It’s amazing how quickly you can lose fitness and strength after a setback. Cardio-wise I don’t think I lost too much while off, but I definitely lost a lot of the strength I have built up. The perfect storm of finishing HM training at the same time that I had surgery and was put on a medication that made me ravenous was just a disaster in the making. It ended up not being as bad as I expected, but I still feel like I’m starting over from scratch. I went out for my first post-op run Sunday afternoon. I only planned to run 1 mile, which sounds so awful after having completed a HM just a few weeks ago, but it was a big deal for me. My form felt awful, and my legs were definitely much weaker. But aside from the achiness my lungs tend to get in the cold, I felt fine cardiovascularly. I stopped to walk for 30 seconds after about .3 miles and then at .5, but then ran the last .5 straight through, to complete 1.02 miles in 14:11 (13:49 pace). I have three weeks to get up to 5 miles, but luckily I think I have the psychological factor on my side – I know I can do it, I just need to remind my body that I can do it.
It’s amazing how much the trail has changed since I last ran on it. I mentioned back in October before my surgery that even in the week and a half since I ran it had changed a lot, but it seems to have changed even more in the last month. With all the leaves off the trees, I noticed a number of houses (some newer, some old and abandoned) along the trail, including one just behind the parking lot I parked in all summer. It turns out these two structures were part of the hotel that used to be there, along the train tracks. The picture didn’t turn out too well, but there are two buildings, about the same size, and just to the east of them you can see a stone wall that looks like it used to line the driveway.