I haven't posted in awhile, because I've already spilled far too much digital ink over the past 10 months blogging about injuries. Suffice it to say that after Leadville, I was not able to run. But I was in no particular rush to get back to things, so it wasn't a huge deal. I did some cross training and a whole lot of walking, but the few attempts I made to run, even just a couple of miles, were unsuccessful.
Last week, I ran about 20 miles, which is more than I ran cumulatively between Leadville and last week. It felt good to get out there, even if it's just for a few miles a day around the park. I do love running. For the rest of 2012, my only goal is to return to full health and progress back to 60-80 miles a week. I don't plan to do any racing of any distance. Perhaps a fatass or two if I feel good by wintertime, but nothing else.
But, like most runners, once I get back at it, I start to ruminate on potential goals. While I have no intention to return to ultras anytime soon (though I'm sure I will at some stage), I am eager to see what I can do in shorter distances now that I've returned to some level of fitness.
To the extent that I have any talent in running, I think it's in middle distance. I started running when I was 11, and I was a borderline national class miler at 13. But by the time I reached physical maturity, I was already burned out on the sport. I regularly ran low 16s for 5K and low 27s for 8K in high school and in college (DIII), but I was notorious about skipping workouts, drinking the night before meets, and generally not focusing as I should have.
Those days are gone and never to return, but the prospect of getting in shape and hammering the Cherry Creek Sneak and races of that ilk sounds fun to me right now. And since I'm never going to be anything other than a weekend warrior, I figure I might as well do what sounds fun, right?
I don't know if I'll ever recover the speed I had as a young whippersnapper, but I want to try. I ran low 16s as an 18 year old on 40-50 miles a week with horrible training habits. Is it inconceivable that I could run sub-16 as a 35 year old on 70 miles a week?
I don't know. But I intend to find out.