Today was an epic one for my return to running...
I went out planning a long run. I decided to do a route that is a circle - the Lamed Hei road - being from RBS out to the 10 - 375 to Tzomet HaElah - 38 to Tzeelim and back up Tzeelim to RBS. This is a route of about 18km. The distance is one aspect of it being epic for me right now, but the commitment is another aspect.
When you run an out and back, even if you add little side detour runs to add distance, you are not really committing, mentally - you figure you can always turn back - if you aren't feeling well, if the run isn't going well, whatever. When you run a circuitous route, at a certain point there is no turning back. Sure, until you get to the point of no return you can change your mind and turn around early, but mentally by choosing to run a circuitous route you have committed and you just go do it.
Just a couple of km into the run I came across the BS running club members out for their 22km run - they were taking a water break. That was nice - I have not seen them in a while nor run with them, and now I did, even if just for a few moments. Then I cut up to another couple of friends who were out for a 12km run, and I ran with them for about 1.5km. Then I was back to running on my own, with the running club out in the distance.
I hit the 10km mark just under the hour mark, which is another point that was epic for me, though the first 10km of this route is mostly a slight downhill. I knew the last 8km would be much more difficult, with both the Zechariya hill and the Tzeelim hill - both 2 and 3km hill climbs that are pretty steep.
At about 10km I finished the water I had been carrying, and then just chugged on. It was a great run. I felt strong until nearly the end. At the end I added a small amount and finished at 18.5km. My average speed was only slightly slower than Tuesday's 15km run, but this was a much hillier route.
So, overall a great run on a beautiful morning.