Let's backtrack 10 days first. As you know, I almost stopped running in December, not by necessity nor by pleasure, but to give my body and mental some rest, following Scott Jurek's advice and approach (Gimme A Break):
So the lessons learned from the Kenyans and the art of hibernation:Well, in addition to eating a bit too much over the holidays, the absence of intense exercise gets me out of balance during that period and this tests my patience and coolness, I can hardly wait to resume training. However, this definitely provides a lot of extra time with family and friends, although I did spend some of it in airplanes and airports, like many in December... Anyway, on January 1st, I went for a run and, since I was in deprivation state, for a long run. The weather was foggy and chilly and I ran to the top of Black Mountain via Stevens Creek Park, Montebello Road, the Bella Vista loop and back through San Antonio Park and Cupertino, my usual 29.5-mile training loop.
1. Take a hibernation break at the end of every season.
2. During the break, run as few steps as possible.
3. Eat well and don’t be afraid to put on a few pounds.
4. Make time for friends, family, and life outside of running.
5. Hibernate four to eight weeks or until fully recharged!
Then 6 fast miles (6:15 min/mile) on Saturday and 23 miles this Sunday with an out and back to the top of Black Mountain again. Phew, I'm relieved that my knee is ok, I am not sure what happened on Day 1. I really did not push the pace, just the distance, maybe it was still too demanding for my body after such an hibernation... Fortunately, it was not inside the knee but like an inflammation of the LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament), but it passed after a few days, hence the delay of this recount of my New Year Day run and almost fat ass... A loud message of my body to listen to it more, to take care of the aging carcass, its engine (read the heart) and all the cables and wires (aka tendons and ligaments). The same way you need to ramp up slowly after recovering from an injury, I need to build up my training more progressively. And sharing so you don't rush either. Hence the title...
here are a few other pictures on Picasa from this initial run of New Year's Day. I hope you had a less hazardous start of the year, running-wise, especially if you set healthy resolutions for 2011, which I wish for you. Again, happy, healthy, enjoyable 2011 to all! Oh, and a special happy 1/11/11 in case this means anything special to some astrologists or numerologists... ;-)