It was about this time last year that I had to start running long distances. The Loveland Half Marathon (now the Autumn Smash, moved to South Lebanon, Ohio) takes place the second week of October. This past weekend, I ran seven miles and will be up to eight this weekend.
Last year, and at a similar time training for the Flying Pig Marathon, I developed runners knee from over-training. So I will need to start doing warm-up runs. Stretching ahead of time is not enough, although part of my warm-up routine has given me some relief from the tendon strain in both knees.
One would think that training for the Pig would have left me in much better shape. However, after the race, I took two weeks to recover. The five-month training period itself had its own stress and fatigue. I took a week off from running, then spent the next two weeks walking and doing the elliptical bike.
One thing I’ll be doing differently is taking up with the long-promised running group in a couple of weeks. There are two reasons for this. First, accountability. If I come in and tell a group that I plan to do something, I have to follow through. Second, it’s easier to run with people. One of the things that encourages procrastination is that I usually run alone. “Oh, I can do it tomorrow,” I tell myself. It’s too hot or too late or hey, I’m just getting caught up on the Game of Thrones books. (No longer an option. I finished A Dance With Dragons on Sunday.)
The other thing is that the group will want me to continue past the half marathon. They will also want me to train with them for the Pig in the spring. I won’t be doing the marathon. I suspect my knees will no longer tolerate the abuse, but the half marathon event is definitely on again.
There’s a hill on Gilbert Avenue that needs some payback from last year.