I am finally back on track with training (specifically) and running (in general). Training for what, you might inquire. Well, that is complicated. I'm always training, but unlike most runners who train for a specific event or race, I almost never have a race or event in mind. Instead, I have a fitness level in mind. Could I go out today and run a marathon?, is the first stage. Could I go out and run a trail marathon?, is the second. The answer to the first is yes, but not well. The answer to the second is maybe, but definitively not well. So, judging my fitness by my own internal standards - really not calculable on a watch or GPS device - I still have some serious work to do.
In getting that going, this week I will be back up over 40 miles for the first time in at least a couple of fortnights. I calculate my weekly mileage between Saturday and Friday. And last Saturday the city was recovering from some wetness. I had gone on trail runs the weekend before. Both experiences left me looking, to a casual observer, as if I collected mud for a living. So this past Saturday, I vowed to steer clear of mud for once. I popped out to the levee and did a pleasant 10 miler. It was a little bit boring, because the levee is the very definition of flat. It is actually that kind of flat where no matter how far you run, you simply cannot detect progress. Yet the day was stunningly beautiful, and I kind of mentally checked out and just ran on auto-pilot with the expansive fields on one side, and the trees and river on the other.
Sunday I awoke, got dressed for running, and took off. I felt great as I ran, until 200 yards into the run, the wind hit me in the face and I turned around and went home. I waited the rest of the day for the gusts to die down, but they never did. I just couldn't see myself putting in 10-12 mi in that kind of wind. I did an indoor workout - one that was as hard as I could make it, took a sauna, and then put the windy day behind me.
Monday was gorgeous. I decided to take a slightly longer lunch than normal, and popped out for another 10 mile run. I had the SLT trail completely to myself except for a lone cyclist who showed up right as I was attempting to lose some water weight behind a tree at the western end of the trail. It was truly weird timing. I finished the run strongly and was able to knock out the rest of the day's work with ease. I plan to do the same run for the next 2-3 days before taking a day off.
Less about running - I spent the weekend watching the new Netflix series (all 13 hours released so far), House of Cards. It is a remarkably fun show, and not the kind to which I normally gravitate. Once I had finished that, I finally set my sights on the illustrious Downton Abbey. Now DA, may just be a show that will earn its creator a place in Heaven (or at least a place in a loftier caste). The writing is wonderful, the setting, stunning, and the costumes non-pareil. If you haven't seen it, you should treat yourself to an episode or two. I believe you will be hooked.
More next week.