Finally, the base is back

I ran eight miles this morning in a big loop that took in three different neighborhoods. It was a mix of quiet roads, the canal towpath, the Monon Trail, a few busy streets, and one or two good hills.

It was my longest run since I screwed up my IT band three years ago. I felt nice and strong, and probably could have run for another mile or two.

So I’m declaring it now: I have rebuilt my base. I am ready to start training for a half-marathon next spring.

Oh, it felt so good to write that. You have no idea.

For the longest time, I have wanted to run and run and run. But I could take only baby steps. This has been so hard and required so much patience.

I think I’ve finally found a training routine that works.  The daily workout involves a mix of running, stretching, resting, power-hiking, more stretching — along with lots of planning and motivation.

It took me only three years to figure it out.

Over that time, I have started and stalled a dozen times. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. Usually, I overdid it and reinjured my leg. Then I had to take weeks off and try something else. Most of the time, I just drifted away from running for months until I got the itch again.

This time, I think I’m good for the long haul. It has taken me 2 1/2 months of gradual running to get to this point. You should see my training log. It is filled with two- and three- and four-mile runs, day in and day out, plus gradually longer runs on weekends.

So the next big challenge is to find the right half-marathon to run in the spring. I have a few ideas, but it probably will take a while to find the right one that will motivate me to continue running hard all winter.

See you at the races.

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