. I'm now a 32" waist when six months ago I was struggling to get into some of my 36" pants. In a few minutes, I'm going back to the gym to lift weights.

Final note for this post. I mentioned the pollen. It's pretty awful out there today. Yet, I've yet to have a single allergy attack. I am not ready to say this is because I'm in better shape, but I'm going to think it, at least.

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