Sunday Morning Foothills Run With Friends

I was up by 4:45 am this morning getting ready for a group trail run in the Boise foothills. I showed up, in the dark at the Corrals trail head a few minutes before 6:30 am to meet up with my friends Otto, Jenny, Sparkle, Tina, Tony and Donna. I had to use my headlamp just to use the bathroom, but left it back in the car before we headed out onto the trails for our run since the sky was just starting to lighten us as we ascended the first hill.

I stayed at the back of the group on the way up.  It felt like it had been six months instead of a few weeks since my last hill climb the way I was huffing and puffing. I didn’t experience any pain or problems with my plantar fasciitis, my sprained ankle, my IT band or my lower back injury on the way up, but I was going pretty slow.

The sunrise was gorgeous, the foothills lovely and there were bright, yellow sunflowers dotting the hills everywhere!  Otto was so kind as to point out the very spot where he and Ryan had their recent bro-mantic magical moonlight moment. It was so touching, I nearly shed a tear. Haha.  Speaking of Otto,  that guy motored up the trail like he was on a mission today! He led the group for the whole way up! Nice job, buddy! All that training lately is paying off big time!

Once we’d traveled up Corrals to Hard Guy and finally reached the Ridge Road, we posed for some pictures and then me, Jenny, Sparkle and Tina parted ways with the others who were out for bigger miles today.  Jenny said to me, “Go ahead. We know how you like those downhills!” and sent me to the front on the way back.  I was hesitant at first since my IT band seems to get really cranky when I run downhill right now, but I couldn’t resist for long.  I never let it all out, but I did play a bit. Unfortunately by mile 8, my IT band was inflamed again and my right, sprained ankle was crying for mercy (despite being well wrapped and an injury that is now two months old!!!) 🙁  I really thought it would be healed up by now.  I was alone from about mile 7 to the end, taking my time, but running stretches that I could and power walking some of the others. I got some great photos of the morning scenery and I relived my first 50 mile journey, since this very path was where that started just two months ago. It was like I could almost hear the music I listened to on this section that day (Pink’s song So What was the first song that sent me into a downhill graceful free-fall (at least that’s how it felt – where every foot-strike seems to land just as expected and the turnover is spinning crazy fast (almost out of control – but not quite!) and you can feel the wind in your face, everything’s going your way and you can’t stop smiling!) I stopped at the section where I’d finally turned around to talk to my pacer and friend, Ryan and realized he wasn’t there. It was a fun memory to relive, since I was really happy, having a really good section of my “race” that day.  I’d squinted up the hill and finally found him — much further back than I’d realized and I think we both thought that was funny since he’s a zillion times faster than me normally.

I enjoyed cheering in each of my gal pals as they ran into Corrals parking lot again. It was a good run! I was discouraged that my injuries are still not healed up and seem to even be telling me to back off again and let them fully heal.  🙁  My pals all gave me bits of advice today to help. Thank you, Otto for the stretches for the PF! The general consensus was that I should probably scrap any big plans for racing this fall, do less intense cross-training and heal fully before coming back stronger in a few weeks/months for next year’s spring racing season.  Hmmmm……..  It’s probably the right thing to do — but man, it’s HARD to rest and recover!  I’ll have to think about it…….

Stats: 12.43 miles. 13:22 pace. 2:46 total time. Best mile: Mile 8 – pace: 8:51. Average Heart Rate: 164. Elevation Gain: 2528 ft.

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