The optimism I mentioned in yesterday’s post is waning. I did my hill repeats last night, and while it was a great workout, my stupid calf bothered me the entire time. Foam rolling afterward helped, but only for a short time until my muscles cooled down again. Then it bothered me the rest of the night and this morning (it is always worst in the mornings).
This is getting frustrating. I am now into my third week of dealing with my calf issue (more than that if you count the twinges I was getting during marathon taper), and it’s time to face the music that it’s just not going to magically go away.
So, I’ve decided that, to start, I’m going to take the rest of the week off from running. I don’t like it, but I finally had to break down and face facts: the less I run, the better it feels. Man, I hate saying that. But the evidence doesn’t lie: my calf felt its best late last week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after I took two days off from running. As a result, I was able to run just fine on Sunday and I thought I was in the clear….but then, a few hours later, it started up again and now we’re back to square one. As much as it pains me to say this, not running seems to be the answer here.
In the meantime, I’ll be cross-training like a mofo so I don’t lose my fitness. I’m planning to hit the gym this week and replace my runs with swimming, elliptical, and spinning (provided the last two don’t also bother my calf). I finally ordered a new swimsuit and had it express shipped so it will get here in time for a Friday swim.
I’m hoping that I can attempt a run again on Saturday or Sunday. If it doesn’t go well, then I’ll continue to cross-train in place of my running and hopefully I can still at least run my 10K on November 30 and make a good showing at my indoor half marathon in January.
I should have known this was coming. I had gone way too long as an injury-free runner and it was beginning to seem too good to be true.
At the end of the day, I’m grateful that this happened after my marathon. Missing one 10K and maybe even one half marathon is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but missing Lakefront would have been devastating.
My biggest fear, if it turns out I have to take more time off after this week, is that I’ll lose all of the speed and endurance gains I’ve made in my running. I feel like I’ve been working all year long to get faster, and now that I’m finally starting to get where I want to be and getting excited that my goals might become a reality soon, it kills me that I might have to start all over. Yes, I’m trying to keep things in perspective and be optimistic, but I can’t help but feel disappointed already.
I’m hoping that if I work my butt off in cross-training I will maintain my fitness and still work on getting that VO2 max up, then come back strong get my speed back quickly.
Worst Case Scenario: I have to take many weeks off, won’t aim for a PR at my 10K or miss it altogether, and essentially treat my half marathon as a training run.
Best Case Scenario: My leg feels a lot better after a 1-2 weeks off and running becomes easier again, the cross-training I do helps me maintain speed and I can get back into my 10K training with 4 weeks to spare – hopefully enough time to train for at least a PR if not the sub-50:00 – and everything falls back into place. Hooray!!
Either way, I’m trying to look at the big picture. The great thing about the GLM Winter Series is that it’s a series. If I miss the 10K in November, I have the chance to try again in December, February, and March. And while I paid good money for my indoor half marathon, it was really never a goal race; no matter how well I do, I’ll still want to replicate and better that effort in a road race anyway. As much as I want to run it well, I’m still saving my highest expectations for my Spring and Summer half marathons in 2015 (2015 is going to be the Year of the Half Marathon for me – I have a bunch I want to do!).
Maybe taking a little time off won’t be the worst thing in the world for me. In fact, maybe it will even do me more good than harm.
Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery!