First, I stumbled upon an excellent time-lapse video taken from the International Space Station that's absolutely mesmerizing and is well worth the view. We truly are blessed to live on such a dramatic and beautiful planet!
Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.
Second, a brief update to my running and training status, as I'm about six weeks from the Houston Marathon. Approximately two weeks ago while running an intended twenty miler with the Kenyan Way training group I unfortunately felt an unexpected and disconcerting growing pain in the right lower leg, specifically the outer section of the tibia. After walking a bit hoping for the discomfort to be relieved the Coach kindly offered an opportunity to join him in a car ride back to base.
Sean kindly provided some typically sound advice - until I got a better handle on my injury I should maintain my fitness by non-impact pool running. With only one quickly aborted trial run as an exception (the start of the aptly named Turkey Trot) I've since followed his advice, as in my prior incidence two years ago with a minor tibial stress fracture pool running proved very effective at maintaining my running-specific fitness, while helping me avoid the emotional let-down that otherwise accompanies a dramatic reduction in training. While many consider pool running to be abjectly boring, I've not found it to be the case provided I do so in at the local 24-Hour Fitness Center's bright and cheery pool.
From my prior interactions with a physician I'd learned that unfortunately X-Rays are typically non-definitive in the early stages of a stress fracture, so I've decided in caution to treat my condition as such. While I'm encouraged to see continual evidence of healing, I've reconciled myself that if I'm ultimately unable to run the full or half marathon in January that will be a bit disappointing but fine. I will gradually enlarge my range of cross-training activities, next adding the bike to my fitness regimen, and before I know it I'll be back at 100% running ready fitness - long before the forthcoming Texas Independence Relay which I truly enjoy each year.
My advice if you're facing an injury prior to a race? Read Julie's great post and related advice then count your many blessings.