Ah, another drill weekend, another assault on the perimeter road. Saturday was absolutely the perfect day upon which to run. Seventies, sunny, little to no wind. I’d been looking forward to running the perimeter for a couple of weeks.
The perimeter is a set of two-track back through the woods along a fenceline. Back in the day (all of a couple of years ago), it used to be just dirt and gravel, but some of the steeper sections have been paved to make it easier to drive on. I’m not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse for running. On the one hand, it’s easier to keep footing while plodding up a 20% grade (I haven’t measured it, but my guess is that’s not an exaggeration in some places) on asphalt than on loose sand and rock, and it’s definitely easier than avoiding erosion ruts after it rained. On the other hand, I think it’s a lot harder on the knees.
In any case, I was able to talk a couple of the guys in the unit into doing the perimeter for afternoon PT. Two of the guys, I knew, were fit, and were going to drop me about the first chance they got. Another one of the guys was just coming back from having his knee rebuilt, so was going to turn back before we got to the actual trail. The last guy was kind of like me – used to run a lot, but was about 20 lbs up on his “fighting weight”, and struggling to knock it off.
So we set off.
Running with Christian really has been good for me speed-wise; I was up, feeling good, and got asked to slow down by the group more than once. We hit the first hill, and yep – the fast guys dropped me and Bob like yesterday’s news. Ouch.
I haven’t been able to make it all the way up the first climb since I started running again. Last month, I blame it mostly on the three immunization I’d gotten that day, but regardless, I was psyched up to at least make it all the way up the first hill. Add that to the “small dog” syndrome, and I was motivated somewhat fierce.
In any case, I ended up making the entire perimeter trail, or about 3 miles total of pretty tough running. I had to walk a little on the way back to the gym, but most of the walking was downhill. Good run.
(I did feel it something fierce on Sunday, though)