Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, December 29, 2007

What I Did Over Christmas Vacation

Back from Denver. Actually I've been back for awhile now, but am just now getting around to catching up.

Where to start. I'll give a quick recap of my runs over the past 8 days. I ran for the first two days I was in Denver, then went hiking and snowshoeing in the mountains for the next two days, blew Wednesday off (the day of the return trip home) and have been running well for the last three days.

Here is a more detailed recap:

Saturday (a week ago): ran in Denver from Reba's brother's house. There was a fresh snowfall (1-2 inches) on the ground and I went at it slow. Despite snow and ice on the ground, my footing felt surprisingly sure and I felt really good about the run. 7 miles in a loop around City Park (including some uncharted running through the park) in 63:50.

Sunday: ran in Lakewood, outside of Denver, along Kipling Road and then went exploring. The main point of running here was that it was snow free. Ran with Reba and her bro and sister-in-law. Another 7, this time in 58:53 along this route.

Monday: hiked along the Apex trail in the foothills outside of Denver. Of course foothills in Colorado are bigger than mountains around here. The hike was long, went up and down and through snow, and provided a good test of how my ankle's proprioception was getting along. The verdict: very well. Mark, Reba's bro-in-law, suggested I take ski poles to take some of the jolt off of my feet, and this worked very well. Overall, the hike was fun, beautiful, increased my confidence in the status of my recovery, and was brisk enough to call cross-training.

Tuesday: Merry Christmas! A white Christmas, as the snow would accumulate to 6-8 inches during the course of the day. Instead of opening presents, we took off that morning for Berthoud Falls or Butler Gulch or thereabouts, six of us and two dogs in all, where some of us snowshoed and others back-country skied. I don't know if these were foothills or actual mountains, but we started out at about 9,000 feet and kept going up through beautiful evergreen forest that was frosted with fresh snow. We kept going until we hit the tree line, whereupon we turned back due to avalanche risk. Felt great, save a little shortness of breath and really exhilarated to be out there.

Wednesday: DNR... nothing exciting to pawn off as cross-training.

Thursday: Ran out to Cobbs Creek and back down Woodland. A solid run at 8 miles in 63:50.

Friday: Paid my respects to the Lansdowne sycamore. Its been a long time since I've seen her. While bereft of leaves, the tree is as grand as ever. This was part of a loop through West/SW Philly, Lansdowne and Yeadon that I did regularly last Spring, 10+ miles in 81:34. This time is right in the range that I ran it last Spring, further boosting my confidence in the level where my running is at. I was more out of breath than I remember being for this type of run, telling me that my base needs some building, but was encouraging in telling me I am back to where I can do serious miles.

Today: All this leads me up to today, where I decided to revisit the scene of the crime... running through Tinicum for the first time since I resprained my ankle there just before the two mile marker back in October. I felt a bit uneasy doing so but felt confident, despite it having rained last night which left everything wet. I first headed around Cargo City and the airport at a pretty steady 8 minute pace and then upped the pace a bit when I hit the familiar packed gravel of Tinicum. I was more careful than usual but had no problem. At least three times I noticed my right ankle turn a bit and recover naturally, something I likely wouldn't have noticed 4 months ago but which I'm convinced didn't happen the last time I ran here, leading to my reinjury. It's all about proprioception and confidence. And I feel like I got both back. My ankle is still noticeably swollen, and I'll be patient with that, but I am very satisfied with how today's run went, and hungry to do more. A good way to close out the year. All in all, the loop was 12.5 miles, which I ran in 1:38:12 (last 5 in 38:05).

So that is what I did over Christmas vacation. I'll come up with some kind of a top 10 running moments list of 2007 in the next two days, and then I'll be looking ahead to 2008.


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