It is a pretty safe assumption that if I am not posting here, I am not running. Post-Ragnar I started to experience significant pain in my left hip. It was painful to walk, so running just seemed like a bad idea. Normally, I'd just run on it, but I'm trying to be more responsible. Sort of. Because of my current work/school situation, I am unable to afford the cost of an evaluation at my doctor. That being said, I've been playing doctor myself and trying to assess and treat it accordingly.

The no-running plan didn't seem to be helping at all and the MCM 10k was approaching very quickly. I hate losing money on registration fees, not to mention kicking myself for being unable to partake of the race experience. Giving up my bib to someone else was just not an option. I've already had to shelve the marathon this year because of injury, I'm not about to miss more. So...I decided to run on it. And surprisingly, it hurts less then when I walk or sit. I'll call that a win. I've been getting out a couple of times a week for 2-3 miles at a time.

It hasn't been pretty, as my fitness level is almost back to square one. But I'm trying. Twice a week I run to work, since it is exactly 3 miles from the apartment and a very safe route. I get in another run around the neighborhood, and that is my week. I'm not pushing the distance and just focusing on being comfortable on my feet. As long as the pain doesn't get worse, I'm going to keep on doing what I'm doing.

In fact, to keep myself motivated and reward D for his hard work, we signed up for a small (read: 80 people) 5k in Alexandria last weekend. It was D's first race and he was pretty excited.  I just hoped I could hang in there and make it a good experience for him.  He put me in charge of setting the pace and I had doubts that I could handle it. I wasn't feeling strong at all but it wasn't about my race experience this time. At the gun we headed out and I tried to settle into a pace that I hoped was sub-10.

When we got to the first mile marker, I was on track. We were in the 9 range. I tried to maintain that pace for the second mile and it seemed to be working. Once we passed that marker I decided to see if I could push it at all. It felt harder but I honestly wasn't sure if I was running faster or if I was just getting tired. My watch said we'd probably make it in under 30 minutes, which was my hope. I know that isn't a particularly grand accomplishment, but it meant something to us.

As we round the corner of the course that led onto a high school track, we had 300 meters to go and it was time to see what we had left. D told me earlier in the race not to push it at the end because I was experiencing some pain but I didn't want my discomfort to effect his race so I pushed. We crossed the line in 28:35, 4 minutes off my PR but a victory for both of us. The overall pace was 9:13, and I'm pleased with that. Most of my runs this month have hovered between 10 and 11, aka slug pace.

Due to the size of the event I was able to get 5th in my age group. I won't tell you how many were in that age group, (more than 5) but I was pleased. The age group winner ran close to my PR time, so if I'd been in better condition I could have challenged her. There will always be another race, so I'm not going to sweat it. In fact, I have two more races in the next 2 weeks and 2 more in the month after. Nothing longer than a 10k and enough to keep me on my feet into December.

I am going to run the MCM 10k on Sunday morning. I'm going to cross that finish line and I don't particularly care how I get there, (run, walk, crawl). I know my time is probably going to be a PW, but I did set a 10k PR already this year so I can't be greedy. I'm in very different shape, so I need to adjust my race plan accordingly. I've been reminded by a trusted running friend that I just need to have fun and enjoy the experience. I generally have a hard time doing that, but I'll give it a shot.

I won't be able to run with my usual training partner because of our difference in ability right now, but we're heading in together and we'll meet at the end. I also have the pleasure of meeting up with K at the start, whom I haven't seen in several months. I'm ignoring the weather forecast for the moment. Aside from impacting my wardrobe choices, it isn't going to change anything for me. I'm still racing. I'm not a fair weather runner. Hurricane, schmurricane.

For those of you that are curious, post-MCM racing will be the Richmond 8k (boo), the Arlington Turkey Trot 5k, and the YCF Jingle Bell Jog 5k. That puts me into December and I'm hesitant to plan beyond that. I like doing the Fairfax Four Miler on NYE, but I need to wait and see.

So...that's where I've been and what I've been up to. Before you just to scold me re: the hip, I'll tell you that because of someone's generosity, I will be having an assessment at the chiropractor on Monday morning. I won't be able to pursue an in-office course of treatment at this time, but I will get some answers and some advice. A 10k race report and the results of that visit will be my next post, so fear not. I know you missed me. All 2 of you still reading.