I RAN 5K, YOU GUYS!! Honestly, I think I ran more than 5K because that’s based on a 10-minute mile and I think I’m going faster than that; more on that later. That aside, Memorial Day was the big day for my first 30-minute run and it went so well I celebrated with a two mile walk down a river and then some unexpected climbing.
Memorial Day was gorgeous, albeit a bit smokey from the Quebec Wildfires. My allergies had started bothering me the night before, so I ran with a couple tissues tucked into my shorts. Surprisingly, as I ran the allergy issues went away; hooray increased circulation and air-intake! Toby and I chose to run on The Stowe Quiet Path, since we were off from work that day and it seemed like the most straightforward path around here to jog down. The town was filled with tourists and the path was the busiest I’d ever seen it. Luckily, Toby behaved himself.
I had some challenges. I mentioned in my previous entry that my left foot (specifically around the Adductor Hallucus muscle) was bothering me after wearing heels for a day last week and then running barefoot the next day. It continued to annoy me over the weekend so I put aside plans to go hiking and stuck to self-care. By Sunday, the pain was very dull so I did some yoga on the deck and by the end of the session my foot, and my whole body, felt much better. When I set out to run on Monday, I felt some dull pain but…it was interesting. As I ran, it made the pain feel good, like getting a massage right in the right spot. About five minutes into the run my foot didn’t bother me at all and it remained that way through the rest of the day. I’m pretty on the fence about this; foot pain is not good, but running seems to make it feel better? Hmm, I’m going to mull on this and try to find an acupuncturist or TCM Doctor around since I really don’t feel like going to an Orthopedist only to be given pain medications and pat on the head.
Aside from the foot pain, I also struggled a little in the heat. It was only in the mid-seventies, but it was humid and there was barely a breeze. For most of the run it didn’t bother me, but the middle mile was completely in full sun and I was regretting not having water on me. Luckily, after the polite British woman in my iPhone told me my run was complete (woo-hoo!) I made a b-line for the river and Toby and I happily jumped right in. I have to say, the large rocks on the riverbed felt sooooo good on my feet! Yummy foot massage.
I don’t run on the Stowe Quiet Path often enough to be familiar with the river there. In fact, this is the first time I actually went into the river. It appeared to follow the path back to the parking lot, so I thought it would be fun for Toby and I to trek down the river instead of back on the path. I bravely put a lot of trust into the Marware armband I use with my iPhone and we started heading for home.
When we began, the river banks were easily navigable; there were paths from time to time cut into the bank to get up to the path. As we ventured farther and farther down the banks became steeper and the paths cut through them were fewer and fewer between until they became nonexistent. This was also about the time that the river began getting deeper. We had walked well over a mile (I’m figuring around two miles by the time we got out) and we ended up getting to the bridge that leads to the parking lot. Toby, who was adorably swimming beside me by that point, as he could no longer reach the river floor, began to sense my concern as I swung my head from left to right looking for the hint of a path that we could use to get out of the river. There was nothing.
The most difficult part of trying to climb out of the river was that the banks weren’t made of trees and rocks, like they are along the Mad River. The banks were grass, dirt and bamboo; none of which are good for leverage or could hold my weight. After surveying several options, and debating back-tracking, I found and area where the bamboo was thick enough that I felt I could jam my feet into the roots and have it hold my weight for a few short seconds. Luckily, all went well, my phone stayed dry, Toby and I got out of the river and the only injury I have to complain about is a small slit on my wrist that I didn’t even notice until we were in the car.
Today is the second 30-minute run. The bad news? Well, my foot still isn’t happy. It’s about in the same state it was in on Monday, so we’ll see if this run makes it feel good again or if it makes it worse. I just love being an experiment.
The better news is that as long as my foot thing isn’t really a big issue, I think I’ve figured out where I want to go from here. Most people suggested I aim for 10k now that I’ve completed 5k. However, I’m already stretching the limits of my lunch break and I’d like to keep my workouts within 30-45 minutes. I’m thinking of purchasing a Nike+ Sensor for my iPhone (if I can get it to stay in the top of my Vibrams) and first figuring out how far I’m really running in 30 minutes and then I’m going to aim to slowly increase my speed. I still feel like a slow runner and while that’s totally OK with where I’m at, I’m more interested in picking up my pace than increasing my distance (for now). First goal, 8-minute mile! Once I figure out how slow my current mile is I’ll actually set a due date for that one.