Fitness Update: Fall 2017

It took two years of practice, but I finally ran a 5K. Specifically, I ran the Race’n Bacon 5K at Easton, Pa.’s BaconFest on November 5, 2017, completing the race in under 30 minutes with an average pace of just over 9 minutes per mile.

A cup of brown ale and a piece of bacon in aluminum foil.
Nothing motivates like beer and bacon. Credit: Ken Newquist.

Completing it was immensely satisfying. I was far from the fastest runner, but I achieved my goal of completing the race and doing so while maintaining a steady pace. In keeping with the 24 months of practice, the Zombies, Run app urged me on as I ran its built-in 5K mission.

Those who ran the race were given beer and bacon to celebrate, and I did so, sipping my Weyerbacher Brown & Down Ale while chatting with college friends who ran the race with me.

I spent most of Fall 2017 prepping for the race with regular trips to the gym to run on the indoor track and work out on the equipment. After the race, I slowed down considerably. My sneakers are beat to hell — so much so that I have a hole in the sole of my right foot — and I desperately need to replace them. I’m looking to head over to Aardvark in Bethlehem, Pa., where the employees walk you through buying a new pair of sneakers. They’ll likely be pricer than my first pair, but I’ve reached the point in my running hobby worthwhile to spend a little extra money to get better sneakers. Plus at 46 the last thing I need to do is hurt myself while trying to stay healthy.

Until I get the new sneakers I’ve been taking it easy. Most of my regular exercise over the last month came from walking to work, which nets me about 3 miles round trip. Throw a Boy Scout hike here and a winter baseball practice there, and it’s been enough to keep me active.

That said, once I’ve got my new sneakers and Christmas break arrives, I’ll be redoubling my efforts. My motivation will be listening to Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer (Amazon), the latest novel in his epic fantasy series, The Stormlight Archives. It’s a 55 hour audio book which should make for weeks of great listening at the gym. It’s exactly the sort of motivation I need to power through the cold, dark winter months.

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