Sunday, September 1, 2013

"A Little Here, And A Little There."

It's sad, as much as it's a celebration, but for the first time since November 2012, I ran for more than 30+ miles in one week.In fact, I finished the week a quarter-mile shy of 40 miles. I couldn't even believe the stats on my Garmin Connect profile. The screeching halt of a record echoed voluminously inside my head. I re-checked the fact three times, but the first, second, and third report all came back with the exact same numbers. Wow. The sigh melted into a smile, and the smile erupted into excitement. I'm finally running again! Who knew I'd miss the masochistic pleasure of left, right, left, right so much?

Pushing me over the edge of 30+ miles was a great 8 mile trail run from my doorstep, up to Central Peak on Squak Mtn., and back to my doorstep via Mountainside Drive. I took one wrong turn, so the actual loop is just a bit shorter. Either way, the route boast a soothing 2,500 ft. of vertical gain. Most of the gain accrued is in the first 4.25 miles, and the only violence is in the 1.5 mile descent down Mountainside Drive. The asphalt stabs my hips with needles not fit for acupuncture; at least for now: I think when I'm in better fitness my body handles the plunge better.

One really nice thing about this injury: I have no ego to hit certain times on some of my favorite ascents. Throwing the meaningless self-testimony down the drain has allowed me to put a little more focus on quality. Not the philosophical quality, but the actually physical quality of how I run. I'm taking each step with much more control. My back is straight, I'm driving my knee forward with my hips, I'm using my get the point. All of these little tweaks have not only strengthened my hips, but my confidence, too.

For another two weeks I'll continue to plod along five to six days a week. Nothing more than 8 miles, and no workouts. After that, however, I may throw in a hill workout, or pick a race, or just keep consistently running. Who knows? Regardless,  the best thing I can do for my running: run day-to-day. The ankle still has some lingering annoyances, and it doesn't seem shy to show them when I need to be humbled. Some mornings I wake up and have to really ease into walking to the bathroom, and there are still a few steps on very uneven terrain that require some finesse.

If you didn't already see the photographs from last weekend's excursion here are the links:
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