… both literally and figuratively.
This morning I ran up Tiger Mountain. The easternmost of the “Issaquah Alps”, this is a modest 2000 foot ascent along a 2.5 mile trail. It’s also the first time in quite a while that I’ve done a run like this.
From time to time before my accident, I’d do one of these to test myself. It’s not always fun, and not always a rousing success. I always learn something about myself doing this though. I learn what kind of shape I’m in, and I learn a bit about my mindset too.
On this run, I learned that I’m bouncing back nicely, but that I still have a ways to go. My strength is coming back, but I need to keep running up hills to deepen my reserves and grow my muscles.
I’ve noticed something interesting about how I coach myself through the tougher parts of a run. Recently, I’ve felt a patience I don’t remember feeling before. I guess there’s something about working through a serious injury that helps one develop a sense of perspective. This is very useful when your heart rate is through the roof, and when your muscles are screaming at you.
It wasn’t a flawless effort. I missed a turn along the way, giving myself a nice mile-long break from the climb, by running along a railroad grade (those generally aren’t more than a couple of percentage points, so it was much easier). I’m not entirely sure how this happened – the turn was obvious. My mind was obviously elsewhere.
It is nice to know that I can still run mountains. I’ll need to try to run up Mount Si sometime over the next couple of months.