'Tis the season to run! Wait, 'tisnt it always the season to run? Of course it is!
We have slowly been creeping up the mileage ladder over the last month or so and it feels good. Our long runs are still, um, short, relatively speaking, but they are still just as rewarding. A few weeks ago, we headed out from downtown, through Memory Grove, to the City Creek trailhead and shortly thereafter began to yo-yo with an older fellow running with his dog. When we came to a T at the stop of the long climb, we stopped and the gentleman, Jim, asked us which way we were going. We didn't really have a plan, other than a number goal, so he offered up a route that would bring us back to the TH. He said he was enjoying our pace, that we were keeping him moving. He seemed nice enough (and he was wearing a San Juan Solstice tee so he was obviously awesome :)) so we headed along he proposed route. It was fun to just go with the flow, meet someone new, run with an awesome dog (a labradoodle named Molsen), and learn a new running route. Jim and Geof got a little ahead of me on a downhill portion, and Molsen hung back with me, running just behind me. A few times the trail widened out and I moved to one side to let the dog pass, but he stuck behind me, waiting for me when I stopped to adjust something, or take in the views. I love running with dogs. Eventually, once the guys were back in view, Molsen ran ahead to greet them, then stopped and waited for me to catch up to him.
That was a good run.
We've started meeting once a week with a small group of super fasties and it has been going really well. A few weeks ago, we did a hill repeat workout, in which I didn't get totally smoked, woot! The following week we did bonafide speed work on the track: 16x200 meter sprints, with 200 meter recoveries. It was FANTASTIC! I can handle short sprints, and I think I managed quite well. I didn't know I had that kind of movement in my legs…I felt a little bit fast :) This week, we met back on the trail and did a progression run up Dry Creek Canyon. I think that may be my new favorite workout. Even though I didn't really follow the progression 'rules', I did do what I could and I maintained a solid pace all the way up, breaking into a walk only once for a short, steep stretch. Geof was leading our pack and basing the progressions off of HR, increasing "pace" by 5 bpm every 5 minutes. He did awesome. Once we turned around, it was all glorious downhill running from there. I really pushed it here, running on the razor thin edge between control and total absence of control. It was an instant reminder that running downhill can actually be really taxing; you can push beyond just merely allowing gravity to do it's thing and really get a workout from it. I felt free, and untethered. A cramp started to form in my abdomen but I just ignored it and kept pushing. It felt good. Reaching the TH we all regrouped and closed it out with a nice and easy cool down back to our cars.
That was also a good run.
It's starting to get hot, and the sun is hanging out more these days. It feels great to get a little more natural vitamin D, to hit the trails with some regularity, and to have two weeks off before my first clinical internship begins!
And, oh, the wildflowers!!