Back in Training

Over the spring & summer, I managed to regain nearly all of the ten pounds I lost last fall & winter. I just wasn’t working as hard, and I certainly wasn’t paying enough attention to my diet — and it’s always more fun to put on weight than to take it off. Now that my backpacking is mostly done for the season, it’s time to go back to working on my body.

I miss trail running. I’d ultimately like to get make another attempt at an ultramarathon, but I don’t know what level of training my body can handle. I decided to put a trail 5K on my calendar and train for it. So, on December 22nd, the inaugural (and possibly only) Kim’s Bad Knee 5K will be held at Chamna.

I started training this week. It seems kind of weird to train for a 5K as I’m accustomed to my short workouts being that long. I decided my goal here is run my first sub-30:00 5K. (My fastest 5K time is over 33:00, and the longer the races I trained for, the slower I got.) I modified a 12-week training plan – again, a little weird because I’m used to training for half marathons using a 10-week plan – to meet my preferences. It’s pretty simple: a short (30-minute) run, an interval run, a tempo run, and a longer (hour) run every week, a couple of cross-training days and a rest day. These short workouts will fit into my schedule better and will allow me to catch up on work around the house. That’ll be kind of refreshing.

I’m committed to not running on asphalt, so that requires some creativity. For my first short, easy run on Monday, I walked to the park near our home and ran on the grass. I can also do that at the park near my office if needed. Getting to the dirt path along the irrigation canal/pipe requires walking a mile. I can go that route, but running on the grass is pretty nice and it provides a good challenge for my feet & ankles.

Today is my first cross-training day on this training schedule. I’m planning to attend a fitness class at the club. It’s called “Centergy” and it’s billed as a Pilates/yoga-ish mash-up. I figure it’ll be a nice break for the legs and a chance to do some much-needed core work. (I’m not doing my usual core workout as one of my arms is still sore from getting a pneumonia vaccination a few days ago. My deltoid is not happy.)

I plan to swim tomorrow. According to Garmin, I haven’t swam in ten months. This should be interesting – and not necessarily in a good way. I need to make sure I have a swimsuit that fits. (Maybe that’s an advantage of gaining back the weight I lost.) I will have to unpack and repack my workout and gear bags. Do I still know how to swim? Do I even remember the combination to my lock? (Just checked – I do! *whew!*)

I have a run scheduled tomorrow evening, too – a tempo run – but I want to get back into the habit of swimming once or twice a week. I used to swim every Thursday morning before court, but over the past few years I’ve found I needed the extra hour of sleep more than I needed the workout. I’ll have to make sure I’m in bed early enough to stomach the early wakeup tomorrow.

Swimming & going to fitness classes also means I’m using my club membership. I’m a bit sheepish about how little I’ve been using the club – while still forking over my membership fee every month. It’s not unusual for club usage to drop over the summer, as a lot of folks are recreating & working out outside. But I wasn’t doing much working out anywhere this summer, and it shows. My core really needs work, and in the past I’ve found that swimming does a good job of slimming my torso.

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