The groin injury is healing, and I'm back up to 40+ miles per week, though I've sort of tapered back down this week in advance of a half-marathon on Sunday. Weather forecast looks good (for February in New England, anyway), with mid-30's and partly cloudy. The course is flat. Given the groin injury, though, I don't think it's a PR opportunity (though sub 1:35 would be awesome). It's doubtful I'm in as good shape as I was in November, have a head cold (courtesy of one or more of my family members, all of whom have had the flu) and don't know if the groin can sustain that many miles of fast running. I've done a 3+-mile tempo run each of the past several weeks (on the TM) and that's been fine, but when I've tried to kick it into a higher gear at the end of my longer runs, I've had mixed success lately. The current plan is to go out at 7:30 pace for the first couple of miles, check my HR and see where that leaves me. Since I ran a very disappointing race there last year, I just want to have a solid outing, maybe place in the Top 100 and not aggravate the groin.
I've been reading Brad Hudson's book "Run Faster". Despite the unoriginal title, it is a very well-conceived, clear and innovative training guide. He focuses on a balanced approach, keeping three fitness "systems" in optimal shape: neuromuscular, endurance and specific endurance. He offers a lot of variety in terms of workouts and paces. He suggests short hill sprints as the only thing a runner needs to build strength and inoculate oneself against injuries. Best of all, though, he touts the absolute, critical importance of truly "listening to one's body" and adjusting any training schedule as needed.
On the RWOL Marathon Race Training forum, I've noticed more and more former Pfitzinger aficionado's migrating to Hudson. I will put together a 13-week plan starting after Sunday's half-marathon, hopefully peaking at around 65 miles per week, with a weekly average of around or over 50.
It was a bit harsh to return to New Englad winter, but I've run in shorts a couple of times since, so it feels like we've turned a corner. A recent thaw has exposed the road's shoulder again and much - though by no means all - of the ice is gone. It's just a matter of time before getting up before dawn does not have to be a chilling, dreadful experience, when an hour-plus morning run will let me watch the sun rise and know that - even when I return home by 6:15 - it will already have been a very good day. Not sure what more one can ask from a hobby.