Yesterday culminated a months-long journey to my first 5K. I bought a Groupon for Run or Dye back in February because it sounded like so much fun. The idea of being covered in color looked awesome and is something you’d never get at a cycling event. I thought it also might be a nice challenge to try running. Everyone seems to be doing it, and I’d done it before, albeit before a torn meniscus that still haunts me. I downloaded the RunDouble app and got started on training. I ran straight into a roadblock after a few weeks: knee pain. I ditched the Brooks shoes for a new pair of New Balance with their special inserts that have graphite arch supports, after going through their analysis (he said I had been using the worst possible shoes for someone with flat feet – awesome).
Things got better with the New Balance because I was definitely able to run again, but still running sucked. Every training option – the track at the gym, the treadmill, the trail near home, running through town – was unpleasant. There was always pain that I discovered would sort of go away after about 10 minutes if I just ran through it, and then as the training runs got longer I really tweaked my knee by “running through it.” Every hill I ran I wished I were on my bike because I missed the reward of the downhill. Every curb I stepped off of brought a twinge of fear that I’d trip and fall. I even ran once in Central Park, when I was in the city for work, and although it was beautiful and interesting, even that had its down side: EVERYONE passed me. My friend Doreen was right – the more you run, the more you love cycling.
Because of my knee I never really finished the entire RunDouble program. I got into week 8 of a 9-week program. So I had run only about 2.5 miles at once before getting to the event.
I originally signed up with one of my best buddies, who ended up having to travel for work on “race” day. Fortunately, Sister/Roomie (see related post, “Near Miss Weekend“), also signed up for the hell of it when I mentioned it to her. She completed Iron Man Lake Placid last year, so the thought of running with her sort of made me feel like an ass, since I could barely maintain a 12-minute pace. But she’s so wonderful that she made it fun. I got us slogan shirts in honor of our beastly bi’s. She got us some other appropriate accessories for getting covered in colored cornstarch.
I must say the event was really fun. We ran around Citizens Bank Park, and at color stations volunteers chucked huge handfuls of colored powder at us. It ruled. The event has its roots in the Holi color festival in India (which is beautiful and of course is bastardized by these events, but I digress). And I ran at a decent pace and had no pain while I was there. There was no clock, but I think when we were actually running my pace was under 12 minutes. For this creaky cyclist, that’s pretty damn good.
I want to say this was my “first and last” running event, because I’m paying for it so thoroughly today, but you really never know. Roomie and I grabbed beers after the run and I actually heard myself saying I might consider doing another 5K. That was, of course, before my hip, knee, and foot got all hoogly-boogly last night. I’m going to get it all looked at. So you really do never know.
And now – time to saddle up on the bike!