Back at it

I got back to running on a regular schedule last week. I ran 23.39 miles during the week. t felt great to go out every day. OK, not every day – Monday was still a bit cold and I went to the Community Life Center at Mount Pleasant Christian Church and ran 4 miles but still I didn’t get on that dreadmill or elliptical.

The best part is I am completely healed from whatever this foot injury I had from the end of November through the middle of January. I had no pain or burning sensation at all in my foot.

Tuesday was a fun run for me. After I got off work and I saw the temperature was 52 degrees I knew I was going home and running outside and in SHORTS. The thing was there was still plenty of snow on the ground and as I ran the five miles it seemed weird running outside in shorts and a long-sleeve T-shirt and snow on the ground. I will admit I felt like an animal which had just been released from captivity.

Wednesday was a quick 5k. I thought the path I used on a regular basis in the subdivision next to mine would be cleared off enough to use. Oops – I was wrong. The winding part of the path was clear for the most part but had huge puddles about every 50 feet. When I got to the end of it that part the straight section across the street looked clear. That’s when the issues began – I got about 25 feet into the path and noticed there were places still snow covered. I could have turned back and went on the street but what fun would be in that, right? Mental note to self: next time drive on Smith Valley Road on way home from work to check for clearance. Would have been easier had I had my YakTrax for that portion of the course. And for old times sake during a portion of the third mile I ran some “mailbox” fartleks.

Thursday – my legs felt the effect of running three straight days and those fartleks as I tried to run a fourth straight day. Parlay the tired legs with the winds gusting some and it was titanic struggle to push forward. Matters weren’t helped any as the winds caught the smells of flame-broiled burgers being made at the Burger King, which is eight-tenths of a mile from my house. For most of the first mile and miles 4-5 I became hungry and the only thing I could think about was getting home, grabbing my wallet and running over there to buy a Whopper. I avoided the urge and immediately went into the house and used my Therawheel.

Friday – OFF DAY – my legs were still screaming for the much needed break and I obliged.

Saturday – I was going to run long. I had thought about 7 miles to finish the week. Then Friday night after putting my sons to bed I decided why not just run a 10k and end the week running to my childhood home and back. I have mentioned it on previous occasions throughout the blog talking about my training for the half marathon last year about my parents and about my thoughts of running “home.” If I use the main roads it’s only about a three-mile trek. If I use the subdivisions which somewhat connect and cross a couple of main streets I can make it as far as eight miles. So, Friday night I plotted out a route for a 10k. Got up Saturday morning before anyone in Stately Rueff Manor was awake. Not knowing if all the snow or even the puddles from what snow had melted were still on the path I avoided it for this run. I ran my down Crooked Stick Court in Innisbrooke which has two nice inclines before crossing Fairview Road to head into Pebble Run and doing a half circle before then crossing Morgantown Road and to my childhood home in Pebble Hills. Made the turn to Jackson Place and ran by the house. I don’t think much on the first pass, it’s always after running around the circle and heading back south and looking at the driveway with the basketball goal where I begin to¬†reminiscence about my childhood. I don’t think much about the inside of the house. It’s still too painful to think about. Since we cleaned the house out and I played my last few frames of snooker in the basement I haven’t been inside it. Wendy had new carpet put in and some other changes and we are now on the second renter – luckily they have been family friends who have or currently live in it. Even if I were to go in still after almost four years I would still vision how the house used to look like.

So, I look at the driveway and I look at the basketball goal and I envision a younger me. The one who spent countless hours playing pick-up games with friends. The one who played many an imaginary game as both the player and the coach. The one who literally used to be out there acting like was conducting a practice and putting my “playbook” together for future use. During the school year after finishing my homework or summer nights once I was done playing for the day I spent the rest of the night in my room thinking up different basketball plays. There were many a night when my mother would come into my room and find me asleep on the floor with my pen in my hand with a diagram of a play on my notebook.

The first couple of times I ran this route while I trained last year I tended to look back over my shoulder until I got the stop sign. I didn’t do that this past Saturday. After I passed the basketball goal I turned my head forward and never looked back. It felt good. Actually it considered I had accomplished a step in the grieving process even though it’s been almost four years now.

Got my mind back on track about finishing the run at that point. I left Pebble Hills, went into Pebble Run then for the little stretch of Fairview Road and into the “home stretch.” Made the turn on to my street and saw my version of Stately Rueff Manor and began my “kick.” I wouldn’t say it I go into a full-out sprint on my kick but I do pick it up a notch from an effort standpoint. The legs move a little faster of course but the biggest difference I see is in my arms. I definitely pump them more than I normally do during my normal pace.

Finished at the stop sign at the corner of another street and mine. A very huge smile on face for running to my childhood home and also for having a very solid week for the first time in 2014 on the pavement.

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finished run in shorts with snow still on the ground

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who needs to go inside to ice or take an ice bath – plenty of snow still outside

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ah Thursday run in my Taylor U basketball shirt – this shirt reminds me to go hard as I did when I went to Taylor for basketball camps growing up

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Therawheeling after the five miler and my dead legs – Ah the pain hurt so good

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stretching the calves after a 10K – also wearing my Saucony Omni XL Tights I got for $13 – reg. $70 – SCORE

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the new running store in Greenwood – Runner’s Forum – passed out free shirts in November. Thought the least I could do is promote them during my longest run of the year.

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the basketball goal I spent my childhood and even part of my adult life shooting at in the driveway of my childhood home

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