The Great Comeback of 2010 continues. This week has been a seven-day reminder of why running rocks.
Monday: Recovery 5 mile run. After last Sunday’s long run I was happy to feel fit and good on Monday’s run. I had expected to be sore, but instead my legs told me they were feeling quite dandy, thank you.
Tuesday: Woke up late (again!) I jogged down the street for a bag of coffee beans and back to the apartment.. Hey, yo, 1.5 miles is better than nothing, right? The soreness from Sunday’s run appeared and my legs were happy that I didn’t try more than the coffee bean shuffle. Fast forward to the end of the work day. I scrambled downstairs and into the yoga studio. That’s right, I work upstairs from a bakery and a yoga studio. It’s the perfect ying and yang. You can work your buns off in a Bikram yoga class and then walk 20 feet to Grand Central Bakery and indulge in a Monkey Bun or Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie (so addictive). It’s a dangerous universe! Cookies in the same building as where I work? It’s a constant struggle! Anyway, I walked past the bakery and into the yoga studio for my first Bikram class since the accident. Have you tried Bikram yet? It’s a 90 minute yoga class in a superheated room – it is guaranteed to make you sweat out of your kneecaps! I love it. The class was intense and the instructor had to keep reminding me, “Heather, don’t push yourself this first class….” OK, OK OK!
Wednesday: 5.5 miles on the dreadmill.
Thursday: Three mile run at lunch. It was beautiful outside and I couldn’t resist. It turned out to be a great run because I was at work until 10:30 that night. Getting a run in at lunch, even a small one, helped maintain my sanity.
Friday: REST DAY
Saturday: 5 mile run around downtown. It made me even more excited about Sunday’s long run. Which leads me to today…
Sunday Long Run: This morning I woke up early, made some coffee and gave myself a much-needed pep talk. A year ago I was running 60 miles a week. A year ago I ran my first ultra marathon. I’m not supposed to compare my current mileage to what I used to do… but it is SO difficult. I just want to get back there! I know that I need to take it slowly. I know I can’t go too far too fast. I feel like I needed the Yoga instructor to show up and give me the same advice. “Heather don’t push yourself too much!” Sigh! But at least I’m making progress? After my coffee fix, I made the quick trip to Forest Park – Portland’s Disney Land for trail runners. It’s filled with a mix of single-tracks and wide smooth trails. More importantly, there’s something for everyone and every speed and at every stage of recovery. I strapped on the hand held water bottle, prepped Phil and took off. It was bright and blue and very chilly. I decided to run up Leif Erickson, the main trail through the park and a good choice for a first trail run.
My goal was to run out 8 miles and turn around. Simple enough, right? It was. Except for Leif has 1/4 mile makers that remind you just how far you’ve gone and just how far you’ve got left. I said to myself, “It’s not so bad, I just have to run past 32 posts and then I get to turn around and run past another 32 posts.” That’s a lot of posts, people.
About 10 posts into the run (2.5 miles), my mind started to wonder as it often does on long runs, when all of a sudden the Count from Sesame Street popped into my head. This happened, I suspect because I’m almost done with The Historian which, if you haven’t read it, is a Dracula-Vampire-Historical-Thriller-Novel. I read a few chapters last night and must have drenched my brain with Vampire-themed thoughts. At 10 1/4 mile markers into the run this Vampire popped into my head:
And he started counting, and just like a song you can’t get out of your head, his voice would not leave. At mile 3 I imagined Count Dracula’s famous voice. “Heather, you have run one, twooooo, threeeee miles…AH AHH AHHH!”
At 4 miles: “One, Two, Three, Fourrrr Miles Ah, Ah, Ah!!”
And at mile 8? There he was, “Eigggghhht MILES! EIGGGGHHHT, is a good number, AHH AHHH AHH”
Soon, though, I was able to shake the Count’s voice, thank goodness! I tried hard not too look down at my watch when it beeped or to pay attention to the mile markers. Instead I tried to remember the good advice I’ve received; enjoy the comeback. Take it slow. But damnit, I’d rather be rocking hard at mile 14, not trudging along. It was a tough mental challenge to push through those last few miles. My legs were spent! I tried to distract them by pointing out the nice scenery and reminding them that it was nice not to be on a treadmill or running in the rain. They didn’t want to hear it. They just wanted to be done. Can you blame them?
I treated my legs to a post-run Americano and Vegan, Gluten-Free Mayan Wonder Bar (they are awesome!). I can only hope that this week goes equally well in the running department.
Long Run: 16 miles
Pace: 8:40 min/mile
Total mileage for the week: 35 miles