This may not be the end of the world, but it doesn't sound like the most ideal weather for running a half-marathon on mostly dirt roads. With Janky HipTM. I've also not run since last Thursday, which is kind of freaking me out. I geared up for my long run on Sunday, but about a half-mile in, my knee was hurting with every step. Given the upcoming race, I decided to bail on the long run for the week, and just ice and ibuprofen and hope for the best. It seems to be better, but I'm afraid that I'll undo all that if I go for a run this week. I can't decide if I should do one (or two) short easy runs, or just rest completely until Sunday. Normally I'd cross-train, but cycling almost always makes my knees hurt anyway, so I'm scared to do that. And I first noticed the pain on Friday on the elliptical, so I'm afraid to do that. Swimming is it's own complicated thing (time, gear, schlepping to/from pool), and any other cross-training activity I can think of (rowing?) is pretty knee heavy. I think I might try a slow/easy 3 mile run tomorrow, and hope for the best.
My knee is only half the equation. The Janky Hip (I should trademark that) has been really cranky too, but I think that is from inactivity. Double-edged, there, isn't it? I go see the physical therapist on Friday, but I haven't been in two weeks, and I'm guessing that is also a part of the problem.
I'm thinking it might be a good idea to hold off on any more races after the Horsetooth Half next month. At least until after the Leadville Heavy Half. The training for that monster needs to begin soon, so I really don't think it's wise to tax my poor body with other races in the meantime. Plus it's expensive.
But. If I were to finish a third half marathon in the next 90 days, I could become a Half Fanatic. Who cares, right? But it would be cool. I'm not sure exactly why, but I think that unless I'm feeling overwhelmingly better in the next couple of weeks, it's probably just too much, and not worth the toll on my body.
Speaking of toll on my body, I need to seriously think about losing some weight if I want to get faster. "They" estimate that for every pound you lose, you can gain two seconds per mile in speed. While that doesn't seem like a lot, every little bit counts. Especially when your tendons and joints seem to be cranky. My eating habits lately haven't been supporting this goal, so I've got to re-evaluate what I'm doing, and why I'm doing it. I checked Run Less, Run Faster out of the library, and while it's a very structured training, I can see how it works. The basic premise is 3 runs a week, 2 cross-training sessions. The runs are track, tempo, and long runs. The cross-training sessions should be non-impact, like cycling or swimming or rowing. It looks challenging, but I generally do better with a structured plan, so I'm considering it. I've never done a track workout before (running alternately fast and slow laps on an actual track), and it sounds deadly boring, but it's supposed to do the trick for getting faster. Something about VO2 Max? Tempo runs are a faster, but sustainable run of a middle 93-6 mile) length. This one's supposed to be about your lactate threshold, I think? And the long run is, well, the long run. This bad boy is for endurance. It seems like a real serious training program. But my main goal for another marathon would be sub 5 hours, and this would get me there.
In non-running related news, April is looking to be the busiest of months. We're going to DC for a week, and once we get home our friends will be here. In that time span I've also got a half-marathon to run. They leave and then we take off for New Orleans for Easter weekend. I've got to decide if I want to enter the lottery for the Nike Women's Marathon (lottery closes on the 22nd), cross my fingers and see if managed to win the lottery for the New York City Marathon (lottery is on the 29th), and if neither pick another fall marathon. Somewhere in there we've got to do our taxes. Ruby needs to get her teeth cleaned. Oh yeah, and then there are those 40 hours a week we're busy working. I love having things to do and places to go, but man. Go go go!