Into the Wild half marathon-ish. At the sound of my 5:25 alarm I immediately regretted my last few weeks of running. On one hand my mind was telling me I wasn't ready for this and on the other I was being convinced that I needed to relax and enjoy the ride. Going with the latter we cruised out to Irvine Regional Park in almost no traffic - I guess Irvinites are all in church at 6:30 because you seldom cruise through any traffic in that part of California. Pulled up my Zoots, tightened up the Speed Cross and there I was at the start line of a course and field of which I was completely ignorant. Within minutes of GO! I was in 5th place. I could see the leader and wondered if I belonged there. The pace felt right and did so for at least four miles at which point I moved into third position. I felt good on the hills but definitely fought them. The dry air seemed to get me when my lungs got demanding. The trail consistently climbed up and then went all the way back down. Not like Knee Knacker up and down but like a loop up and down. After a long climb we'd unknowingly go all the way back to the bottom and then turn up another climb to do it all again. The terrain was beautiful though and I never would have run those trails without this race. Northern slopes were green and covered while southern exposure made for dry, sandy conditions. The last mile was flat, asphalt and was the toughest mile - and I think where the "-ish" comes in. The course was billed as "Half marathon-ish" and various GPS's determined it to be 13.75 miles. I'm thinking that last mile was closer to two because I was in a world of hurt before my 5th place finish in 1:47.
So, since finishing Into the Wild at 9:17am on Saturday I haven't run a speck and I plan to keep it that way until next Monday, April 2nd. I'd rather take voluntary rest when my body asks for it over medically ordered rest. Excited to get back out there, but loving the time out.