Monday, March 14, 2011

Ready to Run!

In the last few years, something strange has happened to me. I have become someone who enjoys running. If you'd asked me in college what i thought of running long distances, I would have told you is was something only crazy people did for fun. I've always been somewhat athletic, and have enjoyed working out... but running was just never my thing. I tried track in high school, pretty much sucked at it, and didn't do more than a little recreational jog for years after that.

Then, in 2007, my friend Becky told us she was getting a group together for a relay race. It was the Brew to Brew race, where groups of 9 people took turns running part of  a 44 mile course from Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City to Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence, KS. Joe was running half marathons at this point, so it was a no-brainer for him. I thought about my love for both of these breweries, and also that it could be good motivation to work out for the next few months... and decided to join the fun!

The race was a blast, and I managed to run 5 miles of the course! It ended up being my second race, because Joe convinced me to do the St Patrick's Day 4 mile race a few weeks before the Brew to Brew. I also ran the Trolley Run at the end of April, which meant I had completed three races in less than 2 months. I guess at that point I was hooked.

The last few years have been up and down with running. Joe suffered a knee injury that resulted in surgery, and is most likely done running. I hope he can heal enough to do short 5k races in the future, but for now we're saving up to buy him a bike (or a guitar), so he can find a new hobby to be interested in.  I have run at least one race per summer... nothing competitive, but it's kept me working out and somewhat focused. I did a terribly slow 5k last October, after a month at a terrible job and not a single day of training. After that race, I decided my next one would be better.

Now it's about time to start training for that 'next one'. I signed up for the Ravenswood 5k, which is run right near my neighborhood in Chicago. I usually miss this one, because it happens early in the spring, and I'm not mentally in running outside mode yet. But this year I planned ahead, and even found a training plan to help me set a personal record with this run.

Then, two weeks ago I did an awesome sprint workout. It felt great, and I was so excited about training after doing this workout. Unfortunately, my knees did not agree that this was a great workout, and my left knee has been hurting significantly for the last week and a half. I'm pretty stressed out about this, after Joe's experience with a knee injury. For the last week, I've still been working out, but not really running and generally taking things a little lighter than usual.

I decided today that since it is still hurting, I will take a week 100% off from the gym. My job has me on my feet for the entire 8 hour shift, and living in the city involves a decent amount of walking around, so I won't exactly be sitting around all week. But my official training for the race is set to start next week, so I'm hoping that a week off will be the cure. Add in some ice, heat, and ibuprofen, and hopefully I'll be ready to start running again next Monday. Wish me luck!

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