Now that two full weeks have passed since my Long Trail fund-raising success/physical failure, I think it's time to look ahead at the rest of the year and see what makes sense in terms of running plans. First off, the good news is my knee is feeling much better after the ridiculous beating it took in Vermont. All the tendons, ligaments, and muscles surrounding the joint are structurally sound, and once the swelling went down after a week, I was walking pain-free. It still hurts to the touch in spots (probably a result of a bone bruise?), but I've been able to run on it a little in the past couple days, so that's encouraging.
Also encouraging is the fact that I hammered my legs into fantastic shape for the Long Trail, but didn't actually get a chance to beat them up as much as expected (stopping 120 miles early will benefit you that way). This means they're still in great shape and ready for one more big run before I shut things down for a bit. I've been racing/training for 14 straight months without a real break at this point, and I think it's foolhardy to tempt the injury gods much more before giving my body a chance to heal up completely. Even though that means missing out on a month or so of fantastic fall running weather, I know I need to make the investment.
That said, my last big run of 2010 will take place up in Canada in a couple weeks. It'll be my only 24-hour effort of the year, so if I have any chance of making the U.S. Team again in 2011, it'll have to happen there. I think my knee will be fine, and my overall fitness should be pretty good too, so it's just a matter if the Circle-Running Gods want to shine on me or not up there. The insane part of my brain is actually looking forward to mind-numbing practice of running around a 1/4 mile track for 24 hours (that's 560 laps for 140 miles...yikes!). I'll be running w/out a crew too, so if there ever was a chance for me to slip into a 24 hour running-coma, this is definitely it. ...and if the race ends up not going so well for me, at least I can look forward to some Tim Horton's on the drive home, eh?!