This weekend has been a pretty good adventure for me. Friday night was pretty tame. I went and saw "The Hangover" which was pretty dang funny and then went home and crashed before 11 PM.
I knew Saturday was going to be an early morning because I signed up to volunteer at the Super Summer 8K at Lake Hefner. CHK is encouraging all of it's employees to get involved in the community and they have challenged us to do 20,000 hours of community service in recognition of the company's 20th anniversary. The Super Summer 8K was my way to volunteer for a good cause and to stay involved in the running community. I woke up at 6 AM which was kinda nice. It had been several weeks since I had woken up early on the weekend because I have been injured and not allowed to do any running. It will be nice to get back on that schedule of early morning runs. Anyway, I went and helped out with registration and was pleasantly surprised at the turnout for the race. There were about 150 runners which was pretty good for a local race on Lake Hefner. The trails aren't that wide and it was really busy with just regular runners and bikers anyway. It was a pretty nice mix of runners with some pretty serious competitors and then just some people wanting to get out and enjoy the event. I ran a water stop after helping out with registration and you could tell the heat and humidity was not kind to a lot of people. I got to throw water on several runners which is always fun. After the water stop, I went and helped gather time chips and break down the snack and refreshment area. The race was sponsored by The Runner and I met the owner and a couple of his employees and they are a really nice group of people. After breaking everything down, Brent (the owner) gave me a really nice running hat for helping out and told me to stop by and see them at the store sometime. It's nice to develop some connections in the running community. They are a great source of information and have a good selection of running gear as well. All in all, it was a very productive morning. I was a bit frustrated because I could have won my age group based on the times that morning. It would be kinda cool to win my age group in my 1st year of running. Maybe in the fall.
After helping out at the race, my body needed something physical because I had so much pent-up athletic and competitive frustration inside. Being at the race, really reinforced my desire to run and made me even more focused towards a healthy return. Since I can't run, my mind started working and I decided it was time to give swimming a chance. I have always entertained the idea of swimming as a cross-training exercise, but I never really "learned" to swim, it just kinda happened. I guess over the years as a kid I taught myself enough to keep myself afloat and to save myself if needed. I wouldn't want to put anyone else's life in my swimming hands though. I do have a couple of things working for me. My height and my big feet. So, I ventured down to the downtown YMCA and gave swimming a shot. The pool was empty except for a couple of kids in the shallow water which was good. I really don't know pool etiquette yet so I am glad no one else was there. I only had to worry about the lifeguard making fun of me as I thrashed about in the water. The first 2 lengths were good although I can definitely tell I need to work on my breathing technique. There were times when i had to swim with my head completely out of water because I couldn't get enough air in my lungs to keep me going more horizontal in the water. I think all in all I did 12 lengths before I was told I needed to leave for a safety check which was fine by me. I was spent by that time anyway. It's amazing how out-of-shape swimming can make one feel. I guess for a complete rookie it wasn't too bad of a workout. I think I will take an adult swim improvement class at some point to perfect my technique and actually "learn" how to swim. After all, I do have aspirations to do a triathlon in the future after running my first marathon. One step at a time though.
After swimming, I went and did a quick 30 minute bike ride on the stationary bike. It was good to get some type of workout in to satisfy my athletic appetite. Next week will be much of the same. Lately I have been trying to bike 10 minutes for every mile I should be running on my spring training marathon schedule. So far so good on that aspect and I look forward to trying my first run either next weekend or next Monday. I am actually kinda nervous to get back out there and give it a try for fear that the injury will still be there. I can't tell you how bad I want it to be OK. Baby steps. One week to go. Wish me luck.