3 Miles and the Maori

Today was a big day at the gym! I ran…wait for it…a 5K! *crickets*. Yeah I know, I know. 5K isn’t such a big deal ordinarily especially after running much greater distances. I remember just a few months ago thinking a half marathon wasn’t a big deal either.  But today, humbled by injury, I no longer take the  art of running (and let’s face it, anyone who has run for any length of time knows there is a bit of art involved) for granted.

Initially, since it was such a beautiful day, my intention was to run outside but I also knew I needed to get in my shoulder workout so I opted to run on the dreadmill treadmill, which I normally loathe. I suppose running for 30 minutes on it was  good mental endurance training for Kilimanjaro,eh? I tried to focus on the form changes that Remco, my PT, suggested this morning. He told me I need to kick my legs out more and focus on shortening my stride, thus increasing my cadence. He said I should be running around 160-180 per minute.  I’m a heel striker and that’s no good. For the first half of the run I did a pretty good job but as I began to fatigue, mentally and physically, it became harder to concentrate on the form. Still, I was very happy to have reached my goal of running 3.1 miles. Overall, definitely not my best 5K but certainly one of the happiest. The key tonight will be to stretch well. I still have that nagging feeling in my popliteal muscle area.

Guy in the middle has a serious case of ILS aka Imaginary Lat Syndrome

Guy in the middle has a serious case of ILS aka Imaginary Lat Syndrome

I worked on shoulders tonight at the gym as well. Ventured deeper into Guyland. Dudes in Guyland

Parade Marshall has ILS too!

are so scary and ridiculous. The odd thing is that I see more preening and prancing than I ever see lifting so it’s a mystery as to how they are so large. They all just waddle back and forth with their imaginary lat syndrome (ya know…the guys who think their lats are so large they have to walk with their arms at a 45 degree angle from their body like a Macy’s Day Parade float).

The other thing about Guyland is all the grunting and hollering. WTH? Look, there’s nothing I respect more than a hardcore workout. When I get my beast on, I grunt a little but it’s quiet grunting. A noise that only someone in my personal space would notice. It’s not the sound a rutting buck makes, that’s for darn sure! But in Guyland you hear dudes going BANANAS! It freaks me out because I worry I ended up in the middle of some Maori Haka ceremony! Take a look at this video to get a good idea of what Guyland sounds like on a given day. I’m not even kidding!

Okay, okay…all joking aside I’m dead serious   , I was discussing how I worked on shoulders in Guyland and…I forget where I was going with all this. Doesn’t matter. The point is, I’m getting stronger and I am so happy. For awhile I was really concerned my Kili dreams would fall apart because of my injury and resulting weakness but I feel good now. In fact, in exactly 90 days, I will be signing in at Londorossi Gate and taking my first steps onto that mighty mountain. Pinch me! I cannot wait. Again, let me express how thankful I am that things were not as serious as they could have been with my injury and I’m going to give all the props to God. I prayed without ceasing on this one and He answered my prayers. Yah!

David's picture of Kilimanjaro, which is in the upper left corner
David’s picture of Kilimanjaro, which is in the upper left corner

Finally, I mentioned this on FB but I will mention it here as well. I tutor students after school and today I looked down and noticed one of them had a folder with a picture of an elephant. Something about the elephant caught my eye and I stopped and sure enough, guess what was in the background? Kilimanjaro! To me, it’s a sign! It’s all coming together! I asked David why he had that picture. He said he just found it in a calendar and liked it. I explained to him and another student, Sabrina, that I was going to Africa and I’d see elephants such as that one and even climb the mountain in the picture. Sabrina exclaimed, “Whoa! That’s one big mountain!” Ha!

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