Since the start of the New Year, I started up my exercise routine. Rather than a weekly hike (ideally), and an occasional 3-mile jog from my house, I started working out again with the incredible people at Gut Check Fitness.
This has required me to get up early (5:15AM) to the point that I can no longer sleep in on weekends. While my body has been feeling stronger, and often sore, I realized this weekend that there’s a lot left to do.
I participated in Gut Check Fitness’ King of the Hill Series race, the first of which ran up and down Woodson Mountain from Lake Poway. I had an arbitrary goal of two hours, which I met, but along the way, I didn’t feel as strong as I should have. Also, I bonked in the last half mile of the race. It didn’t help that the last stretch was a steep uphill to the finish line, coupled with 10 burpee pushups before the final climb. I felt dizzy and nauseous, something I don’t often feel when being active.
I am happy that I finished the race and I wasn’t dead last. Understandably, I just re-started my new fitness regimen, but my performance really let me know that I could be doing a lot more. And I was doing a lot more before I hurt my back a year and a half ago. The pain still nags me and it really flared up while ascending Woodson Mountain this weekend. The downhill was easier, but I still ran out of steam near the end.
Rather than just maintaining a level of fitness, I am going to challenge myself this year more than I ever have before. I am going to get assistance in strengthening my back and managing the pain. I am going to set distance and speed goals for trail running and search for online help in organizing my training.
The second race for King of the Hill is Iron Mountain in March, and I really want to do well for that. The third one in October, however, is likely going to be El Cajon Mountain, which is a half-marathon in length. I’ve hiked it, but have never run it. I want to be ready and I want to cross the finish line smiling, not wincing, like I almost always do.