Just like in life, running has its ups and downs. I've run five times since the NYC Marathon and each of them left me feeling completely different. My first two runs weren't great but I didn't have any knee pain. I think the not-so-great feeling was more because of running a marathon and then taking two weeks off of running. My third run was so great with absolutely no pain. After finishing this run I was sure my plans for spring races were going to work out and everything would be wonderful.
Then I was stupid and ran a 5K harder than I should of. While I did not go all out, I still ran harder than my injured body was ready for. I woke up on Friday and various muscles in both my legs were sore. Muscles that have never been sore before. I rarely get sore from running period so I knew when I woke up that I'd made a huge mistake the day before. I took Friday off and tried running again on Saturday. While my knee didn't hurt, it was a little stiff and just felt off.
So now I feel confused and lost again. I like being in control of things and knowing what's coming in the future. I don't want to sign up for any races until I know that my leg is ready for it and can handle the training. I don't want to just complete anything. I either want to be racing or not there at all. In the spirit of being completely honest and not hiding behind my fear that I won't be recovered in time to do want I want to in the spring, I figured I'd let you know where I stand with things and what my tentative plans are.
Option #1: The Philly Love Run on March 30. This is a half marathon that everybody and their mom is doing. My mom included. I would really like to put in some solid training and try to PR. In order to give myself enough time to actually put in that solid training I'm giving myself until the end of the year to recover and get my leg strong. I'm going to continue physical therapy and try easing up more on my running in hopes that by the start of 2014 I will be ready to get back to work. I don't want to rush things and risk re-injuring myself so if things aren't back to normal by the end of the year I have a plan b.
Option #2: Nothing. If by the start of 2014 my leg is not completely healed yet or is not ready for hard workouts than I will not be running a spring half marathon. I might do some shorter races here and there but nothing serious. I will take the first few months of the year to get back to 100% and start triathlon training a little early. Having a really strong triathlon season is my main priority for 2014 and jumping back into hard training before my leg is ready is not worth it.
I don't have any triathlons planned yet but I'm looking at doing one in May regardless of whether I run a spring half or not. If I run the half then the triathlon will be more to see where I'm at and measure progress at the end of the season. If I don't run a spring half then I will be making the triathlon more of a goal race.
To be completely honest I'm really torn whether I want to run a half in the spring or not. I do want to chase a new PR but I find the training for only running to be more stressful. If my knee flares up and I have to take time off the chances of setting a PR might go down the tubes. On the other hand, if my knee flares up and I'm focusing on a triathlon then I can just give more attention to my swimming and biking. Also, I like that not running a spring half means I have more time to get back to 100%.
Any suggestions? I keep going back and forth on what I want to do, regardless of my leg.
What races are on your calendar for the spring?