In a recent post I stated that I was ok with my IT band tightness. I lied. I'm not ok with it. Three weeks ago, I headed out for a three mile run that became a one mile run, 1 mile run/walk, and 1 mile hobble-and-pray-I-make-it-to-the-car.
For three weeks, I haven't run. A couple of times I tried to run on the treadmill and would last less than a minute before the pain in my left leg was excruciating. I have spent more time on the arc trainer and in spinning class in the last three weeks than I have in the last three years, probably.
Today, I got to run again. I took Kona with me, because when I run with her I'm always sure to stop and walk so I don't push her too hard. I figured if I was worried about pushing her too hard, I would keep myself from overdoing it, too. Mission accomplished. My left leg was hurting by the end, but it wasn't awful. Three weeks ago I wasn't sure I could make it the mile back to my car - today there were no such fears (thank GOD). We did four miles. When we were running, it was clear that I've kept up my cardiovascular fitness well, but my legs aren't up for much yet. At this point I feel like my heart and lungs can do a half marathon, but my legs might only make half that...
So, we headed out to my favorite trails, but started at a different spot behind the middle school, rather than my usual dirt parking lot at the other end. We had A LOT of rain on Friday, and I wasn't sure if I'd ever get my car out of that mud. Behind the middle school there's .25 miles or less of pavement, and then you hit dirt. The main jeep trail is really low-lying and runs along Bolin Creek, so it's relatively flat. A good portion of the trail was covered in water, and what wasn't covered was definitely muddy. Some of the higher and rocky areas were pretty dry, but most of it was nasty. My shoes were tight, but even so I almost lost my left shoe to the mud. We ran along the jeep trail for about 1.5-1.75 miles and then turned off on the "burnt-out car trail" that I always make sure to run when I'm out there. Yeah...that trail's too hilly for me these days. We walked that whole .75 or so. One of the hills on that trail rivals Becky's Bluff - it isn't as long, but it is just as steep. If my leg was healthy I'd go out there for hill repeats..but that probably isn't the best idea these days.
There's an old burnt out car at that trail head, and every time we go by Kona puts on the brakes and starts to whine. Well today she actually ran right by it! I was so proud. We got back out on the jeep trail and headed back to the car. I tripped a couple times and slipped a couple times, but nothing too exciting happened until we passed a large group of people with 4 or 5 dogs. The dogs were all leashed, so I thought we were fine. Kona and I stepped off the trail a little bit (and this is a wide trail) and kept on running. Until one of the dogs lunged at and pinned Kona. NOT COOL. How is a dog that is on a leash allowed to behave like that?? We got out of that mess and continued on down the trail at a quicker pace. Maybe a quarter mile or less after that, we came upon a couple with a puppy off-leash. When they saw us they put a leash on the puppy, and I warned them about the mean dog.
Things were uneventful after that, and considering the walking and occasional sniff-stops, we finished our 4 miles in over an hour. Definitely slow, but I think it was probably best all things considered.