Monday, March 5, 2012

Zombie Training - Part I

So I'm running again.
Cue theme music:

For the first time in what I figured out was almost 5 years.  I seriously cannot believe how long ago that was.  When I was in college I would ride my bike to the nearby beach, run for a while, then ride back home all before I went to my morning classes.

Not for all of college, mind you, just my single times.  For whatever reason having a boyfriend makes me insanely lazy.  But still, I ran for a good amount of time in 2005-2007 until I got into a bike accident and messed up my knee (which then required surgery after 6 months of unsuccessful physical therapy).  There have been several false starts to this "get back into running" shtick, but now after over a month of actually going at least 3 times a week I can officially say I'm doing it.  

After being as out-of-shape as I have been with the whole neck/arm injury thing I was shocked to find that it was not as difficult as I thought it would be to get some distance going - I had started the Couch-to-5k program using a widget on my phone, but I found quickly that it was holding me back and I did much longer distances if I wasn't constantly waiting for the time to change so I could do the walking interval or something like that.  It's like when I get injections or needle-stabbed for any reason - I HATE when people count it down.  Knowing that there's a timer going on something makes the anticipation a million times harder for me and I get mentally a lot more wound-up if I know it's coming.  So I opted to quit that program and just go to the beach and run at my own pace for as long as I could stand and gave myself permission to walk when I needed to.  (I also have given myself permission on a few occasions to wipe my snotty nose on my shirt while I run.  As long as my toddler doesn't see and no one else witnesses it I would rather have a snotty shirt than a sniffly nose while I run.  I know, I know: gross.)

Once I changed my mentality about how I was going to start running again, and got into the routine of just going to the beach straight after work for a run I surprised myself by running a mile without stopping almost a week later.  Now I'm up to about 2.5 miles without stopping (at around a 12-minute mile which is scoff-worthy if you run marathons, but if you're a chubby post-injury-post-baby woman who hasn't run in 5 years it's fucking AWESOME.)

The issue now is that my feet keep falling asleep when I hit the 1.75 mile mark.  And I have no clue why.
I know what you're going to say and let me tell you now, my shoes are not too tight. I've run barefoot and had the same issue.

I read on a forum somewhere that tightening of my "piriformis" muscles in my butt might be to blame.  If this is the cause, apparently the next step for me is to get a deep-tissue massage of my butt.

*cue awkward, frightened look on my face*

I tend to think about things related to zombie survival when I'm running in order to keep me motivated.  I'm absolutely determined to do this Run For Your Lives 5k in October - swarms of "zombies" chase you through an obstacle course, creating what is definitely the best zombie-apocalypse training possibility I will ever get.  But the question in my mind is, in an end-of-the-world scenario where I'm being chased by zombies, will I need to be fast, or go the distance?  I tend to think that speed is important to have in short-bursts, but if I'm outrunning the zombies I might need to be able to maintain a decent speed for quite a while.  And, given my location, I'll need to be able to do it with hills involved too.

Hell, given my life situation, I'm going to need to be able to run quickly up a hill while carrying a 30-something-pound child.  But I can't let myself think that far ahead because my stupid arm is still having tendonitis/bursitis issues and gets easily aggravated.  And thinking about what I can't do yet is not the mentality I need right now - I need to set myself easy, do-able goals every month so that I can think about the bigger picture later on.

So this month the goal is to run 5k at at least 5 m.p.h. without stopping.  And to figure out how to do that without my feet falling asleep.  And you know, if that means paying someone to dig their fingers into my butt-muscles, so be it.  I will conquer this issue.  I will not let the lazy, grumpiness in my body win.  

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