Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week in Review

50 miles
1 day off
1 day in MN
2 days in TX
5 AFDs

I was quite surprised to add up the week's totals and see I'd reached 50 miles. Then again, when you consider that half those miles came this weekend--11 yesterday and 15 today--it makes sense that a handful of 4's and 6's could bring me up to 50. More importantly, I'm thrilled to write that as of today my leg/shin feels 97% normal, hands down the best it's been in the past month. No more morning soreness, no more limping, no more awkward stride, no more wincing every time I have to go up or down the stairs. What I'm saying, ladies and gentlemen, is that I'm back!

Ironically, this return to form comes almost a year to the day after I royally maimed myself at the Greek Fest 5k. Instead, this Saturday morning found me embarking on an early morning run with Caitlin and Megan--unintentionally each dressed all in black, which looked pretty sweet--before swinging by this year's Greek Fest race to cheer on some friends and CRC members. Last year I swore I'd be back to avenge my injury and narrowly-missed sub-17, but on this day I was just content and relieved to be bipedal and pain free. I may feel horribly out of shape and I may be laboring to run what I typically consider recovery paces, but at least I'm not in a boot. I couldn't say the same on this day last year, and the milestone does not go unnoticed.

After emerging unscathed from Saturday's passing of Hurricane Irene aside from wicked humidity and high winds, Sunday dawned sunny and beautiful with a decidedly autumnal dew point of 58. Megan and I had decided to eschew the planned McAlpine run in favor of some single-track fun at Beatty, and a few email chains later we'd recruited almost 10 others to join us. The run was, in a word, wonderful. Beautiful weather, fun and challenging trails, rewarding conversations with some friends I see often and others not often enough. What I absolutely love about trail running is the complete lack of awareness of pace, distance or mileage. The first time it even occurred to me to check my watch today was over 50 minutes into the run, which is rarely something I can say for standard outings on the local roads or bike paths. It went against every instinct in my body to turn around with Alice a mile into our third loop, cutting the run to 15 instead of stretching it to almost 20 with some of the others. As much as I would've loved to inadvertently notch my longest run since before my marathon in February, the rational side of me acknowledged that it probably wasn't a prudent choice the day before I start my training.

So that brings me to the week ahead. Practically speaking, August was a complete and total wash as far as running was concerned. In fact, I would go so far as to say I've been more sedentary this month than any other month in the past five years. Maybe it will be good for me in the long run, maybe not, but regardless there wasn't much I could do about it. What I can do now, however, is start fresh. Tomorrow marks the start of a new week and Thursday brings a new month, so it is fitting to view this as the beginning to my fall training. I'll start slow, focusing on mileage and strides before jumping into any workouts or races that are bound to leave me frustrated and discouraged, and I won't plan to toe the line again until 13.1 Atlanta on October 2nd. Between now and then I will approach every run with a sense of purpose, as well as a renewed freshness and appreciation for my health and my abilities. Though fitness feels so far away right now, I have to trust that it is merely lying dormant beneath the surface for the time being. Patience isn't my strong suit, but now is as good a time as any to practice some. Most of all, I'm just excited to get back out there again in good health.


caitchris said...

*raises glass of wine to toast to good health*

Stephen Spada said...

Great to have you back!

mfranks said...

Happy to see you getting your miles up. Can't wait till Atlanta! Excited you are running :) WooHoo!
Thanks for the help on that.