John's alarm bolted me out of bed at 4:15am. He was meeting friends to go running (I guess girls weren't invited this time) and I was going to start my long run around 6am. Why get up out of bed, into the cold, dark morning if I didn't have to? At 5am I hadn't fallen back asleep and was anxious to get the day started. Pulling on my tights, long sleeved shirt and gloves, I looked for my headlamp. This would be the first run since 2 spraining my ankle two months ago that I would be running in the dark. It would also be the first time going to the spot where I did sprain my ankle.
Although I had an 18 miler on the calendar, I felt 16 would be better since 2 weeks ago I ran 12 and I'm still adding in the miles slowly. I like to follow the 10% rule. With it being dark I was ok with the pace being slower. After a couple miles I came across two other runners also wearing headlamps but that was it for a while, besides a SRP truck with a spotlight on the canal.
By the turn around at mile 8, I was pretty tired but it was light enough that I could turn off my headlamp. I hit stop on my Garmin, took out my chocolate flavored Gu and walked over to the dreaded corner. I had to see what I had fallen on two months ago. Kitty corner to me was the Shell station where I sat crying waiting for my brother to pick me up. I wish I could describe how the corner comes together and the 2 curbs so you would understand what I was talking about. Maybe on a future bike ride I'll take a picture and maybe in the future I'll be able to laugh about it all. It's not surprising that I fell on the curb. If I would have come from the right side, I would have been ok. But I came from the left and didn't realize the extra navigating the corner required, even though I had been there before many times and knew there was something with the corner.
Turning back around I thought I would try for some goal paces miles. Perhaps it was the chips and onion dip and the chocolate dipped pretzels from the night before or fatigue from the Grand Canyon trip the weekend before, but the goal paced miles were not going to happen. My right IT band discomfort was also surfacing, another residue from the Grand Canyon trip, and I wanted to get home to use the foam roller. I had to be happy with the 16 miles, the building up of conditioning and the thought of food once I got home.