We’ve been going to Lake Placid in August for the past six years. I still get a kick out of the snow pile in front of the Olympic Center. It was huge this year, I think because it was unseasonably chilly this weekend. I felt bad for some of the swimmers, a few of whom had to get treated for hypothermia.
I’ve been doing the majority of my runs this training cycle on the treadmill as I’ve been trying to allow my hip to heal. Every time I’ve run on the road, I’ve experienced at least some sort of setback with the injury. Nowhere near like when I first got hurt, but noticeable nonetheless.
I feel guilty about all the treadmill runs. It’s really not the same as road running. I’ve thought about trying the trails as an alternative, by I’ve yet to get out there and do it. I think I’m becoming complacent with treadmill runs.
Yesterday I set out to do my first long training run on the roads. I was to do 16 miles around Mirror Lake. It’s a slightly rolling hill course, and the weather was in the upper 50s and overcast. Couldn’t ask for nicer.
I ran a similar route last summer when I was training for a September half marathon, and that long run was 14 miles and the final long run of that training cycle. It went fine although it felt pretty hard most of the way and averaged a 9:38 or so pace.
This year it didn’t feel nearly as hard, but I mentally was not into it. Right from the get-go I was bargaining with myself about how I was going to get around all six times. I took a quick walk breaks after completing two loops. Then another after one more loop, at which point I decided I would finish the run on the treadmill after one more lake loop. I was making deals with myself the whole way. I did manage to convince myself, if only briefly, that was enjoying the weather and the views and noting how much more comfortable I felt on the same route over last year. When I was able to flip that mental switch, things felt considerably better and the distance flew. If only I could’ve held that state of mind for more than five minutes at a time.
I ended up doing 10.5 miles outside and the remaining 5.5 inside. My overall pace was a 9:08. Nothing hurt when I ran, but I was so over the whole long run before it even started.
After, my hip didn’t feel great, although today, two days later, it’s just a little stiff. It’s still concerning. The problem has been going on more than 2 months. Although the treadmill has staved off it getting worse, I can’t train for a road race 100% on the treadmill. Or I could, but it doesn’t seem wise or optimal. Let’s face it, nothing about this training cycle has been optimal. I was just starting to feel optimistic about my hip injury, and then this run took me down a notch or three.
We head off to England next week where I will be doing most of my runs on the road. Depending on how my vacation runs go, I may find someone (NOT a running shoe store) to do a professional gait analysis when I get home. I don’t know what it will mean for my October marathon.
This week will be busy with getting ready to go away and cleaning up the house enough to not be embarrassed for the housesitter to see it. As it stands, I’ve got piles from the Lake Placid trip to sort through, piles of laundry and piles started of things to pack. I hate packing. Good thing I like travel.