It is now exactly 4 weeks since I last ran any distance or cycled over 2Kms. As mentioned in my previous post I decided to take a few weeks of complete rest from cardio exercises ie running or cycling before resuming training for my next marathon. This was primarily to enable the stress in my left glutes and left calf to heal. Also a rest period helps heal mirco muscle tears that are caused by intense long distance running.This is the longest break I have taken from running - voluntary or involuntary- since January 2004.
After completing my first marathon in Janaury 2003 I was forced to take several months off from running due to a knee injury. However, this time it is a voluntary lay off. And it has not been easy. Not only have I been missing exercising but also the energy levels have been low and stress levels high. This is not surprising. A run in the morning not only makes one feel good about oneself but also improves the energy level for the rest of the day. The stress levels have also been very high in part due to increased professional workload but largely due to lack of exercise. Another dimension has been to avoid putting on much weight. My two main motivations to take to distance running were so that I could eat and drink without feeling guilty and to manage stress. So far I have been fortunate enough to keep my weight around 61Kgs over the last 4 weeks without controlling my diet too much. It is not that I have not been exercising at all. I have been doing some stretching and glutes strengthening exercises 3-4 days a week and strengthening sessions at the Manipal Hospital department of sports and exercise medicine 2 days a week. I also walked 5Kms in Cubbon Park at the Countours Womens Day Run on 3rd March - will give more details of that in the next post.
I am looking forward to resuming my training in a couple of weeks from April 1st. Hope to build some base mileage and pace in April and May and then embark on a 16 weeks marathon training using the FIRST training program with the goal of running my next marathon in late September or October . I evaluated 4 fall marathons in the east coast of US : Wineglass marathon on September 30th , Steamtown marathon on October 7th, Mohawk Hudson River marathon on October 7th and Baystate marathon on October 21st. All of these races , specially the last 3, are ranked high by Marathon Guide for the large percentage of runners that qualify for Boston from these races. The Mohawk Hudson River marathon and Baystate marathon are also in the Runners World list of 10 fastest marathons for 2012. Taking into account multiple factors: type of course, weather history and distance from Southbury Connecticut I have more or less decided to register for the Mohawk Hudosn River marathon and will be doing so within the next few days.