So far this month I am only three miles off my cumulative mileage for April and May. My right leg is feeling fine and I am optimistic the stress fracture is a thing of the past.
Today, though it is not Thursday, I ran to work. It was a beautiful day and it seemed foolish to commute via car. I dawdled just long enough paying bills that I ruled out the longer run I had (rather foolishly really) originally planned via the SHT to Cody street and then to work and opted instead to hit the roads and take the "medium distance" route to work. This involves some hill work. First a climb up the 4 or so blocks to Skyline Blvd and then the 0.8 mile descent at 40th Ave W. This route is a good test of fitness. Can I climb the hill without getting too out of breath, recover quickly for the gentle ascent along Skyline, and then after 2.2 miles it is time for a fast paced descent on a steep hill with semi-decent shoulders, lots of hairpin turns, poor sight lines and, thanks to HWY 35 construction, bumped up traffic.
That descent is the only chance I realistically have of running something close to a 6 minute mile. Wow, is it fun!
After the hill I turned onto some relatively flat roads for a few blocks, then it was down hill again towards work. Today I took a bit of a detour west to stop at a local store to stock up on lemonade and fig bars for my office.
I had one of my fastest times on this course despite making a concerted effort to keep things pretty easy overall. This gives me a bit more confidence in my ability to run a decent 5K in 11 days. I will be returning to Knife River to participate in their Solstice Run on June 25th. This is a fun, small town race held to support the local Recreation Council. I have run there off and on for years and last year set my 5K PR despite the hilly course. This year, due to the stress fracture I was not sure if I would be able to run at all and certainly did not expect to run very well. My last few road runs are indicating that I may be able to pull out a respectable time after all!
This past weekend I had planned to run 7.5 miles as my long run (sticking close to the 10% rule). I joined some friends on the SHT above my house for a nice, leisurely run. When I got home I found a text from a young friend of mine asking if I wanted to join her on an "easy 2 miler". I try to never turn down a new/returning runner so said yes. I ended up logging another 3.3 miles (on roads) which included a climb to Skyline, a loop around Enger Tower and then a descent back to her house (with a wicked little hill thrown in at the end - she seems to have gone to the Gene Curnow School of Running Course Design). The next day I biked to and from work and the legs felt pretty good, even on the climb home.
I am still holding the line at no ultras for the summer, but I am a little more hopeful that I will be racing at Wild Duluth and maybe even something before that.