Alright, I'm back in business here after a bit of a blogging break and an elongated bought with an upper respiratory infection that put me out of commission for WEEKS. I've been running the last 3 weeks getting back into shape and it's paying off I think. I just need to be sure that I've built up a strong enough base so that when I start my summer training program for my fall marathon I'm ready to go.
I went for a run on Saturday on a fresh route and felt OK....didn't have the pop and stride that I do when I feel really GOOD. But, I put in about 5-6 miles and got to enjoy the sunny and 65 weather. That was refreshing. Then yesterday I decided to go out again and hit up the trails at Castlewood for some adventure and more hard training.
The trails are always a different feel, tempo, mindset, etc... than just running on the roads. There's definitely a raw and primal feeling you get when you are running through the woods on rugged terrain as fast as your legs will take you. It is really rewarding to be in a place with your training where you can sort of disconnect your head from your legs, and enjoy the scenery and the effort, while your legs are pumping and moving quickly underneath you. Yesterday's run was MUCH better than Saturday, and I felt like I could go on forever!
I ran the Riverside trail, came back around to the parking lot, and headed straight up the Lone Wolf ('Cardiac Hill') climb towards the lookout....that was a lung buster but I felt strong and ran the whole hill, which is a good sign for where I am in my training. I hit the top and kept it moving through the bike and horseback trail to the right until I got to the end of the 'summit' and started the switchbacks back down towards the bottom. I passed several bikers on the way down and it's a good feeling to be able to return the favor and say, "On your left!!!" as you blow by people on bikes. I felt like I was running down the switchbacks at about 10% shy of the borderline between being out of control, and being just straight up FREE. I did hit one sharp rock on the way down that aggravated the blister on my left foot that has been bothering me. Other than that, I headed down the bottom, and then went back to the Riverside trail for another half-loop.
Overall, it was about 9 miles I think, and it was about an hour of solid running. I love that place, and I love the feeling I get after blazing through those trails. I feel like I'm in a good place for my summer training for Boston. I just need to tweek a few things, make sure my gear is working right for me (blisters and chaffing...ick) and I'll be good to go!
Ok, moving on, moving forward, and planning the next week of running. I'll be at Castlewood again this week, you can bet on that.