It has been a while since I actually wrote something about running. I've been focusing more on the "and life" side of things. The main reason is there hasn't been anything remarkable about my running lately.
After three weeks in the States, where I only ran three times and did the elliptical trainer twice, I put on some weight. Much as I would have liked to, I couldn't blame it on drying my pants in the dryer instead of on a clothesline or female hormonal cycles. When I went back to work a couple of weeks ago, my work uniform was tight. Since the uniform company does the laundering, I couldn't be in denial any longer. Nope, it was from eating too much good (and not so good for you) food and a decreased activity level.
My running was already at a fairly low level due to hamstring problems that I've had for the past year. After my half-marathon last October, I should have taken some time off to rest it. But I didn't. I trained through it for my half-marathon last June, then decided to really take it easy. I had a 10K race in mind in Wolfratshausen (about halfway between Garmisch and Munich) in October, but realized after coming back from the States that it wasn't realistic to do it. Now I'm taking things easier and really enjoying my runs instead of viewing them as training for my next race.
The one good thing about my long break is that it allowed my hamstring problems to improve. While the muscles haven't healed 100%, they are much better than they were before my trip. It used to be that I would feel soreness in the butt crease on my right side that would radiate down my hamstring. I would run through it because I was so used to it. Now I just feel a slight soreness in the butt crease that gets better each time I run. There is no more soreness radiating down my leg. I've been keeping my runs in the 5-6 km range, though I'm starting to increase my longer runs to about 7 or 8 km.
I can tell that I'm losing the weight that I gained in the States. My clothing isn't so tight anymore. I'm also getting my speed back. When I first came back, I was very slow and sluggish. Part of that was because of warm weather, but it was also due to carrying a couple of extra kilograms. With the cooler weather and losing my "States weight," I'm feeling faster again. I still wouldn't call myself a speed demon by any stretch of the imagination. But I'm quickly getting back to where I was.
There are several choices of races to do next year. If I'm feeling 100% healthy with no muscle issues, I may try for the Munich Marathon in October 2012. If I don't do the marathon, I can do my usual City Run half-marathon in June, the half-marathon that accompanies the marathon in October, the Wolfratshausen 10K, or the Eibsee Run in October. I could also do a combination of any of those races. I'll see how I'm doing after ski season.