I mentioned recently that I am in training for a 5K in early June. My plan: to ratchet up from 3 to 5 mornings a week, for the next 5 weeks or so, crossing all the way over the Centennial bridge and back home again, a journey of 2.6 miles. Sure, it's a little shorter than a 5K, but I figured if I push myself, I'll be in good enough shape to at least FINISH the race, and that's really the only goal at this point.
I had been considering doing something else besides the bridge, 2 mornings a week - more specifically, I had been thinking of running up my mile-long Main Street hill instead. Just for further conditioning on hill running.
This week brought an unexpected turn of events that have made me certain about the need to focus on the hill: a friend talked me into agreeing to run The Bix in late July. For the uninitiated, The Bix is a 7 MILE hill-infested run in the hottest part of summer.
Oh. Em. GEEE!!!
Over my objection to the fact that this race is more than TWICE as long as the one I've been training for, my friend simply pointed out that we can walk part of it. This is the same friend who (unsuccessfully) worked on me about doing a triathlon, and then asked about doing I think 90 days of my T-tap program for another sort of competitive event (I didn't bite on that one either), and truth: I'm out of resistance. LOLOL
So part of me is filled with fear, dread, loathing, and general confusion about how I got roped into this.
And part of me is kind of secretly excited.
I shall start the hill training next week, cuz I'ma need to work on over to the Brady Street hill (in my mind a.k.a. The Hill of Death) in the next 60 days or so, if I'm going to stand a prayer of not collapsing in the heat on race day. PEOPLE. I run at 5 AM. Do you KNOW how nice and dark and cool it is for running at that hour?! The air all kind of just goes out of me when I imagine running in 100 degrees and sunshine - and it seems ALWAYS to be that hot on race day.
Meanwhile, it turns out to be a very good thing indeed that my friend has coerced me into this, as I had a big epiphany this morning while running: the weekend of the Rhubarb Run - that 5K out in my hometown that I've been training for - HEY, I won't even be in Illinois that day! I'll be on vacation, states and states away. I can't DO that race. Ergh. So the Bix shall be the new driver of my goals.
We'll see how this goes. I've already noticed that when I run 5 mornings a week, my knees are sore by Friday. Last weekend I noticed it, and thought how I should rest my knees for the weekend...and then I went out and rode my bike 64 miles in 2 days. Which just meant sufficient pain on Monday morning that I had to skip the run. It's Friday again, and I only got 3 runs in (skipped Wednesday morning, too, after a rather late Tuesday night)...and somehow my knees are sore again (maybe it's more the length of time I'm running than the frequency - it takes me 40-45 minutes to accomplish that 2.6 mile run...see, still not anything like speedy - many walkers could probably pass me at that rate).
And...I'm NOT planning to stay off the bike this weekend.
So, how's this gonna go? Not sure. If anyone reading this has any great tips for strengthening knees and/or dealing with that pain (other than "stay off the bike," that is)...I'd welcome them!