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I’m feeling a bit bummed out today – not only because of the INSANE weather (seriously, I fear London might wash away from the latest series of torrential downpours), but also because I can no longer ignore the nagging pain in my right hip, and to a lesser extent, in my right knee as well. It’s only week three of my Portland marathon training – I can’t be sidelined already!

You would think I would seize any excuse to sleep in (and sometimes I do), but for the most part I’m quite stubborn when it comes to taking days off. I of course incorporate at least one (if not two) full rest days into my training schedule, in addition to cross-training and recovery runs, but if I have to skip an important run or even worse, several runs in a row, I go a bit crazy, even if I know it’s the right thing to do. Exercise makes me happy (as discussed in yesterday’s NY Times article: “Why Exercise Makes Us Feel Good“) and helps alleviate my stress levels – I’m a huge grump without it!

So when my hip started to feel a bit sore, I ignored it, assuming it was the product of a hard session and would go away with some rest and stretching. When it got worse, particularly after this past Sunday’s 12 miler, I decided to take Monday off and cross-train Tuesday, so that I could get back on schedule by Wednesday. When I still felt no improvement, I knew that doing my scheduled tempo run would not be wise, but was so running starved I did it anyway.

As I hopped on the treadmill, I knew I was being stupid, but my hip didn’t really hurt while running and I felt so strong otherwise, I couldn’t help but keep going! Of course, when I got off the treadmill, my hip was throbbing – shocker! So I’m following my own advice (as I should’ve done yesterday) and cutting myself off – no running until I feel better!

Fingers crossed it’s just cumulative soreness from a few particularly hard weeks – including my amazing but intense Lake District weekend and my workshop with Sam Murphy. I’m pretty sure it’s just a question of resting for a few days and visiting my talented sports masseuse (Clive Lacey) tomorrow so that he can work his magic and lead me on the road to a speedy recovery. I need to be in good shape for the New Forest 10 on Sunday – my first 10M race, which I plan to run as a structured training session with a friend.

It’s difficult not to be paranoid given I’ve had prolonged right hip and knee injuries in the past. However, as long as I am as disciplined with my rest as I am with my training, which I have written about before and which is CRUCIAL to preventing something like this from becoming more serious, and continue to incorporate technique drills and strength training into my routine, I think I’ll be just fine!

There are many reasons why I run, and this water bottle (which I discovered at Cafe Press, among many others) certainly covers one of them:

A bit pricey for a .6L bottle, but I might have to get it. Or the one that says, “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning run.” So true…

Thankfully, after many days of rest this week to prepare for the Fleet half tomorrow, I was able to squeeze in an easy 20 minutes along the river. It was a gorgeous day out – so perfectly sunny and crisp that when my time was up it was pretty tough to stop! I’m hoping that’s a sign that I’ll be hungering to run tomorrow, even if the idea of running 13.1 miles doesn’t exactly excite me at the moment.

I’ll tell you what I was hungering for this afternoon though – my banana walnut muffins! After a healthy dose of sunshine and a delicious lunch of grilled seabass, sauteed spinach and sweet potato carrot ginger mash (all from my local farmer’s market in Bermondsey Square), I saw some overly ripe bananas in the kitchen and couldn’t help myself. They’re packed with complex carbohydrates, so I figured they would fit perfectly into my pre-race nutrition plan! Nevermind the fact that I had four of them… 🙂

By the time I finished baking and eating muffins, it was practically dinner time! And what was on the menu? My favorite – chestnut pappardelle with sauteed shitake mushrooms, sun blushed tomatoes, white truffle oil and grated parmesan.

And now, I’m sitting here with a cup of fresh mint tea, feeling unusually relaxed the night before a big race (or am I just in a food coma??). I even forgot to make myself a pace band until just now, which is quite telling given how obsessive I normally am about these things. I don’t have a printer handy, so will have to write one out. I think I’ll go with 1:39 – still slightly ambitious, given how sluggish I’m feeling these days, but not necessarily unattainable!

I guess we’ll find out soon enough…

I’m beyond frustrated. I’ve managed to miss every cold, flu and other illness that went around in the last six months, and yet just yesterday my body conveniently decided that it was finally time to make me suffer. Not that there is ever a good time to be sick, but two days before a race certainly isn’t ideal!

Unless a miracle occurs in the next 12 hours, I will have to cancel my 10k tomorrow morning. It’s the first time that I’ve pulled out of a race, and given that it is my only training race and that I’ve already had an extremely light mileage week (8 miles!), I can’t help but feel disappointed. Not to mention, being stuck in bed for several days is torture when you’re used to an active lifestyle.

Although a small part of me is secretly celebrating for not having to do a 10k tomorrow anymore, mostly my pre-race jitters have turned into no-race jitters. In other words, I’m wondering if missing the 10k race combined with a week or two of lower mileage will negatively affect my overall training. The answer is probably not much (and who knows, the extra rest may be good for me), but for now, I’m going to try to put it out of my mind – far more important that I focus on resting and feeling better!

I can hardly remember the last time I took a REAL vacation – as in, when I went somewhere to completely unplug and relax for a decent period of time. 2010 was such a great but extremely busy and active year that my body is craving a week (or more) of R&R in ways I can’t describe. I don’t think I could actually perform well in my upcoming races without a break, to be honest. I’m looking at those rest days in my training schedule with such relief! Good thing I will soon be on a plane way down south to enjoy extremely warm and lovely weather, at a peaceful beach location!

I somehow got myself to do a hill session early this morning – slacked off slightly, but at least I got it done. Sometimes you need to compromise with yourself when you’re really just not in the mood – and so I promised myself that I would do all ten reps of my 1min hill repeats if I decreased the speed slightly and gave myself full 2min recoveries. Still didn’t enjoy it, but now it’s over and I feel like my vacation has officially begun. Well, I’m still frantically packing, but that’s all part of the fun I suppose!

Anyway, wishing you all a lovely week and will be sure to share photos and stories of my trip upon my return!

Welcome to FFR

Hi, I'm Claire! I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MS, RD, CDN) and a Road Runners Club of America certified coach. This is where I share my latest adventures in running, racing, food & travel! If you'd like to work with me, please visit my professional website, Eat for Endurance.

My PRs

Marathon (Chicago): 3:33:18
Boston Marathon: 3:36:14
Half-Marathon: 1:37:21
10M: 1:14:52
10k: 44:52

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