As noted in yesterday's post, the plan was to do a 6K recovery run this morning and start building back into my normal routine. As planned, I headed out, warming up with a brisk walk for 1K and then breaking into a slow run (~5min/km). At first, my right hamstring was still a little sore, but after a couple of minutes that faded away and everything felt fine. I slowly accelerated to faster paces as the run progressed, in an attempt to gauge how well everything had healed in the last week. Things continued to go well, but as I was approaching the 5K mark I elected to call it quits a little earlier than planned given that the hamstring was still a little sore at the beginning of the run.
Either way, other than that minor hiccup the rest of the run went well. The first kilometer was run at a comfortable 5 min/km pace, followed by a faster 4:46K, and progressing through a 4:36K, a 4:33K and finally a 4:19K. All of those paces felt great, and there was no residual pain at the end of the session so things are looking good to get back into the swing of things. I'm thinking of taking tomorrow completely off to see if that will resolve the tight hamstring (while I haven't been running much this week, I've taken the bike out every day so that might be aggravating it a bit), and hopefully that will allow me to get through a longer run on Tuesday without any issues.
In other news, after writing yesterday's post I realized that the Zoo Run had sold out shortly after my half so I guess that that won't be an option either way. Looking over the race schedule, I don't see many 10Ks left this year so I might forget about that for now. There's always the option of showing up on race week to see if any spots open up then, however I'm not sure I want to go to all of that trouble for this race.
The other idea I'm flirting with is running the 5K race associated with the Toronto International Marathon, as it's been a while since I've run one and it would be nice to see what all of the training over the last few months can do for me there. I've already done a training run that was substantially faster than my current PB (21:23 vs. 22:41), so it would be interesting to see what I could pull off in a racing scenario.
Longer term, the next full marathon clinic at the local Running Room starts at the end of January and targets the Ottawa marathon in late May. I'm debating whether I want to go this route, however, and am thinking of just picking up a good book on the subject and finding another training plan. That would allow me to get my training started a little earlier, giving me a little more time to climb the ladder and the option to target a marathon a little earlier in the year (as it can get quite warm in late May). Either way, I'll have to do a little more research on different training programs before I figure out which path is best.