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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Still I Swagger : )

I set out fearful this morning for my first trail run in a month.  Yes -- the physical therapist said trails are okay, but only "rolling hills."  I was fearful of the ole' hip -- frankly, I'm tired of the injured hip CRAP (excuse my language)! 

I woke at 5:30 this Sunday morning, my usual weekday waking hour.  I usually sleep in until at LEAST 6:30 on weekends, maybe 7:30 if I push it (8:00, 8:30 on those really blissful days).  So, so leary about heading off, yet a bit giddy about my feet hitting dirt again, I was slow prepping.  Still dark out, I drank 1 and 1/2 cups of coffee, surfed the internet,  and dressed slowly, oh so slowly, carefully placing circular moleskins on my feet where the Salomons rubbed my feet raw in the Great Silverado Footrace. (I didn't by the way, wear Salomons this morning -- I wore my trustworthy New Balance)

Hitting the trail is one thing.  Hitting the trail with a group, is an entirely other thing.  Why?  Because, when I hit the dirt solo, I can take it super easy if I want to.  In other words, I don't put pressure on myself, besides KEEP THE MOMENTUM FORWARD.  When I hit the dirt with a group, I want to keep up with the pack.  Don't get me wrong . . . I can hang being left behind -- I really don't mind going solo.  I don't mind last place.  But if I'm gonna run with a group, especially if I've left my ipod behind, I oughta run with a group.

A larger than average crowd showed up for this "New Member Run".  There were 5 non-new members (Tom, Daniel, and myself, later joined by Dave and Maura who were on a much longer run), plus 4 new members (Linda, Sarah, Kathy and her husband Dave).

The group set off pretty quickly, leaving me little time to warm-up.  Sticking to the physical therapist's directions, I stayed behind to warm-up, hoping I'd catch up with the group later.  (I was hoping that I didn't regret leaving the ipod behind :)

That first hill was no "rolling hill."  Heck.  It was difficult and lovely anyway.  It wasn't "technical" thankfully for my hip. There were sandy parts and solid parts of this mostly well-groomed trail.  Still, I was quite reluctant -- I so feared an ache to the hip.

Being that I had to have my warm-up, the other runners got quite a good start on me.  I saw up ahead that the group broke in two -- a normal occurance for group runs.  (Sometimes they break into three with groups this size).  And then I could see up ahead, Dave and a blonde female join the second group (the female, I learned later was Maura -- whom I have read about and seen on blogs, but have never met).

ANYWAY, my goal was to catch up with the group.  And though I was slow in doing so, I actually caught them before the turnaround!  This core strengthening and sprints added to road runs has indeed increased my speed.  Before this hip injury, I really don't think that I would have caught up.  The hills however, they were quite difficult.  I'm hopeful to get them back (SOON).  So hopeful, that if things go good for my next "rolling hills" run, I just might defy the physical therapist and run to the Top of the World later this week.  Shhhhh.  Don't tell anyone. : ) 

Maybe, just maybe, I'm being too hopeful.  Heck.  I'm doing my exercises.  I'm getting stronger. 

Awesome to get out in the group again.  Great to see my running pal, Tom.  Great to see Dave again.  Great to meet runners new to the group.  (Feels like I've been away for ages : ( -- yet it's only been a little over a month!)

Coming in after the five mile out-and-back, Quail Hill Trail, Irvine,  (Dave, me, Maura, Kathy -- photo courtesy Tom.)
Quail Hill In The Spring

Miles logged on this Palm Sunday:  5.0


  1. Wished I had gone, but still nursing ankle injuries from bad shoes at a (non-running) conference last week. Can't risk anything this close to my second marathon (Big Sur, in 1 month).

    Keep that hip strong!

  2. I know what you mean Dylan! So sorry to hear about your ankle injury. Injuries are so depressing. My marathon is in 3 weeks, and I am so fearful of injury at this point. I haven't even got my long run past 16 miles yet. I had it planned out so beautifully before this hip injury. And now, I am going to be lucky if I can get in a 20 miler before the marathon. Good luck at Big Sur. Looks like a beauty!