I treated myself to some time off from running these past two weeks to "freshen" the legs up a bit. It was nice. The house got cleaned. The yard finally got raked and cleaned up, much to the relief of my neighbors, who can tell when I am in serious training mode due to the shabby appearance of the lawn. I did a couple of short, easy runs with my daughter Olivia, who was preparing for track season at school, taught some spin classes, but that was it.
Today It was back to work. I met my friends Lauren and Liz at Umstead State Park at 9am for a morning of running and biking along the Bike and Bridle Trails. First up was the run. Lauren and Liz are both coming back from injuries, so it was great seeing them out there ready to run! Liz is a bit of a speedster, so the first mile I struggled to get a comfortable stride going as we pushed the pace a bit. The plan was to run six miles, easy (ha!) and keep to the flatter trail. (Lauren was advised by her PT to do this) We were running three miles in and turning around and going three miles back.
Before I knew it we had hit the turn around and I was actually starting to feel good! I was also breaking in a new pair of Inov-8 F-lite 230's, which were feeling good on the old feet so far.
The trails were filled with runners and bikers, and we were seeing lots of friends along the way as well. Around mile four or so, we met up with some folks that Lauren knew, who were running faster than we were. I had started chatting with them, and before I realized what I was doing, I was taking off down the trail with them. I was running hard, but was comfortable. The pace was quick (for me) maybe 8:30's? I was not wearing my Garmin (perhaps a good thing!) so I had no idea. I always have this paranoid thought that with all the ultra training I do, my body will not remember how to run fast, so I have to do these "reassurance" runs every now and again to allay my fears.
After almost two miles of this "reassurance" I came to my senses and bid the group adieu, dropping back to pick up Lauren and Liz for the final 1/4 mile and to cool down my poor confused legs.
We then hopped on the bikes and set off down the bridle trails once again. We were planning on riding some single track, but the bike trails were closed due to muddy conditions. We wound up having a great ride, going 20 miles and climbing lots of hills!
We celebrated with a stop at Moe's after the ride.
I came home to my neat yard and clean house and promptly took a nap.
Just like old times!