Saturday, May 9, 2009

Put It On the Board

88 mins.
12 miles

Despite the fact that I was a good girl last night and caught a ride home with Jenny around midnight, I was still groggy and slow to rise this morning. Perhaps subconsciously I was putting off my slated 12-mile run, which, if successful, would be about four miles farther than the longest run I've done in, oh, about six weeks. By the time I made it out to McAlpine, it was just shy of 10. The sun was shining brightly and the heat and humidity were in full force. I made the smart move and parked at Boyce instead of Old Bell, which would afford me a mile and a half each way in the shaded back trails.

By the time I hit the start of the Footlocker course at ~2 1/2 miles in, I could tell my legs were feeling much springier than any time in recent memory. I clock
ed one of my miles just to get an idea of what pace I was running, and 7:10 looked to be about the norm (although I have no doubt I slowed a bit on some of the final miles). While I understand 7:10 pace is by no means fast, I was still pleased with the fact that I felt much more comfortable than I have in quite some time...almost like my old self. My foot felt great the entire time too, so much so that it was a non-issue, which is by far the most important thing at this point.

McAlpine Park's most prolific denizens, seen here on the path near the lake.
This time of year their favorite pasttime is to hiss at all the passers-by who
get too close to their babies. Needless to say, I'm on that list.

I knew the second loop of the Footlocker course would be a bit of a test; by 11 the sun was almost directly overhead and the humidity was intensifying. Plus, by the time I hit the last mile of the course I was at nine miles on the day, which in itself is more than I've run since before my injury. There was some significant self-coaching going on for the final three miles, as things certainly got tough in spots, but overall I was pleased with how strong I finished the run. As I audibly reminded myself about 10 miles in, "You don't have to finish fast; just finish strong."

As I type this several hours later, my hamstrings feel pretty tight from the effort, but otherwise I don't think I'm too beat up. Something about the run definitely rocked my stomach though, and I spent several hours afterward curled up in the fetal position on my couch. I still wasn't feeling particularly chipper by the time I showed up to Katie's graduation party at 3pm, and opted to pass on all the free-flowing wine, beer and margaritas that were being offered. That's right, I turned down free drinks...and they even had Ecco Domani. Needless to say, I'm pretty disappointed in myself.