So it's officially Fall and I am back out there running again, signing up for races and scoping out races for 2017.
Two weeks ago I ran the Paine to Pain Trail Half marathon in New Rochelle, NY, one of my favorite races from 2015. It was pushing it, but I didn't want to miss out on a fun local low key race some 20 minutes from my house where I knew I would run into friends and get to spend a couple hours pushing it on the trails.
Since the Vermont 100 in mid-July I have been trying to take it easy and build back slowly. I attempted to take 4 full weeks off with no running at all, but while I was at the beach with my family I couldn't resist getting in a few short runs in on the beach, so I made it 3 weeks, pretty good.
After that I enjoyed a couple of months of running easy when I felt like it, but slowly building up the mileage to potential run a half marathon in mid September. All went well, I started do hip strengthening exercises suggested by my friend/pacer and professional trainer Maria Campos to heal up from the IT band issues that reared their ugly heads at Vermont in July.
I feel like they really helped and made it possible for me to build up to running a 10 miler on the Long Path a couple weeks before my race without any pain.
During the race, I pushed it hard, well for my fitness level, running an average of 8:30 minute miles for the entire race, which means I spent the first 4 miles running sub-8 minute miles, then slowed down at bit in the middle and then picked it up again for the last three miles.
I was good for the first 3 miles, but right around mile 4 I started feeling a little tenderness on the outside of my left knee and a bit of tightness in my left hip. This continued but did not get any worse for the rest of the race and I was able to push it really hard when I hit the track for the last 300 meters of the race.
When I stopped running and my muscles started tightening up though I was not a happy camper. My knee started really hurting which really bummed me out, mainly because it let me know I was not done with this IT band issue and all the plans and dreams I was starting to conjure up about what I might do next would have to wait.
I was thinking about running the Yonkers Half Marathon in mid October and then the Black Rock 25K trail race in November, but I think I'll have to miss out on Yonkers this month and focus on getting strong and healing up for the Black Rock trail race.
I am continuing to do hip strengthening exercises and build up my mileage slowly. I will also start doing hill training, since the Black Rock race covers 10 summits and about 3000 feet of elevation in the course of 15 miles. I think both strengthening my legs for the uphills, but also for the downhills will be important.