I really wanted to like last month’s chosen adventure (rock climbing), but it turns out that climbing 1 or 2 times a week during the short month of February is not enough to overcome the This Is Hard And I Suck At It barrier.
Because the various classes only set me back a grand total of $18 ($13 at the first place thanks to Groupon, $5 at the second place thanks to their “bring a friend” bonus program that also gave me unlimited access to the gym for the entire month, and NO CHARGE at all at the third place because it’s been around FOREVER and therefore can afford to throw away money…), however, I was able to stretch my #adventure17 v.2 budget allotment to buy a pair of legit climbing shoes + bag o’ chalk just in case I ever find myself with an abundance of time and a desire to blow out my forearms while scaling walls…
When I crafted the full 2017 #adventure17 program, I had actually guessed that the “once-or-twice-a-week-for-a-month” new skill exploration idea probably would not yield the greatest success. That hypothesis was, indeed, proven. If you want to really learn a new skill (and not just follow the Easy-Bake™ directions to create yourself a damn-fine cowbell in one night of effort, á la #adventure17 v.1), then a more focused, consistent effort is required.
OK then, for #adventuere17 v.3, I would do my chosen task EVERY DAY, although I would allow myself to take 4 days off during the month to accomodate for unexpected scheduling challenges, health issues, sanctions laziness or whatnot. The task that I chose for my March adventure is technically not something new to me, but the degree to which I would dedicate myself is WELL beyond anything I had ever done before. It might even be well beyond sanity. I actually was not at all thrilled to be making this my challenge, but it sure would be interesting to see what would happen when I decided to run a 5k every day for the month of March, capped by an official race on both ends.
Jeebusdog, this is an exceptional level of stupid. I HATE running. I did a marathon way back in 1998 and as a result I had literally not run more than 5 steps up until ~5 months ago when I undertook a half-hearted 3-days-in-1-month attempt at an effort to maybe, sorta kinda, try to kick start that kind of activity again. It failed because I didn’t make myself accountable.
Because I had no idea where I might actually be during most of the days of March (I only have to be on campus for 6 days this entire month–the rest of the month was/is totally unscheduled), I decided that a daily run was something I could do no matter where I might find myself. Plus, it’s a completely FREE activity, which enables me to roll over my allotted monthly adventure funds in order to bankroll something epic later in the adventure series.
Ok then, a daily run it is! 5k seems totally reasonable (my niave little self thought at the outset) and I can put GIGANTIC AIR QUOTES around the word “run,” right? As long as I have running shoes on my feet and those feet log 5k it counts. Done. Let’s do this!
But first, I need to find a race to start things off. March 1 is a Wednesday AND it’s actually one of the six days that I am required to be on campus. How is this going to work?
Enter the Virtual Running Club! For $49 I get to run the Yellowstone National Park 145th Birthday 5k race, complete with personalized runners bib and hi-tek race t-shirt AND a finishers medal (still waiting on that one–USPS is even slower than I am) once I report my time! HECK YEAH!
I absolutely crushed (ha!) that first K with a nice little 6:20/min pace. The 2nd K, I slowed down by nearly a minute (7:18). Sometime during the 3K I experienced something that I always had assumed was just a made-up pile of bullshit from people who did not like exercising: a cramp.
Cramps are REAL!
And they are AWFUL!
No wonder people complain about them. And of course you would not like exercise if you were experiencing such a hellish pain.
I limped for the remainder of that 3K. Oh, did I mention it was ~96* that day and I was wearing a long-sleeve not-at-all hi-tell shirt underneath my race shirt?
Can someone please just run me over with their car? This shit sucks. And I have to do this for THIRTY MORE DAYS (minus my 4 sanctioned rest days, which I want to use RIGHT NOW)? Gaht dam, this is a stupid adventure….
My first official race time was 37:02 and I hated all but ~3 minutes of it.
I have loads more tales to tell you about how this has played out during the past 17 days, including outings that involve Zolie the dog, but UCLA tip-off is in 20 mins and I have a shit load of personal celebration to be doing (because I got accepted into USC’s Occupational Therapy Doctoral Residency program and they are paying for ALL of it)–so we’ll just have to wrap up this adventure series during the next installment on April 17.
For what it’s worth tho: I am still running and my times are improving and anyone who tells you that running is better than riding is a verifiable lunatic, although cycling jerseys do make fine running apparel.