I was hoping my Week 4 Portland marathon update would include some more positive news on the progress I’ve made, but unfortunately, I’m still not feeling 100 percent.

It’s such a pain in the you know what!!

(My right hip, mostly.)

But I’m a huge pain too. I can be so stubborn and impatient sometimes (okay, more than sometimes…).

It’s not like I didn’t try to get better – I rested last Thursday, Friday and Saturday, got a sports massage, used ibuprofen gel three times a day on the sore spots and also iced these areas regularly…and then I had a great 10M training race on Sunday! I of course knew better, but somehow got it into my head that if I rested for three days, everything would be fine. Call me optimistic! 🙂

Come Monday morning, I did feel slightly better, but I should have avoided running until the pain went away completely. Instead, I convinced myself that I was recovered enough to get back on this week’s schedule: Monday easy run, Tuesday spin class, Wednesday threshold intervals, Thursday yoga…nothing terribly hard, clearly, but certainly not conducive to making a nagging pain go away!

It was Wednesday’s intervals (3 x 7min @ tempo pace/7:24) that confirmed the fact that I was deluding myself. Going into it I felt a bit tight in places but otherwise fine. I paid particularly close attention to my technique, hoping that this would ease some of the pressure off my hip. It did help, but as the run progressed, my body gradually started to feel more and more out of sync. Afterwards, the pain was, as you can guess, worse.

In other words, I did the EXACT same thing I did last Wednesday – I hopped on the treadmill knowing I should be on the elliptical or resting instead, and finally acknowledged this fact after finishing my run feeling somewhat broken. Amazing.

I’m eager to get to the meatier part of my training schedule, which should be right around now. But I have to keep reminding myself, as I did earlier in the year in this post, that rest is part of training. And it doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing – I can still do low-impact cardio, yoga, and upper body weights, assuming that doesn’t aggravate things.

Or, as I did last night, I can throw myself into my cooking! It surely won’t help my running fitness, but I’ve discovered that cooking (particularly when trying new things) has both a calming and uplifting effect on me, much like an easy run does. It was a nice reminder that there are so many things I enjoy doing beyond running! Having to take a short break isn’t the end of the world. And it results in delicious things like this roasted red pepper sauce. And this delicious oatmeal with cherries (okay, not quite cooking, but still super tasty and a nice change from my usual banana version). YUM.

Speaking of cherries, it’s cherry season! I not only love cherries, but the antioxidants in this fruit apparently help reduce muscle soreness – and I’m big on that right now, clearly – so I’ll be trying out some more cherry recipes in the coming weeks. Stay tuned…

So, what’s the plan for the rest of week 4? Even though I’ve only logged 11.5M so far this week, my voice of reason is telling me to stop there. I have my usual rest day scheduled for tomorrow, and I’ll scrap Saturday’s hill intervals and most likely Sunday’s long run (13M) too. Maybe I’ll do some light cross training – I’ll have to play it by ear. Because I think I’ve learned my lesson – I MUST listen to my body. I say that all the time, but I don’t always do it. My hip just needs time to heal, and I can’t rush the process.

In the meantime, I’ve printed out a massive stack of NY Times Recipes for Health that I’ve been meaning to try…time to get busy in the kitchen!!