The first week of our new schedule hasn't even come to an end and yet I know that it is a better fit for us. I was able to get my 1st hard run in on Tuesday. Yesterday, I opted to do my 2nd hard run today at the gym rather than swim. Thereby enabling me to run sans the jogger. Missing a 3-4 mile recovery run (or alternate swim practice) is much better than missing a key 8-10 mile tempo workout.
My run on Tuesday was planned to be a 10 mile run with 8 minutes of total uphill time. Since the kiddos weren't accompanying me in the jogger, I opted to run on the river trail rather than the neighborhood roads for a change. As I got underway, my legs/hips were really tight from the long run on Sunday and the hard swim on Monday. The uneven terrain, as well as the afternoon sun, contributed to my decision to stop at 7 miles. I still managed to get in the 8 minutes TUT, however.
As I was beginning my uphill ascent of a quarter mile hill (I don't know the % grade but it must be a 45-50 degree angle)... another runner came zooming down the hill. Fortunately, I didn't bring along the iPod, so I heard him coming ... otherwise I'm sure we would've collided due to the rocks on either side of the trail that blocked my vision and forced us onto a single track. As it was, I stepped aside to give him the right of way.
We had crossed paths earlier on the other side of the river where he was in a comfortable stride. I noticed then that he had a XC Oregon tshirt. This time however, he was cruising! I'd bet he was doing a sub 4 minute mile pace at this point - recall he was going downhill! I would've been scared s...less. For certain, had I attempted to run all out down this hill, I'd be in the hospital with multiple fractures and broken bones.
There were several other runners on the trail yesterday. Central Oregon is a highly competitive arena for sports enthusiasts. Outdoor recreation is available year-round. Runners, cyclists and other athletes training is a common site throughout the area. The endorphins are high here - and they are contagious. :)