Now that I’m running for longer distances outside–and I know 3 miles doesn’t seem like a long distance for some of you, but it’s still a marathon to me–I’ve been noticing that my lower back gets really tight. Painfully tight…about 4 hours after my run. It’s better, though still hurts, when I keep moving. If I have to sit for any length of time, like at work or in the car, it stiffens really badly and I have to stretch it out. OUCH! What am I doing wrong? My form? My breathing? Tightening everything too much when I’m pushing myself not to quit? Any advice would be really appreciated!
This weekend was pretty good. Saturday, K-dog and I spent the day at the Pet Expo with our training group doing drill team demonstrations. It went fairly well, all the dogs hit their stays and recalls, and people were duly impressed. It was, however, a very long day. I had packed snacks thinking I could get through the day with oatmeal in the morning and healthy snacks throughout the day, so that I could enjoy our traditional celebratory meal at Texas Roadhouse afterward. Except that I misjudged, and I ate all my snacks before lunch, so was ravenously hungry at Texas Roadhouse and we all know what that means. But it was a lot of fun being out with the gang, so I’ll take it.
Sunday I got to sleep in, which was AMAZING. In fact I got up, made and ate oatmeal, then went back to bed. But at around 11am I called bestie to see where we were doing our run that day. The plan was to try to find an actual track to run on. The C25K plan is great, but it measures your progress by time not distance. And now that we are officially registered for this race, which will not be run on a treadmill, we figured we needed to see how our pace came through over the 3.1 miles in the real world. The most accurate way to gauge that, we thought, would be to run on a 1/4 track.
Tried the high school track–LOCKED. Tried the Junior High track–LOCKED. What? Don’t these people trust us?? Then we remembered a paved loop not too far away, but we weren’t sure of the distance, or if it were marked.
When we got to the park there was a small sign that said “Trail Distance 2512 feet.” You should have seen us smarties trying to figure that one out. But we decided that 6 laps and change would cover it. We did not plan to try to run the whole 3 miles, since we still have 3 weeks of C25K to go, and didn’t want to screw that up. But we wanted to see if we could run/walk it in about 50 minutes, knowing we’ll shave a good amount of time off that by the end of the program.
Things we didn’t factor into our plans:
- Someone across the road burning a barrel of leaves. Who knew that would make breathing well in that section of the path nigh on impossible?
- Other people. Walkers, fine, joggers, fine. But why, father and son team, are you playing catch ON THE TRAIL when there are whole fields for you to play on. Seriously?
- Me being completely tired out from Saturday.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we did complete the 3 miles within our designated amount of time or thereabouts. But, guys….it was HARD. We walked a lap, then ran two, after that, we couldn’t make two laps running anymore and went on to the every other lap plan. We did consider it a successful outing for where we are in the program, but it definitely wasn’t pretty.
It’s weird how much of a mental game running is. For instance, I feel like running in a loop where I could see all of what I’d run, what I had to run, and how many laps were left was a lot harder than just running on the road and waiting for the beep to tell me when to start and stop. Knowing that I could stop “just at that sign” Made me feel like I could not possibly run a step further than that sign. But I probably could have.
Things we learned for 5K
- Need sunglasses
- Need snot rag of some form
- This is not impossible.
Do you have any tips for my first race?