Fairly lackluster week. Yes, I'm grateful to be running at all. (Thanks, Jamie!!!) However, the miles aren't coming easily. At my best, I've felt ok, but mostly I've felt off and sluggish. My fitness is just poor. It should be after taking 4 months off, and rationally, I understand it. But, while I'm running, it's frustrating. I am hoping it will turn around soon.
Onto the numbers...
5/13, Sunday: 5 - 39:48, Highland Green. I came very, very close to a zero here, but after the impressive performances of my Trail Monster Running teammates at the Peak 50 & 100 and the Massanutten 100, I knew I couldn't live with myself if I didn't get out. So, following dinner and as the sun was setting I shot out for an easy five. Due to the light situation, I ran the loop in reverse, which I never do, to get the dirt road out of the way first and to take advantage of the street lights on the way home. As it turned out, I had just enough light on the final trail section back towards my house to be able to navigate it without issue. Good mental boost to get this run in.
5/14, Monday: 6 - 50:52, Pineland Farms. Circumstances were such that I needed to watch the kiddo in the morning for a short stint, but then D would be able to handle her regular Monday duties. I headed over to Pineland to drop her off with D, and they went to Story Time, while I snuck out for a run. It was a soggy, misty, humid day down on the farm, and my feet were drenched as soon as I started the first field. I decided to run the 10k course...you know, just in case. It wasn't exactly an auspicious test run, as my legs felt heavier and heavier with each step. It felt as if I was shuffling the whole way. Pineland and I just don't get along.
5/15, Tuesday: Off
5/16, Wednesday: 5 - 39:13, Highland Green. I was hopeful that a day off would have a restorative effect, but it was not the case. Another so so run around the neighborhood.
5/17, Thursday: 9 - 1:25:15, Cathance River. It was great to be back out on these trails again, and this was definitely the most technical run I've done this year. Spiritually, this was a fantastic run, as it was great to feel like a trail runner again. My form is coming around, and I'm becoming more and more comfortable with each run on the trails. Physically, however, I still felt a bit off. I kept it nice and easy, but 90 minutes felt more like 3 hours. I was still feeling the effects later in the day. In many ways, it felt great to have the "long run/hard effort" feeling, but it was tough to reconcile that feeling after only 9 miles.
5/18, Friday: 5 - 40:04, Highland Green. I felt better than I thought I would after Thursday's run, so I'm taking that as a good sign. I do need to start mixing it up a bit, though, as I don't want to fall into the trap of racing myself on this loop. Since I run it so frequently, I know all the splits, and it's easy to get caught up in comparing it to other runs. Perhaps I'll just leave the watch at home. *gasp*
5/19, Saturday: Off. I was at an event for work all day and into the evening, so a run never materialized.
I'm glad the trail running is feeling more comfortable, so I could at least get a 50/50 between surfaces this week. (Although, Highland Green has over a mile of dirt road and about a half mile of trail, so it's not a pure road run.) Right now, even though I'm just in a base building phase, it would be nice to feel a bit more fluid. I'm just out of sync. With that in mind, I'm going to jump into the Pineland Farms 10k on Saturday. It's a race, and I'm certain I'll be disappointed with the result. But, I can't help myself. At the very least, it will give me a barometer of how out of shape I actually am. At best, maybe some faster running will be the spark I need to jump start this training. Long term, I'm hopeful for something big in the Fall, but I want to be certain I can have a full and focused training cycle. Right now, I'm not certain that it's going to happen.