Run Long, Far, With Friends or Solo

Question: Has anyone ever experienced a dull pain in their pointer toe? Am I broken or just overreacting? I’m not quite sure if it’s bruised or strained or what, but it’s been bugging me for over two weeks now, and I’m not sure if running is exacerbating the issue. It doesn’t necessarily hurt when I’m running – but it does every other second of the day.

Sincerely, Confused

Moving on. This was a really enjoyable week in running. It started it off with a superb Monday morning run after a weekend of nothingness, followed by a phenomenal beer-filled Valentine’s Day run under the stars.

On Wednesday, I took a break to do plyometric, core and Pilates exercises in my apartment while watching Good Morning America. Then I finished off the work week strong with an extended run through Central Park alongside a semi-new running friend (seriously, running with someone else holds you accountable for getting out of the apartment on time – I highly suggest it) and then 5 strong miles through Central Park this morning.

Despite the above photo of an incredibly bleak road, Friday was amazing, the sun constantly trying to peek through the clouds though, for the most part, it was overcast and perfect. 45 degrees meant I didn’t need my glittery 180s, so I grabbed a thick SmartWool headband instead (purple stripes), and headed out the door. Something else that was missing from my normal winter running gear: a hoodie. I ran in only a long sleeve shirt this morning, and it was really liberating, even though everyone could see my elbow crease sweat.

Because my hip started acting up as I entered at 72nd Street, I stopped to stretch. I’m still not so sure my piriformis is in the best of shape. Proof: Make a fist, and knead it into the fleshy part of my hip. (Yes, I’m inviting you to touch my ass.) The only way I can describe it is that you’ll feel the muscle quiver. It takes a few moments of kneading and some serious deep breathing on my part to fully relax the muscle, and even then, the relief isn’t permanent.

Overall, I probably logged somewhere between 20 and 22 miles over the course of the week, which is pretty solid considering I’m not training for anything right now. The plan for this very rare and welcomed long weekend is to take it easy; to run, but to not overrun.

Noah and I are headed to D.C. on Saturday morning, which means I get a break from the city streets (always a good thing to break up the environment in which you run). Plus, I’ll get to run with a dog. I don’t even like dogs that much, but I can’t resist the chance to have a furry animal by my side. Also on the agenda is a bike ride and yoga, but that may be getting ambitious considering how couch-prone I can be come Sunday morning.

Have a fantastic weekend, and for all those who are upping their distances in preparation for the NYC half, enjoy your runs, post-run showers, and post-shower naps. Then pour yourself a big glass of something rewarding (wine, hot chocolate, whatever) and feel really, really good about what you’ve accomplished.

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