I recently became the proud owner of a brand new mountain bike, thanks to the fantastically generous (and flat!) Dunellen 5k Race for Education. I’m really excited to incorporate biking into my weekly routine and start some real cross-training. (Wait, you mean running in Vibrams doesn’t count?!)
Problem is, I haven’t owned a bike since my days of tying a rope to the back of a Huffy and whipping my brother around the cul-de-sac on rollerblades. Or maybe I was the one on rollerblades.
Anyway, I’m relatively new to biking (side question: should I be saying “cycling?” That sounds so intense), but it’s already become an invaluable part of my routine, unfortunately due to some nasty hip pain that’s had me on the DL since I ran my train wreck of a PR at the Liberty Half Marathon.
This ongoing pain in my right hip has forced me to reevaluate my goal for the Runner’s World Half Marathon. Instead of going for a PR, I’m going to enjoy the experience with my dad, while we reminisce about all the fun things we’ll have talked about with our new BFF Shalane Flanagan at the expo. (“Remember when I asked her if she’d want to train together for Boston, and she moved on to the next person in line?”)
I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to bust out a fast half on what sounds like a really fun course, but recognizing that I shouldn’t is pretty major for me. Let’s just say that I’m not particularly skilled at being injured. (I can hear my mom laughing at that understatement.)
My injury routine normally consists of the following steps:
Step 1: Notice pain
Step 2: Keep running
Step 3: Notice pain worsen
Step 4: Run several races
Step 5: Cry
Step 6: Get cortisone shot
Cue the obligatory physical therapy, more tears, and excessive time off. It’s usually because I blew out an irritated (insert body part here) when I pushed through training to run the oh-so-important (insert name of now-forgotten race here). But not this day!
It’s taken me a little while to break the “wait for the off-season” mindset I developed in school, but I’ve finally realized that there is no off-season. If I want to grow old gracefully (like Ed Whitlock) then I need to back up and take a look at the big picture. Biking and foam rolling as the remaining evenings of sun disappear kills me a little bit inside, but let’s weigh my immediate goals: Runner’s World Half, or enjoying some pain-free fall runs before winter hits? Runner’s World Half, or Boston Marathon 2013?