On Saturday, I hit the Georgetown Store for my first group run in quite some time. We decided to run the Ernst Loop and by the time we got to Ernst Hill we were already moving along fairly well. I knew the hill would work me, but I embraced the oxygen debt. Dusen ran stride for stride with me up the 1.5-mile long hill. We dipped right on Mass Ave and then down Glover-Archibald. I had to take care of “something” before going any further, but once I did, I found myself really cruising down the muddy trail. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was training again. The rest of the crew was waiting for me near the French Embassy and together we all shuffled back to the Store. I added on a bit and finished up with 11 for the day.
On Sunday, I met another group of GRC Race Teamers at the Chevy Chase Store. I had mapped out what I thought would be a solid hour loop. Once on the CCT, the pace, again, felt hot. Knowing I wasn’t THAT out of shape, checking some mile markers indicated we were rolling along at 6:25 pace. By the time we hit Rock Creek Park, Tex, PMurph and myself, had gapped CTR and Koonce. I was feeling fresh and decided to press it. I know Tex loves to push runs and PMurph also appeared interested. Once we exited the park, our pace really quickened. All along rolling Western Ave, our trio hammered. None of us had GPS watches, but 3 of us agreed we were rolling along at 5:30 pace. I felt marvelous. Normally I wouldn’t hammer weekend store runs like this, but my legs are so fresh and they crave a quick pace. It ended up being another 11 miles.
I ran 6 times and got in just shy of 50 miles. Although I have had many "comebacks" in the last 12+ months, I've never felt as confident as I do right now. I am still stretching 20-30 minutes per day and moving away from the Merrells (1 run last week) and into the Kinvaras (5 runs).
I am going to proceed cautiously...optimistically, but cautiously.