Running Diary: Sunday morning 5

After a week off to rest my wonky hamstring, I finally felt like I could run this morning.  I had three group runs to choose from.  The first was a five miler that will be the same course for the Thanksgiving Run I signed up for.  I was planning on going until I noticed that it was at 3pm.  I am much more of a morning runner, so when someone from the Beginner Trail Running Group posted a morning run at Cherokee Park, I switched my plans.  That run would start at 7:30 and if trails were too muddy, then it would turn into a road run.  Then, one of my running friends asked if anyone would like to join her in Cherokee Park at 8:30.  An extra hour in bed?  Sold!

I picked out my clothes the night before, so this morning went smooth.  Of course I forgot my hankie and I forgot to put on lip balm but whatever.  The “feels like” temperature was 30 degrees.  A little colder than I prefer, still it was fine. 

I ran the .80 mile to the designated meeting spot and realized how fucked I was.  It’s really sad how much stamina and conditioning one can lose in a short amount of time.  In the two months since Urban Bourbon Half Marathon, I had only run 38 miles, 13 of which were one run.  Not too good.  And it showed.  Ragged breathing, tired instantly, absolutely hating everything about running.  My first mile is usually an exercise in telling myself it gets easier.  This almost mile was pure trash. 

My friends (there was another running friend with her dog) got there right at the same time as I did.  The first thing I did was confirm that this would be with intervals and an easy run.  One of my friends hadn’t run much since she completed the New York City Marathon, so she reassured me that yes, we would do the usual 2 minute run, 30 second walk intervals that we often run together and yes, no one was looking to set any records. 

It ended up being great.  It was nice to chat (or try to chat as I suck at running and talking) and have company.  The hills were hard, but I didn’t die.  The organization that manages Cherokee Park has just started this program where they make Cherokee Park pedestrian only on the last Sunday of the month.  It was a little early and quite chilly, so there weren’t a bunch of people, but I have to say not having to worry about cars was nice.  This will be awesome when it starts getting closer to spring.  Hopefully the program will still be going then.

When it was time to part ways, we stopped to take a group photo and chatted a bit longer about marathon running and training.  I haven’t decided to upgrade Kentucky Derby Festival Mini to the full marathon, but I think in January when the Norton Health Training Program starts, I will train as if I’m running the full.  See how it goes before committing.  

After that I ran home, for a total of 5.2 miles, average about 10 ½ minute mile.  Nice easy morning run that felt hard as hell, but I know I can get back to where I was two months ago if I keep at it.  My hamstring was fine during and afterward.  Got home and stretched and was really pleased, but over the day it started getting sore again.  I was doing chores, lots of up and down stairs, but I’m not sure if it was that or the running that did it.  Unless it gets worse, I’m just going to keep on.  Maybe do a short run Tuesday if it feels right, join some trail runners on Wednesday, and Thanksgiving five miler on Thursday.  Friday I’m volunteering at an Irish Dance event, so that will be a non-running day.  I’m happy to be back in the saddle.   

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