Saturday I decided to take my leg out and give it a little test run on the trails. It had been far too long since I had dirt underneath my running shoes, so although I was really nervous for this run, I was really excited for it too.
I dusted off my trail running shoes and saw they still had the D-tag on them from AR50, which was 6 weeks ago that day. They had been sitting in my car sadly waiting to go for a run this whole time.
I untied my shoes removing the D-tag and thought back to that day that feels like a lifetime ago now. I remembered being at mile 26 changing into my trail shoes and having all my friends helping me switch the tag to these shoes. It’s crazy to me that 6 weeks has passed, but also crazier that it was only 6 weeks ago.
I nervously laced up my shoes and walked over to the trail. I only wanted to run about 3 miles, which would be my longest run in a few weeks, but that wasn’t what made me nervous. The trails have a lot of ups and downs, and down hills definitely bring out IT band pain. I didn’t care though, I needed to be out there and I was hopeful.
The trails have definitely changed a lot over 6 weeks. Most of the bright green is now gone from the East Bay hills, leaving the brown grass to hang around until winter. I started running, assessed everything and everything felt good. I kept the pace really easy and didn’t feel winded on the hills. I made sure to take it extra easy on the down hills and even walked a few of the steeper ones just to be cautious. I did a quick mile out and although I wanted to keep running and running off into the hills, I turned around to be safe (and to follow doctor’s orders of not getting too far away from home base). Once I got back to where I started and still felt good, I added another half mile out and back to get to 3.
I finished the run feeling good and once again cautiously optimistic. Another pain free run, especially with the hills, is most definitely a success.
I walked around for a while waiting for Chris to finish his run and thought about everything that has happened. If you would have asked me 6 weeks ago what I would be doing this past weekend I would have probably said I would be back to running 20 miles or back to back double digits, or something along those lines, getting ready for my next 50k. 6 weeks ago I never would go out for runs less than 4-5 miles, and here I am celebrating a week of 2 and 3 milers. It’s pretty crazy how much things can change over such a short amount of time and how much perspectives can shift.
All I know and care about right now is that I am happy with any run. It doesn’t matter the distance, the pace, the temperature or the location… any run (without pain!) is a good one. 6 weeks ago, I might not have said that so confidently, and that is a perspective I am happy to have gained. Bring on those short, hard, hot runs that I may have said I hated in the past, because I don’t hate any run anymore.