Staying in Shape to Get in Shape

I'm not going to lie, this year hasn't been the best for my running. After getting off to a nice start in January, I've been dealing with a nagging hip flexor/quad issue, which while gradually getting better, seems to get a bit worse again for a day or two after any kind of stress workout. Very frustrating. Since Bella and I will be on vacation for 2 weeks in mid- to late-May (Boston and Ireland), I think my best approach now is to stay in decent enough shape this Spring and then ramp it up with no distractions when I get back home. It will be my Summer of Ben so to speak. I really, really want to run a great cross country race at club nationals in December and I also want to run really good 5K, 8K and 10Ks before that. I'm definitely doing the Meteor 10K in Michigan on April 2, but after that I'm guessing that I won't race again until June.  As always, subject to change.


Change of Plans

The combination of a huge snow storm and feeling less than 100% has convinced me to scrap the Beer Bottle Open race in Columbus Grove tomorrow. I had always wanted to do this race as it's part of the Ohio Grand Prix Series and because there are so few 4 mile races around these days, but Columbus Grove is a 2.5 hour drive and with this weather and not being totally fit, better to play it safe. My right hip and quad is pretty much pain free this week. I tested it out by doing my first hard workout in a while on Tuesday and that went ok. I've been doing a lot of stretches and leg lifts, which seem to be strengthening the hip. I used to totally ignore supplemental work like that, but not any more. Current plan is to run the Meteor 10K in Michigan on April 2 (3 weeks away) and hopefully I'll be able to get in a few quality interval workouts and some longer runs before then.


Aches and Pains

February has been a rather non eventful running month. I've done some decent workouts, but a nagging hip/quad issue has forced me to take some days off too. I've had this before at the same time of the year so I think it has something to do with straining muscles from running on snow and ice. I feel mostly out of the woods - I felt very good on a tempo workout yesterday - but yesterday at work I was pretty sore post-workout. This morning I feel perfectly fine but I'm going to take a day or two off again as I really want this to be 100% when I race on March 12. The plan now is to rest and run easy and then try a very light stress workout 3 days before the race. Gotta take the ups with the downs in this sport.

Outside of running I have three CD reviews forthcoming on the Skyscraper website and a few things that I'll be submitting to the next issue of the Big Takeover. I especially recommend the debut CD by San Francisco's Weekend and the new Radio Dept. singles compilation.


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