I had been training using a program I’ll talk about in a second, but I knew going in I wouldn’t be running the whole time simply because of terrain. It was a 5K cross-country course, and I didn’t know how much country we’d be crossing!
The race recap
It started in a grassy path than shortly took us through a creek and then onto a highway bridge crossing the James River. At the other side of the bridge, we were taken down the hill to the river itself where we went probably 200m over boulders and whatnot. That was probably my favorite part. I’ve always loved climbing and jumping around rocks.
From there we ran through a forest island for what seemed like a mile by itself which ended in the river. As in the barrier went into the river, and we had to wade a bit to get around it and back up the bank on the other side of the barrier. I thought that was the “mud” portion of the mud run, but I’d later find out I was mistaken.
Since we were still on the other side of the river, we had to run back across over a hanging suspension foot bridge. That was a weird experience because with hundreds of people on it at any given time, it swayed like crazy. It was like watching 200 drunk people trying to jog across the river. After the bridge it was a 1/2 mile sprint to the finish line. Before crossing the finish line, though, we had to crawl under a net and alligator it to the other side. I have never been so coated in mud in my life. It was a blast! I can’t wait for next year.
Because of the bottlenecks, my time wasn’t great. I think if it had been a road race, I’d have beaten my 45 min goal. My time for this race was 55:39. I came in 211 out of 218 in my age group, and 1600-something out of over 1800 participants. Not great, but at least now I have a benchmark!
The only problem I have at the moment is that my knee feels kinda worn. It doesn’t really hurt, but it feels tight. If I squat down, that’s when it hurts a fair bit. As a result, I didn’t do my strength workout this morning in hopes that it feels better in the evening to do them when I get home. I also didn’t do any damage control squats on my cheat day (I did hit up wall presses though; something is better than nothing). If I can’t do lunges, I’ll find a different leg exercise to do instead that will take some pressure off my knee.
The training plan
I’m not a runner, but as I’ve said, I’d like to be. I found a popular training plan called Couch to 5K, created by the guys at Cool Running. I am not able to complete them all in the number of weeks they have, but I’m using it as a guide.
It’s basically an incremental running schedule that builds up your endurance over time. It’s probably easier for people who are already thin, but that didn’t mean I needed to ignore it being fat. I made it OK through week 3, but that 3rd week is significantly harder than the first two for me. I’m going to repeat week three until I think it’s easy enough to do before moving on to week four (which has solid 5 minute jogs. If 3 minutes is hard, 5 will be impossible).
If you were able to go straight through, it would take 9 weeks to go from being a couch potato to running a full 5K.
The next event
I’ve already scheduled my next event! It’s going to be a 5K run/walk for Autism, and it takes place on May 28th. We found out (officially, anyway) last year that my nephew has Asperger Syndrome, so autism is close to our family’s heart. I even got my sister excited about it (she’s one of my reasons to want to develop a healthy lifestyle), so my wife and I have signed up. I’ll continue the 5K training as usual, so I’m still looking for a solid 45 mins at the Autism event unless my family walks together.
If you’d like to sponsor us, here’s a link for that! Let me extend my preemptive thanks to anyone who decides to donate to the cause.
If you’re in the Richmond area, why not consider joining our team and running with us?
Do you have any upcoming races? Tell us about them in the comments! I’d even love to hear ways I can help my knee out.