The sun was up before I reached Briones Peak - I felt somewhat disappointed. The last quarter mile of trail up and over the top leads south-east so instead of seeing Mt. Diablo back-lit by the glowing embers of a new day, I was dazzled, stumbling blindly across the ridge. Saturday dawned a warm morning for January, so by the time the sun was up, I was already sweating and feeling over-dressed. It was 37 degrees when I drove away from the house, but after sweating up hills for an hour I found I had overdressed. The tights were too much after a 5 mile run with 1000' of elevation gain, and I found shorts to be quite comfortable as I transitioned to the mountain bike. I didn't regret the change. Run, Bike, Sweat, Burn. No rain in months and, alas, none in the forcast, so the trails are quite nice. It got up to 70 degrees.
I think I can announce that I am officially running again. So far so good anyway. I've been experimenting with some short slow runs, and have been hesitant to make any bold statements.
With a hand-full of 5 mile runs and solid 9.5 mile run over the last couple weeks, I feel I may be back in the sport. All the research I've perused regarding "coming back" from an injury reflects a cautious, slow, measured approach - in direct opposition to my inclination. I'm all eagerness to be back running and the odds of me over-doing it are great. My cardio is already there and my legs are catching up fast since I've been peddling away the miles during my recovery, and though my Plantar Fasciitis is still in slow retreat, the running doesn't seem to be affecting it one way or the other; all of which means that I'm likely to start running faster and further than I should - before I should.
With a little patience, in a few weeks all of the residual pain from the plantar fascia should be completely replaced with the standard assortment of hard earned sore muscles.
I can't remember where I said it - and it may have been here in this blog, I haven't gone back to check - but it came out so naturally that it surprised even me. I was chatting with someone about my recovery and all the running I had missed, and frankly feeling a little morose. My comment was, "I've missed a lot of sunrises." And it has occurred to me that part of running, for me, is experiencing the raw natural world. The sunrise is mine when I'm running. The wildflowers are mine. The startled deer and coyote are mine. The scent of a sea breeze still hanging in the air on a foggy morning is mine. I share them with God alone. I've missed those times of running through His garden with Him. Sometimes we chat, but most times we just run along together enjoying each other's company. I think Saturday morning in that dazzling burst he said, "Welcome back."