Summer of halves? Maybe… maybe not.

The half-marathon at the end of May went really well, all told. I had a lot of support from friends – especially P & T, who managed to combine showing up at the start, finish, and three points in between with doing a huge bicycle ride of their own (the overachievers) – and I ran exactly according to my plan (walk the uphills, jog as much of the rest as possible). I finished in 3 hours 20-odd seconds, which I’m very happy with! The only problem was that a near-faceplant at about mile two had developed into a really painful left knee by about mile 10 (probably from trying to save myself from eating dirt). Still, I enjoyed (!) the race enough that by a few minutes afterwards I was saying that I would do it again – which is a first for me and races.

I took some time off running after that, primarily to let my knee recover. Instead, I went on some bike rides, did some yoga, did some climbing, etc.

Yesterday, however, I decided to go ahead and try to do another entry into the “summer of halves”. Set out from the apartment at about 7:15 am, planning to do a predetermined 13.1-ish mile loop around Lake Union.

I did it – I finished, and in a slightly shorter amount of time than the previous one – but the experience has made me rethink whether the plan to do a half-marathon each month is a good one.

The main problem is my left knee. It started twinging by mile 2 and was full-on aching by mile 6, and the last three miles of the “run” were more like “limp-jog 25 m, walk 200 m, repeat”. Not fun at all. And I spent the rest of the day grimacing every time I had to bend the knee while applying any pressure on it. I’m better today, but going downstairs is still not awesome.

So, of course, what I should do is take more time off, rest the knee more, right? Except the less I run, the less good at running I get. I could tell that my running fitness had declined in just the three weeks since I did the previous run – more time would presumably only make it worse!

Adding to the knee considerations is the fact that my body just simply does not like running long distances. Full stop. And shows that by … being deeply unpleasant in the GI realm for many hours afterwards.

All in all, I’m just not sure that doing two more half-marathons is really a good idea. So I’m toying with other things I could do. What about a half-century? After all, a week ago yesterday I went out for a spur-of-the-moment bike ride and got back home 32 miles later. So 50 just doesn’t seem that far out of reach.

::shrug:: Anyway, I did two half-marathons in the space of three weeks, which is… an accomplishment of some kind, right?

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