What I want to do next Sunday: Run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
What I will do instead: Not run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
What I’m doing is otherwise known as the Smart Option, but it’s definitely not the one I wanted to choose. After I completed my first 5K in December — and screwed around for about a month instead of running regularly — I knew I needed a reason to train. And by January, I knew that reason would be the half.
I was making great progress, and having a blast on a months’ worth of Saturday long runs with friends in North Park. But somewhere along the way, I pulled a muscle in my groin — and I didn’t really do anything about it. I went ahead and ran 8.5 miles a few Saturdays ago, and even though I complained about my nipples more, the groin hurt like a bitch afterwards; I also went ahead with a 10K in Florida, and my groin was not pleased with that either.
I’ve tried a few times since, hoping that some rest as I ticked off the days until the half would help.
It didn’t. The pain flared a few steps in each time, enough that it was a struggle to finish a mile. I even stopped recording the attempts on Daily Mile, because I didn’t want to turn my timeline into an endless stream of grumping, especially when most of my friends there will be running on Sunday.
I’ve thought about trying anyway, walking and jogging and somehow struggling through 13.1 miles. I could probably make it, but I’m not sure where that would leave me for the rest of the summer. There are other races, and other half marathons out there, and I don’t want to chance missing out on those because I’m nursing a six-month-old groin pull.
So I’m going with the Smart Option, a name I chose in hopes of making myself feel better about not running on Sunday. I’m going to sit out for a while, maybe with an eye on walking with the March of Dimes thing in late May before I start jogging again. If that goes well, I will ease back in. I think using a Couch to 10K app would be a good way to make sure I’m ready for the Great Race in September and whatever else comes along.
I am not happy about this. I’ve come to really enjoy running, and for me, its benefits are too numerous to list. I’m not going to stop, and I will run a half before 2012 is over. But this is discouraging. Depressing. Frustrating. I so wanted to do this, and do it now, this May, and here, in my the city that is solidly my home.
But I will do it, maybe on the Montour Trail, maybe in Columbus. That’s still the goal, and I will reach it this year.
If you’re running on Sunday, I hope you have a great morning on the streets of our city. I might wander over to the start, to get a feel for everything and to see as many of you as I can before you begin.
I’ll see you other places in a few weeks too. North Park. North Shore Trail. In Brighton Heights or Bellevue. I promise.
You’re doing the hardest, and best thing possible at this point. It’s incredibly hard to do the right thing, and not just ignore the pain and push through to something worse. I know it sucks bad today, but it’s better to walk and run several in the future, than muddle through now and be done for good. I’ll look for you in the morning Sunday.