Last night was my triumphant return to Rogue training. Slow recovery, travel with eighth-graders, and a gradual return to longer distances has reduced my running to a couple of days a week, a few miles at a time. But with a handful of pain-free four-, five-, and six-mile “long” runs under my belt, I was ready to return to training in the hopes of salvaging the 10-miler and 10K for which I had registered prior to The Winter of my Discontent.
In typical Texas fashion, Saturday’s icy sleet led to Tuesday’s 60 degree afternoon. It’s been rainy and drizzly for the last week, so the damp made temps feel colder–of course I overdressed. Which I realized pretty quickly on the two-mile run out to the bottom of the hill. Speaking of hills, I feared a return to the Hill of Doom, but thanks to the rain, it was apparently a muddy mess and we were spared that particular indignity. Not that this one was easy, but at least we weren’t Tough Mudder-ing it.
We started by running up the hill to the first cone. It felt like forever, but it was probably more like 150 meters. Then we were supposed to take a 30-second breather and run the next, slightly flatter section, to the second cone. Jog or walk back down the hill and repeat. The bad-ass members of my group did that circuit 8-10 times; mindful of my recovery, I ran it six times. At one point I noticed that a car had to downshift to get up the hill we were running. Another time a driver yelled something at our group–I’m not sure what it was, but I’m guessing from the revving engine and derisive laughter it wasn’t complimentary.
I ended up with 5.5 miles on my Garmin, although I know at least once I forgot to restart it after that 30-second break, only discovering my error when I reached the bottom of the hill. Considering it was two miles each way just to the hill and back, the 5.5-mile total is pretty much explains why my quads (which were already tired from Monday’s core class) felt like jelly.
I realized after I finished that since Thanksgiving, my training has consisted of injury layoffs, shortened and abandoned training runs, and … two (slow and miserable) half-marathons. The fact that I could show up and successfully complete last night’s training–including a mile and a half of hill repeats–gives me a liiiiiiiitle bit of confidence that I can work my way back.