While Dave and his ilk were busy with the Double Dog thing last weekend, I opted for Tree Girl's challenge: 5K + 10 squats at each mile marker and 10 more at the end. I haven't run a lot since my DNF at CIM. I got sick several times during the winter - we had a lot of snow - and one of my knees was bugging me (my first knee issue in 35+ years of running). So I spent most of my time riding a spin bike and lifting a few weights. But I started running a little more when the gym closed, so the 5K sounded like the best option for me.
I headed out the door wearing my JackRabbit running hat, a Secret Santa gift I received several years ago from Keep Running Girl. I decided I'd be dedicating these miles (and squats) to KRG and the other New Yorkers who are in such a vulnerable position these days.
I warmed up with a 2-mile super-slow run to the flatter part of my town. Then I hit start and let the fun begin. I had no course in mind; the plan was to JFR on these flatter, wider streets and wait for my watch to tell me it was time to squat.
Mile 1 was 9:26. I did 10 fairly quick squats behind a monster truck that was parked on the street. If anyone had been watching, they might have thought I was peeing in the shadow of that ridiculously large vehicle.
My heart rate didn't recover much during those squats and it was hard to get moving again after a stop. But I cranked it up to the best of my ability and finished mile 2 in 10:07. That split would have included the time it took for the first 10 squats. There were no vehicles to hide behind for squats 11-20, so I just did them in the street. A mom herding twin toddlers up the sidewalk stopped to watch. One of the girls waved, the other one ran away.
It was even harder to get moving this time, but I sucked it up and pushed through the last mile. I hit mile 3 in 10:27. This trend is not good but what the heck. Squats 21-30 were shallow and ugly. I was definitely ready to finish this thing.
One more crank-up, another .1 mile and 10 more ugly squats. I stopped my watch at 31:52.
It was about 2.5 miles back to my house - perfect cooldown, except it was all uphill. I saw this sign along the way.
Not sure how I feel about it. I know it's important to remain hopeful, but I think a lot of the hope-filled messages I see around town are put in place by people who have good health, good jobs and the financial means to withstand tough times. It's easy to spout platitudes about hope from a position of abundance. I wonder how these messages are received by people who are really hurting. I don't know. So this sign did not lift my spirits, but Tree Girl's Squat Madness 5K did ... and so does this view of Long's Peak I'm privileged to see every day.