This hasn’t been my best training cycle, but it hasn’t been my worst, either. I got in a decent number of long runs, and some tempo work but my mileage was never consistently very high. In the two weeks before the Hartford Half Marathon, a niggling ache in my right ankle, and work commitments, kept me from getting in many miles at all. Still, I felt pretty good at the start of the race this Saturday. The weather was good, my ankle seemed fine, and I felt like I could give my PR time a run for its money.
Through mile seven, everything was going great. I was on pace to run a PR, and I felt like I had a lot left in the tank. But as seven turn to eight, and eight turned to nine, that left ankle really started barking and my gait got all wonky. By mile ten, I was off PR pace. By mile eleven, not only was my left ankle killing me, but my left calf was cramping up ever 400 meters. It wasn’t pretty. I went into this race feeling pretty burnt out on the running game, and at mile 10 I seriously considered just walking it in and never running again. But I didn’t. For whatever pigheaded reasons, I hobble-jogged the rest of the way and finished in an extremely disappointing 1:52:24.
It’s a bummer. Writing this on a Tuesday morning, I really do not know where my running is going. My ankle isn’t bothering me when I walk, but I haven’t run a step since Saturday. I’ll take the ankle out for a spin tomorrow and see how it performs. How much running I am going to do in the near future is an open question. I have some big life changes coming up, and time for exercise is going to be at a premium. Nothing keeps me as fit as running, but the sport isn’t filling me with the joy like it used to with only so much time to work out, should I spend it on something I am not really enjoying.
Meanwhile, I went climbing last night for the first time in a month. The camaraderie of the wall, and the joy of sending problems, presented a pretty stark contrast to long miles in the dark by myself. It might be time for a change.