Yesterday's 6 mile run saw me leap (or rather, sensibly climb) over some psychological hurdles. These consisted of:
Length of run: Six miles is the point at which I think that proper long runs start, and I worried that maybe my hip wasn't quite ready for a Long Run. Phew. I managed the distance easily so now I know that I can at least make it to the end of the Inverness 10k in two weeks.
Location: I have deliberately done all of my runs since The Injury on flat roads, avoiding even slight inclines for fear of stressing out my hip flexors. But for yesterday's run, I ran entirely on the Cromarty Road. It's not exactly hilly, but it is undulating in parts. My legs were fine with this, and they're still fine today. Again, phew.
Wind: Because I lay part of the blame for The Injury on running 21 miles on the Cromarty Road in gale force winds, I've been a bit nervous about venturing out in windy conditions, especially on such an exposed road. My six miles were pretty much into the wind the whole way, but I was so happy to be doing Proper Running again that I barely noticed.
Getting wet and cold: Another segment of blame for The Injury involves how cold I was during and after the Inverness HM, so I've been careful in this return to running to keep my legs warm while out, which includes avoiding running in the rain. I thought that I was going to avoid being cold and wet yesterday too, but a surprise rain shower and running into a biting wind the last mile made me more than a bit shivery. When I stopped, I definitely was aware of my hip flexor, quad, and adductor feeling tight - cue a brief panic. However, the 20 minute cool-down walk back home helped to loosen everything up and, as above, phew.
Wind, rain, and long runs. Just like old times.