Other than my failed half-mile attempt a week ago, I haven’t run since Thanksgiving because of this annoying hip pain. I’ve stretched and foam-rolled, I saw my sports doctor, and I tried to take it easy. My next half-marathon is a week away, so I hoped to get out and run six-ish miles this morning so I wouldn’t feel completely unprepared. But I didn’t want to get up before dawn and drive all the way out to Rogue only to bail the first half-mile again. So I slept in, and around 9am I headed out on the Route That Wasn’t from last week.
The weather was overcast, windy, and 50-something–more or less what I can expect next weekend. I wore a loose long-sleeved shirt to give me an idea of what I might want to wear for the race. With the breeze, I was pretty comfortable.
The first 1.5 miles wound around my neighborhood. Everything felt good–no pain, decent pace, yay! After 1.5 miles, I reached the Mexican restaurant where M and B were having breakfast, so I stopped in and got a drink of water. They had just ordered tacos-to-go for me!
From there, I crossed the main road and headed toward the high school. It’s a pretty straight shot down this street, but I had to pay attention to oncoming drivers because the lane striping is weird and no one can navigate it properly. I still felt good, and I started to envision a triumphant
Facebook post finish at my driveway, stoked about conquering yet another injury and giving me a confidence boost going into next weekend’s race.
I reached the park and was semi-surprised to see a WWII-era Jeep just sitting there. I mean, M has half a dozen old military Jeeps out at his family’s ranch and I’m used to seeing them in that context, but I didn’t expect to encounter one in the park.From there I looped around the high school. I passed a coach instructing five or six athletes on the pole vault, and I discovered that the fire station seems to have been turned into a boot camp gym.
Around the back side of the school, I had to stay on the sidewalk because the street is narrow, many cars pack along the curb, and there’s not a lot of room. But the sidewalks aren’t much better. Tree roots and neglect have pushed up chunks of concrete in some places; in others, the concrete has all but disappeared, leaving only dirt and small, loose rocks.
And then there was the mud. It rained on and off all week, and apparently someone had driven into an empty lot and spun around doing donuts.
The grass was torn up and mud was all over the sidewalk and the street. I stopped to stretch my hip flexors, then continued on, dodging the mud as best I could. But by now I knew my hopes for a pleasant, comfortable 10K run had been dashed. My sports doc had given me strict orders to stop if it hurt, and while it wasn’t a sharp pain, I felt a lot of soreness and knew I needed to dial things back a bit.
Unfortunately, I still had about three miles to go.
I ran-walked the rest of the way back to my house. No triumphant finish, no injury-conquering. And certainly no confidence boost. Honestly, I’m pretty concerned about completing a half-marathon next weekend, let alone clocking some kind of respectable time.
After got home, I ate my tacos, foam-rolled, and took some ibuprofen. Here’s hoping the coming week will bring some magic and things will fall into place for the race.