I've been trying to pay attention to the little signals that come with running.
(When you are fresh off the injury bench, the last thing you want to do is go back to it right away.)
There have been some small things here and there-- some minor little 'niggles' that remind me that I had plantar fasciitis. I call them 'deja-vu', but that might not be the most appropriate name for them.
More than likely, my left foot is still healing from PF, and the accessory muscles, tendons, and ligaments are responding to an increased work load with a little bit of grumbling..
All in all, I have little to complain about. I am VERY HAPPY with running right now.
I took a restful week last week, and came into the weekend strong and ready to run. We happened to be in Eugene, so I was able to hit trails there both Friday and Saturday..
I selected Pre's trail for my Friday run, so I could have a nice, easy, flat bark path run the day before my scheduled "long run".
Pre's trail is good that way, and I never know who I might run into there.
This time it was the U of O men's Cross Country team. :) Decked in Oregon garb, they traveled the path in a pack clearly doing some sort of tempo run. At least I hope it was a tempo run. They lapped me twice! O_o
In my defense, I was stopped to stretch for a few minutes.
Conveniently, I left my Garmin at home, so I had to run by feel (and wrist watch). I am rusty with my running math, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Without my heart rate monitor as a leash, I finished the easy bark run at about 8:25 pace (going off the runningahead.com map tool) - not far off of my pre-injury easy pace.
Now I wish I had the monitor on, so I could know if I was in the right zone or running "hot"!
Clearly I am still an obsessed runner.. Just not an obsessed runner who is organized enough to pack her GPS/heart rate monitor.
My second run surprised me as well. I headed to Ridgeline trail and started at a section that was new to me. I was aiming for about 8-10 miles total, again, without GPS.
It was raining, but lovely.
I made it from one end to the other, stopping a few times to snap pictures or stretch. There was a family hiking, and I think I motivated the kids to run, because when I stopped to stretch the little girl almost caught up with me. :)
I finished the 9.6 miles in 96 minutes.. which is a good pace for me on this trail, and about 30 secs/mile faster than I ran some of the same sections a month ago.
What I am short on is endurance..... and speed.
Shoot. I pretty much have no other gears than "get down the road" right now. That's O.K. because I love running. I am blessed to be in this body.
But, in truthfulness, being content as a runner can't be hinged on PRs, and no one can promise injury-free running- (even Jeff Galloway, who I greatly admire as a runner, coach and person.).
I'm just going to appreciate the gift God has given me as long as I have it, hold on for the ride, and do crazy things from time to time.
That's really the only way I know how to live life.