So last week brought a reality check to my already down to earth life. I did a 20 mile training run last Sunday. My longest run ever, and I felt really good. I finished in good time, was not overly sore, could walk and talk and carry on normally for the rest of the day, and was pleasantly surprised. Monday brought slight soreness, but I stretched and rolled and I felt good. I was finally confident I could complete the full Savannah Rock-n-Roll Marathon on November 8. Bring it on.
Normal training runs this past week on Tuesday and Wednesday, just 5 miles per day. Easy. Thursday morning comes around. Easy 5 mile run, prepping for a shorter weekend of rebuilding. 3 miles in to my 5 miles, my calf begins to feel a sharp pain. I’ve felt this before, and it feels as if I have a muscle stretching too far and tearing. Hurts to walk. I shut down my run at 3.4 miles. I’m okay with that as I have an 8 and a 12 mile weekend coming up. Focus on the big picture.
Thursday night comes around. Sitting at my 8 year old son’s football practice, I start goofing around with my 12 year old on the sidelines. I pick him up, toss him around a bit….and ouch..my back hurts. Now my back and my calf hurt. I’m falling apart. Less than 6 months from my 40th birthday, and I’m slowly falling apart.
Friday was my off day, so I rested, stretched and rolled my calf. Did a good 4 1/2 miles at a 9:45 pace Saturday morning….BAM! Calf stretches again. This time not as bad, just felt like a stiff muscle. I ran a little bit more thru it, and then cut the run short at 5 miles. I knew I had a 12 miler I needed to get in on Sunday, so I was playing it safe. Plus, my wife advised me it’s the “Longer Runs” that are really important right now. So I rolled, stretched and even iced my calf…and I provided some liquid strength Friday afternoon to accelerate the healing (Spaten Oktoberfest was good!).
My Sunday running group came around quick. I got through a good 4 1/2 miles before my calf really started hurting again. I knew I needed the mileage, so I kept pushing through it (and where we run, once you go out 4-5 miles, it’s pretty much 4-5 miles back so there really was no choice but to continue). I cut the run short at 11 miles from the scheduled 12, thinking I’d still be okay. But, now in my head, my calf hurts. It hurts today, not as bad. Teasing me with feeling better.
So what do I do? Take a few days off this week from running, try something else (like swimming as my wife suggests). Do I keep running through it, making sure I get my 20 miler in this weekend?
And now I’m feeling older….more like what a 40 year old should feel like. More aches and pains, and easy muscle pulls. I don’t like, but I’m learning to deal with it. So I’m aiming towards a speedy recovery and will fight through what I need to fight through in order to finish this marathon.