Redemption

After Thursday’s Torture Turkey Trot and a late Texas football game Friday night, I was a bit wary about my chances of success for 10 miles on Saturday morning.

It was dark when I got home Friday night (technically by then it was Saturday morning…) and it was still dark when I left my house after 4.5 hours of sleep. See, although I’m a six-minute drive from Rogue, as luck would have it this particular long run was taking place in Georgetown, 30 minutes away on the toll road. It was also still dark when I started dragging my gear out of the trunk of my car. Which is probably why I forgot my sunglasses.

We’d run from San Gabriel Park back in July–coincidentally I’d run ten miles that day too–so I had a vague idea where I was going. I started around the same time as two others, right around sunrise, and while we didn’t run together, we were close enough that it wasn’t creepy on the trail like last time.

About a mile and a half in, my headphones died. This was the replacement pair for the ones that died during my half-marathon in Ireland back in June, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to be shopping for new headphones this week. Fortunately my friend was carrying a spare pair of corded headphones, so at least I wasn’t stuck inside my own head for another 8.5 miles.

My breathing was still a little rough (this is typical for the first few runs in cooler weather) so I had to take some walk breaks, but my running pace felt decent most of the time. I wore the compression brace on my leg, mostly out of caution rather than actual need, and it never bothered me.

It was slow overall, but I finished strong. And there were cows.

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Sunday morning I took an easy run with the dog, but he’s an erratic runner so I dropped him off back at home after the first mile. Then I went back out for another 1.75 miles–the whole distance with no compression sleeve or tape or wrapping on my leg. And it’s 100% fine. I also didn’t have any sort of breathing problems. I’m not in the same aerobic shape I was pre-injury, but I feel like maybe it’s coming back.

I don’t know if it’s realistic to have high expectations for the 3M half at the end of January, but right now that’s my unofficial goal race. I missed 3M this year (NJHS went to D.C. that weekend) and Ireland didn’t go the way I’d hoped, so 3M 2016 is still my half-marathon PR. Now that I’m back on my feet and training well again, I’m hoping two months is long enough to give that one a shot.

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