T and I decided to go for a 4.5-mile hike yesterday in the Tucson Mountain park – beautiful views and plenty of climbing. I figured it was like doing strength training at the gym with all those huge steps up!
Today I took my first long run since the marathon. I am still a little sore from the hike yesterday, but I didn’t do much other work this week on the running front and I knew I needed to dive back into the longer run. My original plan was to run my normal out-and-back route from home. Thanksgiving is next week and today is the only day we could pick up our very happy, local, pasture-raised turkey at the Farmers’ Market. It is on the other side of town and the people who came first got the better choices of size (not that I’m competitive about that kind of thing). Luckily, the Farmers’ market is right along a different stretch of the same trail I run on from the house. So, we picked up our very well-cared-for turkey at 8am and I went for my run while T meandered around town and read on a bench at the Market.
I’m glad I tried something different today. My legs were sluggish and I worried that 90 minutes would be too long after a 2-week break. But, I took the training plan’s direction to run “easy,” listened to my music, and let my mind wander. I paid attention to the differences in this part of the trail system and all the new people on the trail there.
I thought the route would be slightly up hill on the way out (so slightly downhill on my way back), but it turned out to be consistently rolling hills. I ran by apartment complexes, a nursery, a very smelly ranch with pigs and horses, winding through the north side of town (completely losing my orientation with the city). It was a good thing I was on a trail.
On my way back to the market, I noticed a loose dog in the wash. Just as I was about to get nervous that he would come after me, I noticed a coyote coming up behind the dog. Suddenly, I was worried for the dog. I shouldn’t have been. Once the dog noticed the coyote, he flipped around and chased the coyote off. The coyote wanted nothing to do with him and raced away as quickly as he could.
I did not feel nearly as capable of racing off as the coyote, but I managed to keep going and get back to the Market. I almost missed T on the bench!
With Thanksgiving this week, I am thankful for all sorts of things, including family and my continued enjoyment of running. I am hopeful that I will be able to more consistently incorporate my training schedule into my week – and make it more of a routine, than homework. For now, I’ll be content with the proof of my improvement in my sore muscles.