Now that my calf injuries have healed, I've been starting to build my distance again. I'm up to about 6 km on my shorter runs and 7-8 on my longer ones. I've been good about slowly increasing my mileage to avoid reinjury. Even though the ice where I run has all melted, I have still been (at least by my standards) excruciatingly slow. Like Austin Powers, I had lost my mojo. But I found it today on a 6 km flat run. I normally run that route in about 32 minutes. When peaking for races, I have even run it in under 31:30. Today's time was 32:09, which was about 1.5 minutes faster than my time on that same route last week. That's my "normal" time, so I'm happy that my speed is back. I was a bit worried that my speed wouldn't come back, but it has.
Maybe the cross-training that I did this week helped with the speed. I rode my bike to work three days in the past week. Cycling to work isn't exactly a great aerobic workout because my work is so close to my house. But I'm getting fresh air and a little bit of exercise that I wouldn't get from driving. I also did the elliptical trainer in the gym yesterday because it was raining heavily. I've gotten back into doing my post-run Pilates routine, which benefits my posture. Maybe the Pilates was also a factor in the speed and mojo coming back.
Now it's time to start incorporating some hill work. I haven't done any in a while because of being injured. But the skiing that I've done this season has helped to strengthen my quads. I don't expect to have too much trouble with hills once I get back to running them. I'm one of those rare people who loves running hills. One of my favorite races is the San Dieguito Half-Marathon, which has a lot of rolling hills. Most people groan or swear when they see a hill on a course map. I give a little cheer because hill running has always been one of my strengths.
Ski season here is pretty much over, which means getting back to my four days a week of running. We're due for more spring-like weather, which means being able to shed a layer or two. I feel like the Michelin Man's wife when I'm in my full winter running gear. I'm looking forward to being able to run in my shorts.
I'm still undecided on whether I'll do the Munich City Run Half-Marathon in June. I have over three months to decide. I'll evaluate where I'm at in May and take it from there. If I opt not to do the City Run, I may do some local races in the 5 to 10 km range for a change of pace. Or maybe this year I won't race at all and just run for the joy of it.