Earlier this summer I made a not-so-successful attempt to run one of my favorite routes - the Windsor loop. I had set out a goal of being able to run the route comfortably by the end of the summer, but I wasn't able to manage that. Plantar fasciitis and illness and bad summer running in general did me in. Every year I forget that I just don't run well in the summer, and it was even worse this year.
But this morning was so different. The weather was clear and cool - perfect for running. I met up with four of the running chicks and off we went. I'm still not used to not being able to stop at the water fountain at the boat landing, but I toughed it out and kept going into the hills. I fell way behind the group on the first big hill, but I managed to keep running. The chicks were waiting at the top of the hill, and we headed on to Windsor with its rolling hills. Again, I fell behind, but not as far as before. I caught back up at the gas station, our first water stop.
I always view the turn onto Exposition as the home stretch - it's about a mile long, with rolling hills, most of them downhill. We stopped at a Gazelle's water stop and then made the turn back on to Lake Austin, headed to the start. I was able to hang with the group the whole way back to the finish, even though everyone picked up the pace on LAB.
For the first time in longer than I can remember, I felt good after the run - like I had really accomplished something. The route is only five miles, a far cry from my days of running 10+ on Saturdays on a regular basis, but it was still a victory for me. I've had so many false starts with my post-Campbell running comeback. This run felt like this comeback just might be The One.
I may just have to buy new running shoes to celebrate.