Most of the time I end up running alone. In fact, a quick query of my mental mainframe reveals that I’ve run everyone of my 28 runs in 2008 by my lonesome, as I’ve done for each of my past 29 runs. In fact, the last run I can remember logging with another person was five miles with my sister on Christmas eve. I don’t mind running alone … and, in fact, I enjoy it in many ways. That said, I’m looking forward to the next five days. After having not run with another sole in more than a month, I’ll have company for four of my next five run and each will be with an out of town friend. Tomorrow, I’ll run with my former training partner who’s back in town on business after moving to Seattle. On Thursday morning, I’ll hit the Mall with a top New England ultrarunner. Then on Saturday a former running clubmate will check out my new digs and hit the road with me. Lastly, on Sunday, Sean “Centerfold” Meissner will destroy me on a long run.
In other news, I started training for Hardrock yesterday. Instead of taking the elevator at work, I’m taking the stairs. Of course, this training could end on Saturday if I’m not pulled in the lottery. There are fewer folks in the lottery (327 crazy brave souls as of 1/26/08) than I had expected … but perhaps, that’s because an abnormally high percentage of folks with blogs I read have talked about and then entered the lottery. On my run last evening, I calculated that even thought there is almost half a year until Hardrock, it is unlikely that all my work stair climbing put together still won’t match Hardrock’s 33,000’+ of elevation gain! Regardless, I don’t think that climbing the stairs everyday can hurt.
I’ve also started gaining weight… but I only checked after noticing this morning that my body composition is improving. No more bubblicious belly.
Which gets me to this evening’s run. I definitely felt like a runner tonight. I ran home from work, which involves a shallow but sustained climb up from the Potomac River to Ballston. When I’m completely out of shape, this is a death march; today it was just me running. The six and a half miles flew by before I knew it. At some point in the past I’ve written about the lightswitch like day that normally occurs somewhere between 10 days and two weeks after I start training again after a layoff. I’m a full four weeks into training and that day never really came this go round. Instead, my progress has been much more gradual, yet it has been unrelenting. There have been individual bad days, but not real steps backwards. Today was the closest to that day. I felt good.