Running is the ultimate teacher.
If you want to do your best, then you have to learn from your friends, the help of other runners and your past mistakes.
I have run several hard races in the past. After my first half marathon, I started having some hip problems. After my marathon, I was out 3 months, off and on, with hip and foot issues. I also got injured after running a 5K earlier this year.
Honestly, I don’t think it was the races that hurt me. Looking back, I realize that I’ve pushed too hard AFTER the races to get back to training. A few weeks after my marathon, I not only ran 10 days in a row, but also did a hard trail run a few weeks later. That was the icing on the cake, that is my hip. It was almost 6 months before I got back to a 100 mile month.
My last half marathon was last Saturday. It was awesome. I ran well and on a tough course. I will look back and be excited for months about that race.
Tuesday, I decided to run my first run after the race. It went well. I ran 4 miles at an 8:21 pace. Tuesday night I was in a lot of pain. My shoulder hurt and my hip was killing me. Wednesday I concentrated on my shoulder as I was concerned that I pinched a nerve running. That wasn’t the issue, it was just the way I slept. I did however, ignore my hip pain. It was in such pain I had to take medication to sleep.
Wednesday was the 30th of April and I was at 118 miles for the month. I decided to run an easy 2 miles and walk the rest. I didn’t. I ran a fast two miles at my half marathon pace, but I did walk after that.
Yesterday I walked. No running.
My hip is better. No real pain. Just a little pain while I drive which isn’t abnormal. In fact I could have run yesterday. I could run today. I could run tomorrow. I won’t.
I am going to learn from my mistakes in the past and come back slowly. I have plenty of time until my next race. I have a lot of mountains to run. In fact my mountain running has been the one thing to help my hip more then anything else. After several weeks of running my mountain on the weekend, I really had no pain left. I think that strengthening my quads and all the muscles in my legs has taken the pressure off my hip.
So next Sunday will be my first run since my 2 miles on Wednesday. I’ll run my mountain slowly and enjoy the run and take it easy. I’ll play it by feel over the next few weeks as to how much I run.
I need to learn from my past. Learn from friends. Learn from other runners. Learn from my mistakes.
If I don’t learn, I’ll never make my goal of qualifying for Boston. I’ll run hurt, slow and probably have to stop. I’d rather learn now and take it easy, then live with the pain of being stupid.