Wednesday I was scheduled to do 3 miles – 1 with some intensity and 2 easy ones. Given that I had such a rough week, it would be wise to ease my way back into running. That was the plan. I did not follow my plan.
I saw a post about easy paced hill repeats at Sanders Mound. I thought, well, if I am going to sign Bowie up for Skyline Shuffle, I should get him on some hills and acclimated to trail. Why not take Bowie out for a few easy hill repeats?
The repeats were not easy for me. Maybe last year they would have felt easy. But not now. This was a mistake and I should have stuck to my plan.
Bowie and I met up with the Trail Hawks at trail head. We headed out on the white trail for a short jaunt before heading up to Sanders Mound. Sanders Mound is .6 miles each way. The hill is sort of a bowl, you descend a little bit and then climb back up. I just concentrated on the park bench at the top and imagined using my arms to pull me up some imaginary rope to the top. Once at the top, I was so excited to show Bowie the view. (He finished slightly before me.) Sanders Mound is a bit of a peninsula, with the lake on 3 sides. It was cloudy and rainy (we had just caught a break in the rain), and the wind was kicking up. There was a sail boat out on the lake and Bowie thought that was pretty cool.
And then… we started back down the mound and back up to the trail head. I asked Bowie if he wanted to try another repeat and he said sure. He took off with the pack and was right on their heels. I was nagging behind a bit, huffing and puffing like a steam engine. He made the summit just after the group and I was a little further back this time.
The segment back to the trail head was even slower for me. When I made it back, Bowie was sitting on a log waiting for me. I plopped down beside him and asked if he wanted to try again. I was done, but he could follow the rest of the group and make the loop himself. He said he thought he was done, so I offered him a drink of water and a little rest break. He had a big drink and decided that he was in fact done. I am sure he had another repeat or two in him, but I will never push him to run if he doesn’t want to. We said good-bye to a few Trail Hawks that were taking a break to kick a soccer ball around while the others made another hill repeat.
I was pretty disappointed in myself. The entire drive back, I thought about how everything is so hard. Things that used to be so easy for me were such a struggle now. Pretty much every minute of the day, I fight to stay awake and focused. I guess it is easy to slip into a dark place and feel sorry for yourself. I didn’t ask to get sick. I didn’t ask for all my favorite hobbies to be taken away from me. But… None of these thoughts are productive. It doesn’t get me anywhere.
Last summer, I was pretty much bed-ridden. I tried going out for a run on the Fourth of July and made it a mile before I gave up. I can run now. I am slow, but I can run. Someday, hopefully soon, the doctors will solve the puzzle and I will get better. I will be me again. Until then, I just have to celebrate the small wins. My half marathons will be slow. But I will run them. And when I am better, I will run marathons and ultras again. I just have to try to continue being patient.