When I posted up that I had randomly registered for a 5k on Facebook several people asked me if I was ill.
Good thing I wasn’t really kidnapped, or ill, or running against my will because no one came to save me!
I don’t know, maybe I’m just flat burnt out on cycling. So my mind has been wandering to other things I could do, and I’ve been spending a lot of time being lazy. In August I randomly decided to go swimming for the first time in three years, and surprised myself by swimming 1000 meters, which was way above and beyond what I had ever done before. I had to rest a lot, and I was out of breath, but it felt fun to do something a bit different, especially since it is considerably easy to do after work. Unfortunately I have been dealing with pretty severe shoulder pain since my road race crash in June, so I only gave swimming a go twice before I decided to seek out medical advice on my shoulder.
So the natural progression was to randomly start running, which is another thing I have not done since 2013. OK, not very smart to go couch-to-5k in a span of an instant, but hey, that’s my style! Randomly registered for Cheyenne’s Freedom 5k on a Friday afternoon, and found myself pinning a race number on by 8am Saturday morning. Luckily my friend Gretchen was also running, so I had someone to hang out with (and her two adorable Italian Greyhounds).
Starting off near the front I looked down in the first quarter mile and saw a 7:30 pace on my Garmin and freaked out. My previous 5k times (as an adult) were 33:50 and 35:49, so I knew a 7:30 pace was not sustainable in any sense, especially since I DO NOT RUN. I really wanted to break a 30 minute 5k, so I tried to settle in the 9:45-9:50 pace range. Oh boy, did it hurt. My legs, conditioned by 3 years of strictly cycling, were very confused on what to do. I actually asked a bystander with a bike at one point if I could borrow it, they told me it would be cheating. Ha!
Coming down the final block was amazing, but my competitive edge took over and I looked behind me and then started sprinting so no one else would pass me. Considering I spent the entire race going backwards through the field, I really wanted to finish “strong,” whatever that would be. I’m sure I look like a dying giraffe while trying to run regardless! I cross the finish at 28:45. Instantly my legs locked up; not cramping really, just didn’t want to move. I stumbled over to see that I finished 86th overall (out of 186), and found Gretchen and collapsed onto the ground. I was super happy to have taken 5 minutes off my 5k PR with absolutely no running training, but HOLY HELL IT HURT. Seriously, sign me up for a 50 mile mountain bike race or a jaunt up Pikes Peak on a road bike any day over a 5k!
Later in the day and the next day were absolutely miserable as every single muscle that isn’t used in a pedaling motion rioted against what had happened to them. From my ankles to my butt I winced in pain as I attempted to hobble around. My friend Nichole remarked on my “8 months pregnant waddle” I had going on at work that night! Five days out and I’m just left with very tight and occasionally crampy hamstrings. Which makes me wonder…
What could running be like if I, you know, trained?
Cross training is good. Like I mentioned earlier, aside from a triathlon and a handful of days running in 2013 and XC skiing once this past winter, I have done nothing but pedal a bicycle for years. Across different disciplines, but still a bicycle. I’ve had the highest highs and lowest lows on a bicycle, but unfortunately this year have struggled with motivation and coming out of a serious crash. I’ve really started to re-evaluate what I want out of competitive cycling, at least over the course of the next year as I analyze if I could return to structure training with commitment and motivation to follow through. So maybe switching up stuff could go good. As I slip further into laziness and sedentary habits, I know anything that gets me up and moving will be a good idea and preserve fitness as well.
So I’ll see where this leads!