Xylaria species

Xylaria species

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So Happy to be Running Again...

I was even smiling when I did a bit of an ankle roll on a steep descent next to a semi-busy road today. Yup - I am that person!

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.

10 comments:

Doug said...

"...it seemed foolish to commute via car."

You don't here that everyday around the workplace...unless you work with me. I've been known to make similar comments like that.

wildknits said...

;->

Doug, you have been an inspiration! I am biking many days and in temps and weather conditions I would have never considered before.

Kel said...

Great to hear that things finally seem to be coming together for you! Hope to see you back on the trails soon...

Jean said...

I am really glad to hear you are on the mend and back running again! That is great news. Keep doing what you are doing, and I wish you well on your comeback!

SteveQ said...

I just looked up the SHT seven summits. I've never been up Ely's or Pincushion, but all 7 in one day seems reasonable(...reasonable-ish). Given the near-impossibility of my plan of all the Misquah Peaks, it might be a better idea overall. Plus, I might get company to join me.

wildknits said...

Steve - you could get more company than you want! Ely's is a climb (first step up is waist high on me). Pincushion is also the site of the Fisherman's Picnic Trail run.

I am thinking an adventure is in the making!!!!

AlisonH said...

Very cool. Have a great time with your runs!

Lesley said...

Hope your summer running continues to go well! :) I'm thinking about learning how to knit...I bet you'd recommend it!

Susan Tomlinson said...

Your definition of starting over from scratch and my definition are two different things ! ;-D

Glad the leg is feeling better.

wildknits said...

Susan, I will blame this all on my peer group ;-> When you hang out with ultra runners your sense of "reasonable" distance gets a bit skewed.

I applaud anyone who gets outdoors and moves their body in any fashion, seems to be a rarity in this country.

Lesley - I will always encourage new knitters (just like new runners). It is a wonderful pastime. While resulting in many clothing items it can put a dent in the budget if not careful (but so can running, biking, drinking....)