I'm trying something new this year and signed up for a marathon training program with Rogue Running. I'm mostly doing it for the social aspect, but I'm also hoping to get help from the coaches to take my running to a higher level. I kick off the season tomorrow with a 7 mile run around Town Lake and I'm pretty excited to see what I can accomplish this year.
Right now my biggest challenge is going to be to monitor my hip pain and try to stay healthy. I went to the doctor 3 weeks ago and while he confirmed that I have mild bursitis in my hip, most of the pain I'm feeling is actually coming from my sciatic nerve which is probably originating with the sacroiliac (SI) joint. He suspects that this is due to muscle imbalances in my hip abductors (outer thigh) and gluteus medius so I'm currently going to a physical therapist once a week for some manipulations of my hip and lower back and for exercises to fix the muscle weakness. I also suspect piriformis syndrome. I had this problem and fixed it on the right using this stretch. But that stretch didn't replicate the pain on the left and wasn't resolving the pain so I was off to the doctor. Things are getting better, but there's still pain when I run. I at least have the consolation that it's not muscular, it's not getting worse, and so far they say it's okay to keep running. Actually, things feel a little better although there's still pain.
If all goes well, I'll be running the Houston Marathon on January 13 and the Austin Marathon on February 17. My goal this year is to get to 12% body fat and complete the marathon in under 4 hours. If I lose the weight then the second part will easily fall into place. I'm optimistic that I'll actually be able to run significantly faster than that, but I'm trying to stay reasonable and set myself for success.