I hadn’t even arrived in Philadelphia for the Philly Half last month before I started formulating a plan B. With a less than favorable weather forecast and a calf injury that had sidelined me for most of the week, I was preparing for the possibility that the race might not accurately reflect my training and more importantly make me happy. On that train ride from New York, I shot an email to a contact at Runners World to ask about the Runners World Half Marathon festival in late October. I had wanted to run this race since its inception three years ago and its proximity and affordability made it the best choice.
I ended up in fourth place after being passed in the final mile by a runner I should have been able to hang with. Still, I was more content with the race than I was disappointed. Sure, the time was not a personal best and I missed the podium, but I went for it early on a very tough course and unfortunately couldn’t hold on as long as I’d hoped. The effort and the experience were far better than Philly and that was the primary goal.
|Less running, more football on the couch with the loves of my life. That's a damn good way to spend a down week.|
That tailbone pain made up for any hamstring pain that had dissipated on Saturday and I gritted out a slow 45 minutes. At this point, I probably should have cut my losses and bagged plans to run the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff 5 Miler the next morning. But I didn't. I had another opportunity to pull the plug when I woke up Sunday feeling like someone had hit the back of my legs with a crowbar. I should have crawled back into bed. But I didn't. I won't recap how the race went, but the synopsis is: Not well. When you can't walk comfortably, running 5:20s is not an option. I suffered through the first two miles then cut my losses and survived the final three.
And I haven't run since. I may not be able to take a hint, but I can take three hints. This week has been a great week for a break. Ironically, the week leading up to the New York City Marathon is not at all conducive to any quality running for me. Rather than run a bunch of junk miles on no sleep, I'm running no miles and trying to be as well rested as I can during a fairly intense stretch of time. Today is the first day I've really felt ready to run again. I'm usually itching to get out the door after one day so that's a pretty affirming sign that the mini-break was needed. Sunday, I'll get in some light jogging while watching the biggest marathon in the world run through my city. Monday, the training starts for Cross Country Nationals.