The 5K That Wasn’t

I was supposed to run my second 5K this past Sunday afternoon. Those in charge cancelled the event due to rain and forecast heavy storms at race time. As it turned out, there was nothing but a cold drizzle until several hours later that evening. 

I’m glad that they called it off. I haven’t ran much since the 5K last month in an attempt to give my body time to heal. Consequently, I’m not in race form. Far from it. 

I’m unsure how to continue my fitness journey.  Even when my body will let me, running three miles three times per week simply isn’t enough exercise. And I’m nowhere close to even that at the moment. Do I fight my body and try to get back to that point? And assuming that I’m successful, what do I add to the mix to finish the job? If I can’t do it without some part of my body protesting more loudly than I can ignore, what then? 

But the biggest question of all is motivation. How do I convince myself to make time for whatever it takes? I was able to do the 5K because I had convinced myself that I had to do something, I had a specific program to follow and a deadline to meet, and there were people who didn’t think I could do it who absolutely had to be proven wrong.

But now? I’ve used my pain as an excuse to blow off many recent workouts. I struggled to find the hour or so every other day that my runs take. How do I increase that time and add more days? 

I’ve thought seriously about commuting to and from work by bicycle. I like the idea, because after I get over my fear of deserted roads after dark without an automobile cabin to shield me, it just makes sense. It will add over an hour to my travel time, and will regularly be unpleasant due to environmental factors, but it will serve a purpose. I have to go to work. It’s not time lost (in my mind) to exercising solely for the purpose of exercise. Therefore, I’m much more likely to stick with it.  

Several people have discouraged the idea, though. There’s the general risk associated with riding a bicycle on the road. And the increased potential for breakdowns that could make me late and cause issues with my employer. Then there’s the whole question as to how I can protect myself from the myriad of potential threats on back country roads at night without getting caught violating FaucetCompany’s “no firearms on company property” policy. 

All these are valid and reasonable concerns. But what alternatives are there? I have a gym membership. I could pick one or more of the many machines there. I could continue my running, adjusting time and speed as my body will allow. I could bike some of the local trails. I could use the exercise bike and workout videos that I already have at home. But every single one of those options is single use time. If I’m not doing something productive, I may as well be sitting on my ass relaxing. God knows, I get enough drama and excitement at work. And in my mind, exercising isn’t productive by itself. 

I’ve tried to ride the stationary bike while doing whatever I do to relax, but it interferes. I could bike and watch TV at the same time, but I seldom watch TV at home. Usually I’m reading or doing something on the computer. The movement of my legs makes it impossible to hold anything still enough to be able to read it.  

The obvious answer is to adjust my outlook to accept that exercise is a productive task, worthy of priority status. It’d be easier to stop eating. Or breathing. I guess I’m just fucked. And not in a good way. 

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Yesterday, I drove home from work via the route that makes the most sense by bicycle. It was intimidating as hell. Especially at midnight. I freely admit that I’m (probably overly) apprehensive about potential threats, especially those that I cannot see. But that road is just creepy. 

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Not Ready

But not horrible.

I started out strong, despite lingering hip pain. But I couldn’t keep it up. This time it was more a lack of wind than pain, although both were factors.

I want to be under 40:00 on Sunday. I’d love a new PR, but I don’t think that is a realistic hope. 

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Annoying Ex-Wife

A couple days ago, I posted on the book of faces requesting suggestions for a weapon mount suitable for use on a bicycle. I detailed my criteria – discreet, accessible while riding, somewhat secure, and weather-resistant. 

My ex-wife wanted to offer advice. I truly do appreciate that she tried to help. She is the typical blonde, so that excuses her somewhat. But at some point, basic logic and common sense should kick in, right?

She lives in the People’s Republic of Kalifornistan, where only the elite have access to firearms. She has never owned a gun in her life, and in fact asked me for gun advice not that long ago. It took her three attempts to qualify with the M-16 in Air Force basic training back in the early 1990s (minimum score at that time was something ridiculous like 15/40 hits). But she wanted to hand out gun gear advice. 

 Her “help”: Have you checked on Amazon? What about BassPro or 5.11 Tactical? Glock Store?

Bitch, please! If it was that easy, I wouldn’t have needed to ask for help, especially not on social media. I had already checked the obvious locations. My google-fu is at least apprentice level, perhaps even journeyman. If something suitable was available from any major retailer, or from a cursory Internet search, I would have already found it. 

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Mulching Kits … Don’t

Today I installed the mulching kit on my new Cub. I chose a Cub branded kit, so the part quality should match the original equipment. Should.  

These kits consist of a plastic plug that blocks the discharge port, and a set of mulching blades. Theoretically, the cut quality shouldn’t change. The plug just keeps the clippings contained inside the deck while the tops of the blades disintegrate them. Theoretically. 

I had already completed three laps when I decided that I had enough time to install the kit and finish at least the back yard before having to quit and get ready for work. The install was slightly less smooth than I anticipated, but still relatively painless. 

Immediately, I noticed missed spots. Lots of them. Maybe the mutant dandelions in my yard are particularly resistant to being cut. Maybe I was too busy smoothing out the edges to notice the misses the first few times around. Or maybe installing a mulch kit does something that prevents a clean cut. In any case, I’m back to a 50% overlap. Fortunately, 50% of 54″ is quite an improvement over 50% of 42″. If you don’t believe me, ask your old lady how much difference six inches makes. 

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Falling Apart

In the last four weeks, I’ve ran three times. I’m not counting walking episodes, or short runs of a mile or so, of which there have been several. I’m talking full, five kilometer runs. I backed off because my calves had been hurting for months and refused to heal while I was actively running thrice per week. Well, I have been successful. Somewhat. But only when it comes to my calves.

Within days of stopping my runs, my plantar fasciitis, which had largely become a non-issue, reared its ugly head.  It has gotten bad enough that I’m back to sleeping in the night splint socks. Which is rapidly putting the monster back to sleep.

Two weeks ago, my calves showed significant improvement, but still caused enough pain following a run that I decided to take another week off.

Last week, my first run was pretty good. I was off my pace a bit, but my calves only grumbled quietly. But the day I was supposed to do my second run of the week, I ended up at the doctor’s office with a painfully full bowel. To say the least, there was no more running that week.

About the time I started having intestinal difficulties, I noticed that I was having pain in my left hip when I repositioned myself in bed. At first, I didn’t realize that it was my hip. I thought it was groin, or groin-adjacent, and caused by whatever was making me feel like I’d been kicked in the nuts. Well, that problem is long gone, but I still hurt when I toss and turn in bed. For the record, mag citrate is very effective, and not nearly as unpleasant as its reputation would have you believe, as long as you are prepared for what will happen.

When I went for my run yesterday, my hip started to hurt almost immediately, followed shortly thereafter by my lower back. I assume that my back pain is either related to whatever the fuck is causing my hip to hurt, or I was trying to compensate for the hip pain and somehow caused a problem in my back. I was able to finish the three miles, but with the pathetic pace of 15:48 per mile. My calves barely noticed.

My next race is this coming Sunday. And my body is falling apart. I will run it, but I will probably come in dead last by about twenty minutes. After that, my running may be over. I’ve been doing this for five months. My cardio-vascular health is probably as good as it’s ever been in my life. But every time I turn around, something new hurts. I’m not sure it’s worth it. I’m not a fan of pain.

Anybody have any recommendations for a good entry-level road bicycle? I plan to continue my fitness journey, but I need something less traumatic for my decrepit old body.

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Tired Of Fucking Around

It’s approximately 0400 as I write this. I’ve been trying to sleep since about midnight. Between the fact that I don’t usually go to bed until 0200 and the intestinal issues that have been plaguing me for the last week, I just can’t get there. In less than four hours I have guys scheduled to arrive to install satellite internet. This evening I’m supposed to head over to see ex-Roomie for a TV marathon. It’s going to be a long fucking day. 

I’ve been on significantly more than the usual dosage of two different kinds of laxatives for the last two and a half days. There’s been lots of miniscule movement resulting in maybe a 20% decrease in the pressure in my abdomen. I’m fresh out of patience. Between the frustration, the pain, and the irritability that comes with the lack of sleep, I decided that I had to do something. 

I went to the mart of walls. A couple bottles of magnesium citrate followed me home. I just drank one and chased it with a quart of water. Something is going to fucking happen, and soon.

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