I’m becoming more and more convinced that the best way to train for a 5K is to register for a marathon.
Three mile runs are now my warm-ups. Six is my favorite everyday distance. 10 feels like a normal weekend activity. Later this week, I’ll run 16. What’s totally ridiculous about all of this is that it was only a month ago I completely shocked myself by running a successful eight miles. Of all the takeaways from marathon training, the empirical proof of knowing what I can achieve when I work toward a specific goal is really something special.
The past few weeks have been filled with strong runs, capricious weather, and necessary cross-training. One weekend, I ran outside in shorts. Another, 30 inches of snow at my house resulted in a buried car and driveway and some fierce rediscovered shoveling muscles. I pushed my long run this past weekend to take advantage of the Bolton Nordic trails. I fell more often than not but had a blast. Skiing is not an easy task when you learn as an adult.
Also cross-training related: My latest obsession is my new weighted hula hoop. The thing is three pounds, which sounds like nothing until it’s thrust around your abs in a repetitive fast cycle. It took some serious getting used to, but I’m starting to feel the burn in all the right ways.
I’m solidly running a 10 minute mile. I know I should feel overjoyed with this, given that I started a few months ago unable to run even 10 seconds straight. For now, I appreciate the fact that I can accurately predict the time I’ll spend on a run with some simple base ten multiplication. I want to be faster, though, so the next few weeks, I’m planning to focus on speed training.
Honestly, I can’t believe the training schedule is more than halfway over. I’ve listened to nearly a dozen audiobooks. Favorites so far include Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World, Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes, and Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. The key to a good audiobook: a captivating story, great writing, an exceptional reader, and x1.25 speed.
I have logged more than 180 miles. Many of those have been through the South End Arts district, down by the waterfront, and then up the hill toward UVM. I like the surprise of running through neighborhoods—brightly painted houses, packages on doorsteps, couples walking dogs. End a run through the South End with a sunset over the waterfront, and you’ve got Burlington at its finest.
Again, though, it’s winter in Vermont. Many of my recent runs have been on the track at the Essex Edge. I feel like I’m starting to see the regulars now. If you recognize me, please definitely say hello. I have short brown hair and eight black hair ties on my wrists. I move one hair tie from my right wrist to my left for each lap, so that I only have to keep track mentally of miles. It’s a silly system but one I highly recommend for a 1/8 mile track.