After my surprisingly successful run last Saturday up Bankhead Parkway, I decided to try it again this morning.
The goal today was to run all the way up Bankhead to Toll Gate and all the way along Toll Gate to Mountainwood (The Hill).
I knew I was pushing it a bit, but I wanted to see just how detrained I really am.
I was ready to accept the fact that I am too weak to make it all the way up Bankhead without more incrimental training.
The temperature did not cooperate today, however.
It was fifty degrees at my house when I left.
It might have been a degree or three cooler at the base of the mountain when I started out.
I had to wear a long-sleeved top and leggings to keep me comfortable.
I chose my attire well.
The only part of me that got uncomfortably cold was my ears.
Early on, I got a bit winded, even though I was not pushing my pace.
I felt tired very quickly and pondered the idea that I may not make it any further than I did last week.
If that was the situation, so be it.
I am not trying to kill myself.
But I kept at it and the short downhill dip appeared in time to rescue me.
I kept at it and just took my time as the dip turned into the long straight up-hill path again.
Before I knew it I could see the houses at the corner of Toll Gate and Bankhead.
I knew at that point that I was going to make it.
And indeed, I did.
The hard part was over.
I turned onto Toll Gate, grateful for the level gradient and motored on to Mountainwood, a quarter of a mile away.
The Fleet Feet store gang had already set up the water station and offered me some Gatorade or water.
I refused both but thanked them anyway.
I was feeling fine.
As I did last week, when I got to Mountainwood, I stopped running and walked down the steep curved decline.
After turning around at the bottom and walking up The Hill again, I resumed my running.
I noticed the white house near the top of the hill had sold.
The return run was nice.
Like the old days, my mind wandered as I ran down Bankhead.
Nothing was hurting or whining – not hips, not knees, not ankles – nothing.
When I got to the bottom of Bankhead, I was feeling great.
I wanted to go another mile, but I resisted the impulse.
I ran down the slight decline of Pratt Avenue a few hundred yards and stopped.
I ran far enough past my car to give me a nice cool-down walk back to the car.
As I reached my car, several other runners were coming down Bankhead.
Next week is the Cotton Row Run 10K race.
They are getting ready for the big event.
Just like I used to.
I am not ready to run six miles.
Maybe next year....