Sometimes you don't want to take the easy way. My watch had beeped to mark my turnaround point at a fork in the road. Rather than double back on the Buckeye Trail, I chose the less traveled section of the Valley Bridle Trail to return to old Akron-Peninsula Road. What had taken 10 minutes on the former route took five minutes on the latter.
With the prospect of bombing down Initiation Hill back to my car and ending my run early, I instead chose to jump back on the Buckeye Trail toward the Pine Lane trail head, thinking that two long descents would help me end my run closer to my goal time of 35 minutes.
Despite flying down the downhills, my second alarm went off 10 minutes before I was actually done. The resulting soreness today indicates a run that was both too long and too fast for what I've been used to doing.
The good news is that my trail pace continued its downward trend, from about 15 minutes per mile a month ago to about 12:50 per mile these past two runs. At about 3.5 miles, this was also my longest run of the year.
Regardless of this aberration, my timed runs have more or less kept the curse of "Too Much, Too Soon" in check. The soreness in my legs today should neither last long nor prevent my next run.
And so it goes.
My loose running plan consists of just a couple runs per week. Eventually, that'll ramp up as I consider any racing plans. This will be a crazy year. Mrs. Viper is pregnant, and considering any major races at this point seems premature. Maybe I should have led with that news.