You know, the ones most runners DON'T want to talk about. The one that you feel like hell through and you just want to throw in the towel quickly erasing them from your memory.
Yeah, those runs.
Well, I've had A LOT of them lately.
Honestly, I don't really expect much at this time from my running or body because I realize that it is just plain crazy to think that I could step back from focused training for 6+ months to get back at it like it's all a breeze and I haven't lost any fitness. It hasn't been, and I've lost quite a bit. Building my mileage back up has been challenging where these days I'm sitting pretty happy right around 40 mpw.
It's been a slow and often times sluggishly frustrating build.
Just a non-stop pursuit of one foot steadily planted on the ground before the other takes flight.
Most of my runs have been very unimpressive, challenging, and of the same monotonously dull pace. Seems only logical that when I headed out the door today with my scratchy-raw-winter throat for my first loosely "focused" speed work since August (or even April/May 2012 for that matter) that things weren't going to be all gumdrops and rainbows. They weren't, and I feel physically slow compared to where my mind thinks my fitness level currently is.
Not such a big deal as fitness peaks are meant to come and go, and as long as the mind is sharp thats really all that matters.
Eventually it'll come back. Just a long and slow road ahead before I can even dream about making progress or shooting for any PR's.
Keeping things exciting for myself by taking on one of my most dreaded of all things...
Inclines and hills.
Running on the lakefront for nearly a decade made me tough in regards to handling all different types of weather, but soft in the elevation change category. The Chicago lakefront is quite possibly the flattest path to ever exist and has maybe a 50 ft elevation change along the almost 20 miles it covers. It's wonderful. Out here in the uncivilized world that I'm now living in, there seem to be lots of short climbs that to me seem like giant never ending hills making my heart want to beat out of my chest.
|That run was a doozy|
|Doesn't look like much, but always gets me|
What can I say? I'm a sucker for flat and fast.
Even though I'm feeling lightyears away from where I was last year at this time, feeling good about my 40 mpw average and know that there is only up to go from here.
Plenty of hard work and patience ahead.
Hills/Inclines...love em or hate em?