I decided to try a 50 miler this past weekend, figuring I was tapered and ready to go. Turns out my body wasn't ready, so at 15 km I abandoned my attempted race pace. I wasn't feeling good at all for that early on, and my hips had started to ache. My left leg in particular felt like it was dragging, and I didn't want to do more damage. So I slowed down and looked forward to packing it in at the end of the 20 km loop.
No big deal; I feel I made the right call. In fact, I feel relieved and refreshed to just let all of my racing expectations for the rest of the year go; to just empty my head of it all and have fun starting over. My initital plan after Rock and Ice was to try to get more out of my winter training, but obviously my body has different ideas. My revised plan is to not really have a plan, though I do want to do a bit of cross training, get on some serious stretching and hip exercises, and let my achey joints heal up by cutting back on running mileage. In a month or two I'll hopefully feel a lot better.
I'll know I'm better when I start hurdling over fallen trees on trail runs again. I used to love doing that, but for a long time now I've been stepping over them very gingerly.