Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I just started jogging on the treadmill more than 1 minute at a time last week and I just registered for my first 5k tonight. My right ankle has hurt since that 9.5 minute treadmill run, when I happened to be wearing shoes I bought at a thrift store. It doesn't matter that I might not be being prudent. I, who am normally a worry-wort, am not feeling the least bit prudent. I want to do this. So I am buying shoes this week.
The 5k I picked is on a course I've walked a couple times, Alton Baker Park in Eugene, Oregon on June 23rd. It's a reasonable-for-Oregon path, part along grass and gardens, part along the Willamette river. It's a good enough path so my ankles should be fairly safe if I'm wearing decent shoes and I pay sharp attention. (I'm an under-pronater.) There are no hills. The only real hazards here are slippery duck poop, slippery moss, trippery roots poking up through the path and people who were tripping moments before and now won't move out of your way, so you have to veer around them on soggy grass.
To make it extra cool and meaningful, I can Pre-meditate before the race on Pre's Trail, named after University of Oregon/Olymian track legend Steve Prefontaine. This is a bark path just a few hundred meters away. Prefontaine himself used to run on the same path the 5k will be held on, also. I would NEVER compare an oaf like me to him in terms of athleticism, but he was also an idealist, and volunteered time at schools and a local prison. He honestly wanted to do good. And in that way, I feel connected and honored to make my first run on his turf, whether I am "ready" or not!
P.S. There is also a "Grapes of Half" race the same day, but since it is half a marathon and half a hundred dollars, I decided I was REALLY unready for that one. It includes several stops at wineries. I might be too tempted, if my ankle acts up, to stop and never start again.
I will also skip the next local race, the Dirty Dash, which includes mud pits. Apparently they INTEND for you to fall down. From the advertisement:
"Donít let your life get stuck on the slow boat cuz of your own dirt drought, filth famine, or slop shortage. Youíve got big pants to fill and you arenít gonna fill Ďem wearing padded spandex tri shorts, swimming through crystal clear waters and road racing for 13 miles of pavement pounding agony. The only way you fulfill your dirty destiny is by belly-flopping into a mud pit and breast-stroking your way to a mud makeover courtesy of The Dirty Dash... Unlike most races where you emerge a little leaner but with labored breathing and a lifeless look in your eye, youíll finish our race 5 pounds heavier, 3 times homelier, and 20 times happier. Youíll be Tweeting about it so loud the Ducks will think itís a mating call."
Um. No thanks. Maybe 30 years ago. But not now, thankyouverymuch.