How goes it?
I recently joined because I've finally decided to start working towards something I have always been too lazy to do. I'm a 23yr old paid fireman here in the district. I was injured during a training exercise back in 06 when a ladder fell on my head and injured my neck. Been in pain ever since so neck pain + running = no fun! Had a spinal fusion 2 years ago and I'm still not better. I feel as though I've been using the injury as an excuse for too long so I have decided to push myself through the pain because I refuse to let it stop me. I've always been active but never trained to compete as a runner, swimmer, or as a cyclist so this is completely new to me.
I signed up to run a half marathon in December since I have a feeling that running will be my biggest challenge. Live in Silver Spring so hopefully there are people close by that I could train with. Been looking through the forums and none of the posts seem noobie friendly so yea.... Not sure where to even begin and joining months from the next NTP group doesnt really help. Any assistance or direction would be much appreciated.
Go to the bricknic tomorrow. It's right off off East-West Hwy in downtown Silver Spring.
There is a DCTri group run every Sunday out of Pierce Mill along Beach Drive. There is also a Moco branch of DCTri that gets together quite frequently. You can contact them at
Consider volunteering at the Nations Triathlon in DC in Sept. It'll give you an insider's look of what it's like to do a triathlon without actually doing a triathlon. A lot of things can be learned by just volunteering in the transition area.
By the way, NTP is an excellent way to start triathlons. PeasantMan occurs every May. It has about 60+ NTPers doing as their first practice dry run at a triathlon. You will hear a lot about it during the NTP season.
There are a few paid FFs in the club as well as a bunch of volunteer FFs. I spent 7 years in the firehouse myself, as a volunteer FF/EMT in Silver Spring.
Since you asked for advice........
Couch to half marathon in three months could be a recipe for disappointment and frustration. Running well takes consistency and dedication over time, with small incremental improvements to distance and pace. Attempts to achieve overnight success usually result in injury. There's nothing unmanly about a 5K in December (unless the race involves Jingle Bells or costumes of any kind).
And I'm also hesitant about pushing through pain from an accident. Not all pain is "weakness leaving your body." Sometimes the body is telling you something important.
Good luck but be wise.
Appreciate the input but I never said I was starting from the couch. I can run a 5k now, I've just never felt the need to sign up for one or run long distances. And I am not willing to work through an injury only to make it worse. The problem has been surgically repaired but there is no fixing nerve damage. In my case, pushing through pain is the only option.
Increasing muscle mass and building endurance raises my threshold but its a pretty miserable experience. Your concern is noted but I've been dealing with this for almost 7 years now so I know my body's limitations and when to say when. Plus I got these awesome little pills that work wonders when things get bad :D LOL