Photo: Hamed Saber, Flickr Creative CommonsIf you care, I managed to run that mile and a half yesterday without a single step slower than a jog. It took me about 17 minutes (didn't use a stopwatch, so I could have actually been up to a minute faster), which is kind of slow. Extrapolated out to 5k, it's about half as fast as the people running in the top-seeded starting wave for men. Still, it's only 80 seconds per mile off my best ever pace, so I'm not complaining. My current pace, which I could easily extend to 5k in less than a month, would put me smack dab in the middle of the starting waves for the Peachtree, which are ranked by finishing times. If I can get back to at least the pace I kept in college over 3 miles, I would move up three starting waves. That's assuming I find a chance to run a qualifying 5k race before March 21 and then actually perform as well as I should. My official goal for training between now and March 14 is to be able to finish a 5k in less than 31 minutes. I consider that a reasonable pace. It's simply getting myself back to where I used to be. I don't have a goal for the 10k yet beyond not walking. I just want a qualifying 5k time that earns me a start in the first half of starting waves. I can worry about the 10k when I can actually run that far.
Honestly, I didn't even have to push myself much yesterday. I finished with a surprisingly light case of the quivering thighs (and a surprisingly strong case of the I-can't-feel-the-middle-toes-on-my-right-foot), but I'm apparently in better shape than I thought. I genuinely expected to have to walk before I hit the mile mark, but I still had juice enough in the tank to pick up my pace again at the mile mark, and all of this was after playing tennis for an hour. I kept myself right in the zone recommended by the guide I'm using. I was breathing hard, but I could have carried on light conversation if I had to. I definitely couldn't sing. I was pretty damn proud of myself at the end. You can ask my wife. I may have bragged a little when I got home. I could probably go ahead and work on the 1.75 or 2-mile weeks. But I won't.
Listening to podcasts on the mp3 player was a good call. It helped me keep my mind off of being mildly uncomfortable and let me keep myself going when I would have gotten bored. Being bored not only makes it harder to push through the discomfort and keep going, it's also deadly.
Getting back to those toes, though. That was weird. By the end, I had absolutely no feeling in the second and third toes of my right foot, slight numbness in those toes on my left and the middle of the front part of my foot just behind those toes. I really hope it's just that I tied my shoes too tight. I tend to tie my shoes pretty snug, and I wanted to make sure the shoes didn't slip and rub a blister into my feet. I just hope that tying them a little looser Friday will keep that from happening again. That can't be good for the extremities because it suggests that they're basically being suffocated slowly. Gangrene is probably deadlier than being bored.
Today is an off day. Instead of a run, my wife, little Gandhi, and I will be taking a walk to my parents' house. It's about a 2-mile round trip and we'll intersperse short jogs with mostly walking. Little Gandhi is already excited about it.
Speaking of the midget, I was awoken on Sunday by little Gandhi bearing gifts. He (with my wife's assistance) made me a card that morning while I slept. She drew a heart on the front and he decided to color it green because he knows it's my favorite color. On the heart, he affixed stickers of monsters and beer bottles as decoration. The funny part of this is that my wife actually had beer stickers in her scrapbooking collection. On the inside, he and my wife collaborated to come up with a list of things I love. He suggested chickens and monsters and my wife added beer, ice cream, and "me". By the way, the monsters thing isn't just random. We do a lot of monster games and my chasing him around the house as one is a nighttime tradition. Each item on the list was illustrated by a sticker of the item and "me" was illustrated by a drawing of a little blonde boy drawn my wife. The opposite page of the card was a jumble of stickers, all placed by little Gandhi himself.
The aftermath of this art project was that last night, he came walking into the office while his mom was getting documents scanned at my parents' house and asked me, "Where are my stickers and beer? I need my stickers and beer." That doesn't sound too good out of context. Hopefully he won't bring it up the next time he intercepts a phone call. He's not good at setting up the context of his comments. They usually just come out of nowhere without explanation.
Today's photo search term: Valentines