How I am rating runs right now

6 months out of surgery I am still ahead of schedule from the expectations the doctors gave us pre surgeries – This is fine and dandy and at some point instead of ahead or behind it just becomes “is”.

Last night we went to Webster Park and I ran with the group for the 1st time since all of this began. I should not really say “ran” though.

The trail was rooty, bumpy, and in 1 or 2 spots muddy. There were no hills. In fact this weeks elevation looked like this:

Last weeks looked like this:

Such a similar pattern: The difference being overall pace this week was 14:56 vs 10:58 last week.

Why? The run last week was basically a triple wide trail, with no roots, rocks, or turns. It was straight out and then back. This week had roots, rocks, and turns.

My body isn’t really capable of doing those things in a “run” format yet so I was forced to walk a ton last night.

So with that in mind here is how I am ranking things in terms of being able to run with any reality of pace. Easiest to hardest for me in my current state.

  1. Treadmill. Far and away the easiest possible way for me to run. Your foot hits the belt and is moved back. There is no real push off, there is a cushioned soft landing, the belt helps maintain pace, no curbs, no rocks, no obstacles… If you can get over the mindfuck of being on the thing, it’s far and away the easiest running going for me right now.
  2. Roads. Hills on roads are never like hills on trails, they are much more gradual, and even though my out of shape fatness keeps me from running up them all the way all the time, I am doing this. The pace is easier to find, and footing is more sure. I don’t enjoy roads much but just like the treadmill, everything is being used as I learn how to do this sport again.
  3. Flat trails like the greenway or oatka creek park. Softer (so harder to get a pace going) but also much more enjoyable to roads. No cars to deal with, and it’s “in  nature” so it feels so much better mentally to me, but its a tad harder than roads.
  4. Trails like last night at Webster Park – There was no elevation to speak of, but damned if I could run. I was shot (hips, back, and heel) all sore aching early on) but these trails don’t allow for a real rhythm, they force different strides, and choppy steps. Harder for sure
  5. Hilly Trails. Any trail with any kind of elevation. Simply put, I can’t run up hills like that. Add in technical stuff like rocks, roots, screee, etc and I am basically a lumbering fool. This used to be my favorite kind of trail. I get the feeling that is a long ways off.

So there it is. Right now if I want to run fast, it’s a treadmill. I have a 33 min 5k on that since coming back – I am mixing things in right now. I know that’s best for me.

I have also built a nice weight program that I am doing 2 times per week and adding in some core and flexibility stuff on fridays, which while not as fun as being out with friends is vital to staying injury free as I move forward and eventually add miles.

Moving along, hoping to start being able to “run’ on actual trails pretty soon.

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