The last week of December I didn't run at all; although I felt guilty about it each day I took a week off to rest and heal. When I returned to running this past week, I felt sluggish and fatigued during each run, and my first run noontime run running with coworkers in several weeks produced a shortened jaunt of four and a half miles at a 9:30 pace which my running buddies afterwards described offhandedly as feeling slow.
On Thursday noon I tried to kick it up some and we went our customary five and a half miles on the Mall at a 9:09 pace but whenever my friends from work tried to chat me up as we ran about work and life as usual I answered in guttural monosyllables and hung doggedly on the last three miles, resisting the urge to stop and walk. I didn't get enough running in, either in terms of distance or pace, those weeks I spent in Dallas and it shows.
Yesterday I started a new program as a drop-in coach in the same Walk-To-Run (WTR) training session in Arlington that I used last January to kick start me back to running after my year and a half layoff due to injury. At the introductory meeting I was introduced by the program as the "rabbit" coach (as opposed to the rest of the "penguin" coaches) to the assembled newbie walkers/runners in case any of them stick with the program and prove to be "fast."
We walked a mile after the christening lecture about layering, hydration etc. in 14:30 for our first workout which drew astonished remarks from the trainees about our fast pace but which I'm pretty sure was the product of a short mile. The goal of the program is to have the attendees run/walk a 5K in about four months time and since I have been designated to be the "fast" coach of the program I went home afterwards and cranked out a 5K route in 28:49 (9:17) around my neighborhood to see what I could do the distance in these days, although I felt extremely sluggish and winded as I did so. Obviously I have a long way to go to get back into some semblence of condition and I might even have to do some track work.