Walk Week

For the third Monday in a row, I knew almost immediately that I wasn’t going to be able to run my usual 3.1 miles.  So I decreed this week Walk Week. I walked the 3.1 miles today, and will do so again on Wednesday and on Friday. Hopefully, the break will allow my calf muscles a chance to start healing. 

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Pain, Pain, Go Away!

When I started running, I had a fair amount of pain from Plantar Fasciitis. As that began to lessen, my calves started to hurt. For a couple of months now, I’ve been in near-constant pain from them. 

Five and a half weeks ago, I went to see a doctor. She diagnosed it as a muscle sprain, and cleared me to keep running, just lay off the speed work while it healed. I’m still waiting for that healing to happen. 

Most days, I can manage the pain with the NSAID Voltaren and cinnamon essential oil. Other days, not so much. It is always the limiting factor in my pace. I have a moderate pain tolerance, but I can only push so far for so long. The last two Mondays have been complete failures, despite a PR last Friday. Wednesday was a solid run, only a few seconds per mile off of last Friday’s pace. Today, I couldn’t do but a mile. I punished myself by making it a PR pace, but since it was only a mile, it hardly counts. 

Will I ever be pain free?

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Mondays Suck

For the second week in a row, my Monday morning workout has been forced to an early death due to pain. 

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New Personal Record

Good run this morning.

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Coming Home

This morning I ran my back yard for the first time in a couple of months. Doing that up slope over twenty times to make the three miles was a killer. The result was my slowest pace ever for a full five kilometers.  

Maybe I never should’ve stopped running back there. 

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It Is Finished

I completed the 5K race on Saturday, as planned. It was 31 degrees when I climbed out of bed, and only a few degrees warmer at race time. One hundred eleven people braved the cold and showed up.  

The course was on the cart paths of a golf course. The first two miles were somewhat rolling, but no major climbs. I  crossed the two-mile marker at around twenty-seven minutes. Not on track for my sub-40 finish goal, but respectable. Guess where the bastards hid all the monster hills. Yep, the last three quarters of a mile. At one point, my baby steps were so short and my breathing so ragged that I thought I was going to have to slow to a walk.  But I didn’t. 

I finished. I ran every step. My official time was 43:17, which put me 91st out of the one hundred eleven. So, mission accomplished. I didn’t come in last.  Enjoy the video of my finish:

There is an interesting side note to the story. Somewhere early in the third mile, I caught up with this cute, thick for a runner, thirty-something lady who, at that moment was speed walking only slightly slower than I was running. But she was slower, and as much as I enjoyed the view, I passed her. A couple minutes later, she’d transitioned to a run and passed me. Then slowed to a walk shortly after. 

We danced that dance several times before she eventually fell behind. As I was catching my breath after finishing, she came up to me and thanked me for being an inspiration to her to keep going. Me. An inspiration. At an athletic event. Go figure. I guess my advanced age and my labored breathing indicated that I’m more comfortable on the sofa. 

I’ve already entered my next race. It promises to be a flat, straight course, so I really should be well below forty minutes finishing this one. It’s on Sunday, 23 April. My first day of preparation (today) saw both a success and a failure. My calves started screaming during my warm-up walk, and refused to back off as I ran. So, I stopped after a mile. That was the failure. The success was my time for that mile: 12:46. Slow, but a personal best, by a whole second. 

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New Toy

I think I’ve mentioned the abuse that I put my three-year old Ariens riding lawn mower through while clearing my back yard just after I first purchased my current domicile. Well, on the last mow of 2016, I managed to bend something in the steering mechanism, causing the front wheels to point in different directions and rendering it unusable without a repair. I’m sure I could figure out what happened and bend it back, if I just took the time. Thing is, I have other things that I would prefer to do. And there are lots of other work that the machine needs. Which means more work. 

So, yesterday I stopped by Tractor Supply to eyeball a cheap replacement.  My thought process was to buy another cheap one to use, and repair the old one at my leisure to use in rough areas, and to have as a backup. I started at the $900 Husky, which is comparable to the Ariens but minus the wheels on the mow deck. But for another $100, I could get one with wheels. And for $150 more I could have a 46″ deck instead of a 42″. 

To make a long story short, I walked down the line to the best traditional model that they had, a Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series ST with a 54″ deck and a twenty-four horse Kohler engine. That cost almost exactly twice what I paid for my old mower. And I bought the fucking thing. 

I was on my way to work and didn’t have my trailer with me, so I went back this morning to pick it up. And of course I had to try it out. 

Sixty-five minutes later, I had mowed both the front and back. That would’ve taken a minimum of six hours with the Ariens, quite possibly as many as eight hours. I was able to go faster and overlap less, while still being effective. Add that to the extra foot of deck width, and you have the time difference. It’s a hell of a lot more comfortable, too. On top of that, it’s built like a fucking tank. You hear it when you hit something, but you won’t feel it unless it is something very substantial. 

If it is half as reliable as I expect it to be, this will be one of the best three thousand dollar purchases I have ever made. 

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