One of the hardest things about coming back to running is gaining endurance. It is very frustrating to see how far I had ‘fallen’ when I think of running a marathon of 26.2 miles and an ultramarathon of 50 miles in a 13 day period in October and then a half marathon and a marathon in two days in early January. Now, to struggle to run 5 miles and know that I have to take walking breaks just makes me feel pathetic and out of shape.
However, two weeks ago I was able to run 5 miles non-stop on the treadmill (granted at about 4-4.5 mph) and have done that a couple of times since then. Last Saturday I did my first long-run in several months and made it to 8 miles, but was pretty tired after that. Today, I set out to run 10 miles and was feeling pretty good, so ended up doing a total of 13 miles. I am currently running 2 minutes and then walking 1 minute on my long runs, but the fact that I am in double digits for the first time since the first week of March and have done long runs two weekends in a row makes me feel like the endurance is coming back and that I am making progress.
I had a really neat experience on my run this morning. I ran down to the Jordan River Parkway and then ran north on it to my turnaround point (5 miles based on the planned 10 mile run). Right where I turned around there were a bunch of telescopes being set up. I had to admit it was pretty unusual to see telescopes out in the daytime (it was a little after nine on a bright, sunny morning) so I wandered over and asked what they were doing. The owners were thrilled to show me. One said he was star-gazing. Of course, then it clicked on me that the sun is indeed a bright star. With the filters they had on you could see solar flares and all sorts of awesome features. I think I will try to run that way more often on Saturdays to see it again (they say they are out there about once a month).