I’ve been a little absent lately. I know. Things have been insanely busy. And I’ve been stuck in a bit of runner’s limbo which doesn’t help. This shin is really a pain (pun intended). I’m doing everything right so I keep thinking it’ll go away. Aside from running a few miles last Tuesday I’ve been swimming, cycling, and doing pilates. Iceing is a constant part of my daily life. I’m ready for this to be over with.
When things become a little overwhelming in my life I like to for a hike. So that’s exactly what I did this weekend. I believe that trail running is the absolute best transition from injury to road – at least for me. I used to never understand how people could run on these trails and swore if I ever did I would trip and fall within 5 min. And I have. But you just brush yourself off and keep going. Usually Fox and I run the trails at Great Falls, but we mostly walked this time. He’s a weird dog. He hates going on walks usually, and can’t stand sidewalks. I usually have to drag him the 50 meters down the towpath to the trail entrance. But the second he gets on a trail he lights up. For a dog with bad legs and hip dysplasia he never ceases to amaze me with his scrambling abilities. He refuses to walk upstairs to the bedroom but leaps over boulders. Needless to say, we had a great hike on Saturday. It’s always nice to get a little fresh air.
Partial Capital Crescent Trail Map
So last night I finally got around to doing something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile: join a group run. I’ve never run with anyone before, except for Pete a little and also Fox but that doesn’t count, so I really didn’t know how I was going to like it. And even though my legs are finally feeling better (one of the reasons I’ve waited so long to give this a try) there was definitely a little fear that something might give out and I’d have to drop out mid-run. I’ll admit that I was also a little apprehensive about walking into a new social situation like that.
Twice a week the group meets up in Chevy Chase at the running store where I bought my current pair of Asics. I was told that the group is a mix of all different paces, but walking in there last night it was pretty clear I was a bit in over my head. You’ve got one conversation going about ultras, another about qualifying for Boston. It was slightly intimidating but once we headed out the groups fell into place, and I was lucky to make some new friends and keep not only a nice pace but also a pleasant conversation. We ran 6 miles (did I mention it was in the high 60’s – a beautiful November night in DC), mostly on the trail that I do my long runs on. Except I couldn’t recognize a thing (except the tunnel of course) since it was pretty dark out there and I was the only one with a headlamp (and it had a dull light). I was shocked at the amount of bikers that were out there. I had no idea the trail was popular with bikers at night.
All in all I’m so glad I went. I may not be able to keep up with the main pack just yet, but I felt great at the pace we were running at (my estimate was that we were running around 9:00 most of the time, even though our time said slightly more – we did take a small detour and stop at a light here and there). Most importantly my legs felt good. And I really enjoyed combining running and socializing as well.
I think I’ve found my new Tuesday night activity.