After a long race, you’re supposed to go through a period of rest. The guideline I was able to find recommended that you rest about one day per mile you raced on the big day. That means that I’m supposed to take it easy at least until March 29th. It’s giving me a chance to rest up and heal. My right knee is healing nicely. It was sore after the reace but it doesn’t bother me much now. My left hip flexor is still bugging me, though. I can’t feel justified in complaining about it, because I haven’t put in the minor effort of stretching properly or regularly.
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to plan my next steps. I’m moving in June, which is a huge stressor for me (there’s something about boxing up my stuff and moving that makes me very anxious). Preparing for the move is going to take up a good bit of my time soon – culling my belongings, cleaning, planning, job hunting, etc – so I’m hesitant to commit myself to another time-consuming round of training. Still, it’s going to be important that I keep up with my running. The exercise really helps me manage stress for one thing – for another, if I slow up too much I’ll never make either of my running goals for 2008.
There is another half marathon being held on April 20th that would be very accessible. It’s being held about 30-40 minutes from my current home. So… I could go do that race and take another crack at that 2:20 half marathon time. The pros – I’d have another shot at making my half marathon time goal; I’d have to keep up with my long distance training; the race is easy to get to. The cons – the long-distance training IS time-consuming, and I’d rather not put too big a strain on my time before a big move; the time-drain could also wind up causing more stress than the runs mitigate; I’d have to do another two week recuperation period during which I will likely be sore and cranky (cranky because I’m not getting my usual dose of endorphins from running).
Or I could sign up for a local 5K or 8K instead (for motivation and for the t-shirt!)… or volunteer to help out for the half marathon so that I can be motivated to run like the people I’m watching (yes, that sounds kinda lame, but I *do* finding it inspiring to watch people run these races)… or both.
I’ve also paid some lip service to the idea of starting back up with yoga again. I was pretty into it for a while – I even started up with some coursework to certify as an instructor. I had a falling out with the gym that was encouraging me to get certified and then an old injury to my wrist worsened to the point that I couldn’t do most of my favorite poses, so my practice dried up. Both are poor excuses, especially considering how incredible I’d feel after a good session of yoga practice.
It’ll take some concerted effort to get back into practice. My current residence doesn’t have a good place to practice inside. I can practice on the porch if I make the effort to clear away the porch furniture and if I can stop worrying that people can see me…and if it isn’t freakin’ freezing outside. Until it warms up, I’ll have to count on finding space at the rec center to practice.
I guess, ideally, in the next couple months I should probably try focus on getting back into yoga. I’ll still run, but I’ll do more frequent runs under five miles instead of a bunch of shorter runs and an obscenely long run every week. The yoga I like to practice *does* have some strength training elements in it, but I never got the same sort of results (ie, got noticeably stronger) so I should keep doing the strength training Matt suggested for me, too.
So, I start working out again officially next week. I’ll tinker with possible schedules this week and try some out starting next week.
At this point, I doubt I’ll do another half marathon before the move. BUT – I’m not giving up on my running goals! I’ll keep updating my mileage on the New Year’s Resolution page on this website, and as soon as I pick out the next half marathon, I’ll start updating on how training for that is going. Until I start half marathon training again, I think that I’ll shift my reporting on distance running training to reporting on how I’m doing starting back up my yoga practice. Hopefully, that’ll be at least a little interesting…