ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Personal Victories - I RAN A 5K TODAY!!!

"You look like you just got your ass kicked in the gym," were the first words this friend I work with said to me after I finished my first-ever on-purpose 5K Run today.

They were some of the nicest words anyone said to me in a long while. I said, 'Thank you," and I meant it.

Those of you who read the Ode to My Fat Boy Shoes essay know the story of my feet and shins and what the Army did to me. Even in my best shape in the last ten years, I couldn't have finished a 5K. Why? My feet would have responded with crippling pain halfway through, forcing me to stop. Seriously. I wouldn't even be breathing hard, but the bridge of my foot would feel like it was about to snap off.

No Mas Corre!
My Proud Feet - Victorious!!

My strategy outlined in the previous essay has worked. My base is much stronger. My thighs and calves have been built up through exercises like aquats, stairs, etc. DDP Yoga has strengthened my ligaments and muscles as well. Paying attention to what's holding me up paid off.

And so did my Five Finger Shoes.

I'll lay 50 bucks I couldn't have done this in regular shoes. I still wear my regular shoes to the gym sometimes and my feet start to ache in them after awhile. I absolutely think the way the Five Fingers lets my feet contact the ground helps them. I'm sitting here and my feet don't even hurt. Not even a tiny bit. It's honestly amazing.


I've had my fair share of people yell at me for slowing down or stopping over the years. I know people even now, who have always been in terrific shape, who just can't grok the sort of foot pain me and millions of other Americans experience. Just the other day one made a snide remark on Facebook about Army PT people not pulling their weight.  Note to these people-- the Army has already acknowledged they F$ucked up my feet. Want to see the check they cut me every month? Those docs didn't help one bit. It took me finally figuring it out on my own. Why not stop calling them names and start helping out. I was them and it took me helping myself because the system in place only helps those who don't really need it.

So what made me Run a 5 K today?

I started running next to a co-worker on a kilometer-metered treadmill. I walked the first two minutes, then began running. I can normally only run about 3-5 minutes at a time on the treadmill, before I have to walk for a spell. But this time I ran for 7 minutes. Then I walked for 4, then I ran for 6. Next thing I knew, I was looking at 2.9 Kilometers and I wasn't hurting. Sure, my heart rate was at 157, but that was good. So I said what the heck. Let me try it. I can always breathe hard or puke, but as long as my feet don't hurt, let me keep going.

And I sprinted the last two tenths of a kilometer.

Man do I feel great.

What's my time you say?

I knew you'd ask.

I'm sure it's not very good. At least it gives me something to work against.

So I ran it in 42:27. I ran about 65% of the time in a slow steady pace of 8 km per hour.

I think this is what I looked like
the last 2 tenths of a mile
My strategy was to run 7 min, walk 4 min, run 6 min, walk 4 min, run 5 min, walk 4 min, run 4 minutes, then ran every 2 minutes for 2 minutes to the end. Not very good, I know, but it's a place to start.

More importantly, it's the first on-purpose 5K I've ever ran in my life and my feet don't hurt.

When I reached 5K on the machine, I threw up both my hands like I'd just crossed the finish line and let out a yell.

People stared at me.

I'm used to it.

It's part of being me.

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