Yeah, I know. Black-Eyed peas are for New Year’s Day, not New Year’s Eve. And in the past, Rogue’s new year run was held on the first day of the new year. But for whatever reason, this year they tied it in to their usual Saturday long run. So a couple of us headed downtown to join in.
My knee is no better, no worse, and I had a reasonably successful three-mile run on Thursday, so I hoped to build on that today. My friends planned ten miles, but my goals were much more modest.
The route began at Rogue’s downtown location, following 5th Street west. After a half-mile or so, 5th Street turns in to Lake Austin Boulevard, and it’s a pretty boring straightaway for another mile and a half. I’d slowed way down to focus on taking even steps and not favoring my left leg, so I ran pretty much by myself.
At the point where Lake Austin turns in to Enfield, I encountered the first water stop. It was still really dark out and I almost missed it, but someone ahead of me had been wearing a blinky light and I spotted them almost at the last minute. I forget that DT Rogue often has manned water stops–she not only had water and Gatorade, but goodies like gummy bears and Skittles too. Her friendly Golden Retriever greeted each runner, which pretty much made my day. That and the holiday lights on the building across the street!
I didn’t go as far as Scenic Drive, where the views are more, well, scenic–I turned around at 2.5 miles, just before things were gonna get really hilly. And of course I stopped and visited with the dog on the way back, too. Because dog.
I was pretty much the only person heading back this early–lots of Rogues are training for the Houston Marathon in mid-January, so they were running double-digits today. On the other end of the spectrum, I had to stop a few times and walk or stretch, but I successfully finished five miles.
Some other sights:
As far as my knee, when I focused on my running form, I felt reasonably good. Not pain-free, but certainly something manageable. At times, though, I was (I think) subconsciously anxious about “it’s going to hurt when I land” that I tensed up on that side, which actually made things worse. I had to concentrate on loosening up and taking even steps the whole way. At any rate, paying attention to each movement kept my mind busy!
The upside of running only five miles on a day most people were running ten or fifteen or twenty was that the place was nearly empty when I returned. I foam-rolled, scoured the clearance bins, and even found some coffee.
After the others returned and did their own foam-rolling and bin-scouring, we went out for lunch, then sat at the coffee shop contemplating plans for the new year. Right now, I’m still hoping to run the Austin Half in February, assuming my knee keeps improving. And we’ve got a few other adventures in the works too–stay tuned!