OK, so try to figure this shit out. I didn't run at all yesterday (and I'm done with biking; that screws me up more than not running. If I can't run in the coming months, I'm going to have to learn how to swim.)
I didn't stretch last night before bed, I did feel tight this morning, I am still scheduled to go get an X-Ray after talking with my GP and I've finally decided to get serious and get to a good orthopedist in Boston. So, that ball is rolling and it's good, because I'll find out what's going on.
Now, this afternoon, I figured, I have to get out and get a little run in, just to keep the wheels greased. I was thinking about mixing it up and going to Nickerson and that way I could get some hills in too.
I stretched a little and skipped off nice and slow, not even picking up to a 7:45 pace until well past a 1/2 mile. Went through 1 in 7:36 and felt OK, a little tight, but alright. Started to trot a little quicker, but still right around 7:00 pace. So, as I went from 2 to 3, something felt pretty good, the hills felt OK, and per usual, I began to think "Hey, maybe I can run Amherst." Now, of course, given the last 6 months (i.e. little or no training, a grand total of five 40+ mile weeks and 3 runs over 11 miles,) this is a dumbass thing to think, but I really, really, really miss racing.
So I figured, OK, when I get to 3, I'll try a 1/4 at what I think 10 mile race pace might be. I hit 3, picked it up and did it in 1:22, or 5:28 pace, which of course is not flying, but I really was trying what 10 mile pace might be like and I can't say I was disappointed with that. I recovered for a 1/4 and tried another. 5:04. OK, that's a little silly and I admit I was up around a 5k effort for sure.
Now, this simply continues this weirdness I've had with the fact that I can run fast as ever (or close) but it's just not going to be for long in terms of really racing. My training runs (when I've been able to do them) have been 6 miles at a truly easy 6:30-6:40 pace, but 10 miles feels like 15 and 12 feels like 20. I remember Joe D. saying last year's NB 1/2 was like a death march for him and I couldn't quite wrap my head around how or why 13.1 could be so painful, but I am understanding now how that could be and I imagine that running 10 miles on a vicious course like the DH Jones will be truly awful, but I digress.
So, I figured I'd try an 800 and that was a 5:15 pace. Great. Recovered for 800 and then did another at 5:12.
So, the time had come to turn around and head back out of the park, which meant the gigantic hill that I'd gone down during recovery, would be waiting for me as went for a full mile. This hill is over a 1/3 of a mile long and steep and winding and it doesn't have an end (really.) I figured if I could just run naturally until the base, I'd work it right and come down the gradual other side and be happy if I went sub 5:55 (really happy.) I crested it, came down the back, recovered surprisingly well and looked at my watch as it clicked off the mile. 5:40. Damn. And my leg...felt...fine. Like, I mean fine. It was as if it wanted me to run fast. Even as I slowed down for the last mile and a half back to the car, it was only slightly letting me know it's oh-so-known issues. I stretched a little before getting in the car, went to the store, got home and sure, I can feel it now, but not so bad. Tomorrow a.m. may be a whole other story, but I figure I'll either take it off entirely, or if I feel ok, go for a super-slow 4-5 mile trail run after my X-Ray.
Sunday, I'd like to just stay on my feet for an hour or more, because if I have any far hope (and at this point it is still a far hope, at best) of running Amherst, I'm going to need at least one decently longish run to go with the accidental one I had last week (which, though injurious gave me at least some aerobic benefit.)
We'll see. Tomorrow I may be singing a decidedly bluesy, if not death-metal, tone.
Regardless, today made me happy.