Today in “Things I’m Doing That I’ve Never Done Before”
Posted on June 11, 2019 Posted by John Scalzi 37 Comments
I agreed to do a 5k run with my friend later this year. I made clear to them that I couldn’t promise I wouldn’t vomit at, like, mile three, but they were undeterred. It’s a few months away so I have time to prepare, at least.
Honestly who am I and what have I done with me these days.
5k ~= 3.1 miles, so you won’t be embarrassing yourself until the finish line…
I’ve started doing a yearly 5k in September. I’ve kicked my own ass each year, measuring that I’m improving.
Which is weird: I never did athletics when I was young. As soon as I turned 35, I started taking things more seriously.
It would be ideal if you remained somewhat soft and lumpy until the zombie apocalypse happens, that way there’s at least one more snack in the area before the horde catches up to me.
Given what you’ve been doing already, a 5k will be super easy I suspect. The adrenaline on race morning will kick in and you’ll do great. I try to do 3-4 of them a year at this point just to give me something to work towards.
The 5K, the gateway race. I’ll watch for you in the Boston Marathon 2024.
Watch out or you’ll be running a half marathon before you know it
Running 3 miles without stopping (or vomiting) was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. It’s a slipper slope, though… I’ve run two marathons (so far).
As long as you don’t push yourself too hard trying to meet a target time or trying to finish without walking you should be fine. With the few months to prepare you can probably be a good judge of what you can handle. This doesn’t mean you can’t push yourself to the point of vomiting at the finish line if that is the experience you want to go for.
If no one has suggested it to you yet, let me suggest the “couch to 5k” program. I used it to start running in my mid 40s and it worked well. Google will find several sites documenting it. There are also several apps for both android and iphone that will do the start stop timing for you.
It isn’t “easy”, learning curve is challenging but not manageable. Every step past the first few I thought, there is no way I can do more next week. But each next week I could do the next step, just felt once again there was no way I could do more. Until I was at the end running 5k.
If you puke at mile 3, you should be in sight of the finish line. That would be awkward. Puke at mile 3.2, but earn it. That’s ok. 3.1 miles really isn’t all that far.
Have you come across parkrun? – a 5k run (or walk) every Saturday morning, most usually at 9am. Great fun! And all the best :) .
On your marks, get set . . .
I hope you(2) surprise yourself(1) and have fun at it!
(Numbering per “What have I(2) done with me(1) these days”)
I want the old john back. The one that ate burritos and spent time lounging around with cats and sharing pics of said cats
Seriously, good for you John. You will do fine
Honestly, you have nothing to worry or be embarrased about. Every 5k I’ve ever been in (and I’m one of those crazy runner people…even if I am slow) seems to have as many or more people walking than running. It’s a good distance because you can walk and finish around an hour at a reasonable walking pace, or be a crazy fool and try for speed..but not be in pain forever.
5K should be fine, but don’t forget that the original marathon runner died from the exertion.
See if the raise has a prep work sheet. I did a 5k recently and they had a downloadable plan for training that was directly catered to how many weeks were left before the race. Highly recommend looking for!
It’ll be fun, you’ll meet some great people, sweat a bit, and Krissy will most likely get you a churro afterwards. Sounds like a great day!
At age 60-ish, I tried to start running regularly again as I had in my 20s-30s, with an imagined goal of completing at least one marathon.
But the knees said nay, and I value hiking and backpacking capacity far more than *running* So, we’re planning several multi-mile camping trips into the remote wilderness this summer.. Yay!
Don’t sweat it, John (literally, I mean). I can’t run to save my life. Probably 30 years ago, I ran 5km with my father, and it darned near killed me—I may actually be fitter now, but it’s not an experience I intend to try again. But I can walk. I saw the last runner of the Plymouth (UK) Half Marathon trudging up the last long hill a few weeks ago. She was being circled by course marshals on bicycles, and followed by a car carrying a huge time clock—showing that she wouldn’t finish in less than 4 hours—and TWO ambulances. I thought that was cruel, and the vehicles could have stayed further behind, but she was gamely finishing at a pace no doubt slower than you would walk 5k. So, the moral is, you only have to finish; you don’t have to finish fast!
Best of luck to you on that. A guy in my writers group is writing an account of running the Chicago Marathon at age 49 with no preparation. He meant to prepare. He just didn’t. From where I sit, it’s funny.
Has the Parkrun phenomenon reached your part of the US? Their weekly, free to enter 5K events are pretty ubiquitous in the UK and welcome all levels – even those who literally walk around the course. A great starting place.
(For some reason, I can’t get the US event map to load right now.)
Have fun storming the castle!
Saaaaaaaaaaame! I’m running in September. On the bright side, they’re offering beer at the finish line. I’m currently doing a Couch to 5K programme to get myself back up to running without stopping again. We’ll see how it turns out.
After a layoff of several years working my way back up to real road cycling again…now that pollen season is basically done for me I hope to go out in the real world (as opposed to grinding it out on a not very good stationary bike) this coming weekend.
Try couch to 5k program. It worked for me at age 65.
I’ve walked annual 5K race/walks for the last four or five years. This year I averaged 17 minute miles (my normal walking pace is closer to a 20 minute mile), making me laughable for a runner, but pretty good for a walker. While pretty much all the runners pass me by, only one person passed me while he was walking. I shook my metaphorical cane and wished him off my lawn. Grumble grumble.
If you’ve ever changed planes at DFW, you’ve probably run further than that trying to meet a tight connection. At least this time you won’t be dragging a rollerboard.
LOL, Miles, I’ve done that precisely once, and yes, we were in full OJ Simpson mode (before he took up driving more slowly than he runs).
If you’ve never run before: I hope you turn out to be one of the lucky ones that experience the “runner’s high” (your brain’s natural production of opiod-like chemicals) early and for an extended period. When I was in the Marine Corps I knew individuals who would reach the runner’s high after as little as a mile and keep in it for almost the entire duration of their run. I, on the other hand experienced this only twice, both at around the 15-mile mark of marathons; and both, while noticeable, lasted for only 2-3 minutes each time.
Now in my 60s I find walking to be a much better form of exercise. Less stress/impact on the joints. And, more fun (for both me and the dog) as the slower pace means that I tend to really notice things that just didn’t register while running.
Good luck! And don’t macho it out and run through the pain if something starts to hurt in an unusual way. I did that and ended up with 6 weeks of physical therapy for a knee sprain.
Slow and steady! It’s not that far, just down to the end of your drive and back twice…
Can Krissy pace you?
You can do it!
At 73 I no longer run.
We had a bear in the driveway
A couple of days back.
Running around the block in
Stirling City could end up with
You being on some wildlife
Best of luck on your run.. If you know for a fact your going to end up puking, eat something colorful before hand, give the folks something to talk about. That’s the best advice I can offer on the subject.
I recently decided I needed to drop some weight I wasn’t using and started walking every night. The result was the loss of a little bit of weight and bursitis in my foot. I strongly advise you to spend a little extra on some really good quality shoes. They’re well worth it.
More power to you!
If you are going to spew…*holds out cup*…spew in this!