What to do from here? Do I keep up the elliptical or just get lazy for a while? I'll probably do the former. I'm not sure what kind of training strategy do use after this. I'm considering either something complicated or something simple.
The complicated approach involves core exercises, cross-training, working on power/speed (through hills and intervals) and gunning to get faster before building up fatigue resistance. A lot of this stuff is in Matt Fitzgerald's "Brain Training for Runner's." While I think his justification is weak and informercialish (to invent a word), the recommendations make some sense to me. He starts with speed/power and builds to more race pace specific quality training a la Renato Canova. He recommends doubling several days a week with running and cross-training, which is something I've thought of doing before to bump up the volume without the injury risk. He also recommends core conditioning, which is something I believe I sorely need. (This speaks for itself.)
The simple approach involves just running -- a lot. Run home and to work twice a week (total 42 miles), a long run on the weekend (14-18), and a fill in run or two (5-10) to get to about 70 miles (preferably in 6 days). Something like Mo - off, Tu- 5 am/10.5 pm, We - 10.5 am, Th - 10.5 pm, Fr - 10.5 am, Sa - 5 am, Su - 18 for 70 miles. I like to talk big when I can't even run 10 miles right now! I felt like I improved a lot this summer even though it didn't materialize in any big PRs (I PR'd the half at the end of a big week, but it was equivalent to the 10 mile time). In restrospect, I think it was mainly the mileage and doing 4 10+ mile days per week rather than three. I've done the pm then am thing before and together it's almost like another long run. I'd be getting three pseudo long runs a week (if I survived).
An advantage of the run a lot approach is avoiding the headache of 4 out of 10 commutes a week. I'd save maybe $8 in gas, but the self-righteousness I'd earn would be priceless. The dollars per mile is pretty close on shoes versus gas in the car -- about $0.20 per mile. I figure I probably break even in car service and depreciation costs versus medical co-pays and future knee replacement :-)