Finding the groove. Again.

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:

Count Dracula says: 1,2,3 Miles Ahhh, Ahh, Ahhh.

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


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in running, The Great Comeback of 2010, trail running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Finding the groove. Again.

  1. MCM Mama says:

    Man, you’re just coming back and you are already running faster and farther than me. Sheesh.

  2. Heather says:

    Sounds great! I am so glad you are back running. You motivate me!

    Heather (mom of 4 from Louisiana)

  3. SSIBS says:

    Congrats on the first trail run of your comback! I’m looking forward to seeing you achieve your goal. You rock!

  4. Jen Ward says:

    Thank goodness you’re back! I use your blog to inspire me on my own running conquests! Keep blogging and don’t get drilled by any more cars/trucks!

  5. polynesian69 says:

    What is it with runners and coffee and yoga! That is in my top ten list of 3 things I’d have a hard time without! 🙂

  6. Boses says:

    Funny post. Well done!

  7. JimR says:

    Nice to see you back, Heather.

  8. Calais says:

    I just came across your blog today after a paticulary bad run. I noticed that you talk quite a bit about eating gluten-free foods..could you expand? Thanks. Calais

  9. renn says:

    Glad to see you’re back in the saddle, HD.

  10. vanessaruns says:

    Great blog. More posts!

  11. You are doing so well…glad you are enjoying the comeback! You are a very strong person!

  12. jill says:

    Hey, I just found your blog. I love it. I’m a runner and try to eat mostly vegan/gluten free foods. Looking forward to following you.


    P.S. I live in Seattle. Let me know if you head up this way for any races

  13. Marc says:

    Glad to hear you’re already back to rockin’ it!

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