Monday, December 13, 2004

Aches and Pains

Man, my ankles hurt.

Ran the annual Trail of Lights 5K Saturday night for the second year in a row and did quite well. Last year I managed to finish the 5K -- without breaking pace -- in just over 37 minutes. Not so bad for my first 5K, I think. But this year I set the bar higher and was shooting for less than 30 minutes.

I managed to finish at exactly 31 minutes, but I'm sure I would have come in under 30 minutes if only my MP3 player hadn't decided to pop loose from my waistband about half a mile before the finish line. The damn thing hit the pavement and popped open, the battery flew one way, the cover another way, the player in yet a third direction. It took at least 30-45 seconds to get all the pieces back and put together again, and it really messed up my pacing and breathing to just stop short like that. Ah well. I probably would have come in somewhere around 29:30 if it weren't for that screw-up.

That said, I think I won't be looking to decrease my time all that much in future 5Ks. I'm a big guy -- comfortably above 210 pounds. And aside from about 15 or so pounds, most of my weight is just basic big guy mass. Lots of muscle mass, got the big barrel chest thing going. Thick legs (running, squats), thick arms, broad shoulders, the works. Not a bodybuilder by any means, but big nonetheless. If I could get about 15 pounds or so off I'd be damn near my ideal weight, and I'd still be a pretty fuckin' big guy.

And the simple fact is I'm just not built for outdoors, high-speed, long-distance running. Endurance isn't the problem: I can run at a solid 6-7MPH for 5, 6, 7 miles on a good shock-absorbing treadmill. But man, put me on pavement and all that weight makes a big difference. Little to no muscle soreness or fatigue, but my knees are damn stiff and my ankles are KILLING me, especially the one I broke a few years back. So, I think my personal expectations for future 5Ks will stay at or around the 30-minutes-or-a-little-less mark: that's probably the most strain I should be putting on these aging joints. Plus I gotta get better shoes. And one of those MP3 players that you strap to your bicep.

Mood: So. Freakin'. Tired.
Now Playing: Ella Fitzgerald, "Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas"

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