There are two things that I have missed about running over the past few months – trail runs (hills) and faster runs. When I focused on ramping up long runs for a flat course, I cut out trail runs and the faster runs.
Since the race was flat and Alan does not love hills as much as I do, our long runs were very flat. Aside from running Leona Divide, I trained on roads or hills so low that I have a hard time calling them hills. My legs and brain really miss long hill climbs and the scenery that I love. So, last weekend Alan and I joined the Socal Trailheadz for the monthly new member run. It was an easy trail run with baby hills but I loved being out in nature. I was a member a couple years ago but did not rejoin because my knee issue and schedule limited by running; now I think my schedule will allow me to join them for more runs and I am very excited to be able to run trails I have yet to explore. I need lots of time on my feet to reach my goals and company to keep me motivated is an added bonus.
My runs were at very comfortable (slow for me) paces and my legs have lost lots of speed. So, over the next few months I plan on incorporating some faster paces. Yesterday, I incorporated some intervals and it was disheartening how tough it was to hold certain paces that used to be comfortable. Granted I may still be recovering from Nanny Goat and I was running into a headwind, but it was a reminder that I need to make at least one run “count.” I feel I have enough of a mileage base to incorporate one faster run (or at least intervals) per week while still focusing on endurance. It may cause my hip and knee to act up so I am prepared to back off if needed but I have to try; it felt great to break a sweat during the run yesterday and work hard.