I was feeling pretty good at about 7:30 Sunday morning when I was standing at back of my parked truck contemplating the planned 20 klick run with the gang. I’d had some tightness in my calf a couple days previous –lingering pains from last week’s sciatic flare-ups, I assumed– but all felt good in the cool perfect-run-weather morning as we set off. Some light trails, some short climbs, and we plodded along chatting and keeping a reasonable pace that wouldn’t have set any records but was feeling strong and steady. At ten klicks I would have told you I could have run a marathon. At eleven, breaching the top of a short hill I was pondering the pulling feeling in my calves. At eleven and a half, that same calf had cramped up like a rubber band in a blender, and even the standing-still weight was borderline unbearable. At the furthest point and turnaround of our run I waved my crew off and called for a pickup, riding home in the passenger seat feeling sapped and sorry for myself… and pondering another few days off. Damn.
Plus One Is…
Today is my last day. An evening tempo out with the crew tonight will mark twenty-one out of twenty-one days in April. Then, for both personal sanity and responsible training reasons, I’m taking a few days off to rest-slash-taper for my half marathon on this upcoming Sunday. I hear there are lots of hills.
I Like Numbers
For curiosity sake I added a couple of extra calculations to my already cumbersome training tracking and logging spreadsheet. These were to sum up all the time and pop out a total time-running on the year. I’ve logged about 425 klicks in about 45 hours in 2015. Too bad those aren’t billable hours.
My calves have been bugging me for the last few days. Not sideline-bugging-me, but after my double-cramp experimental sidewalk smash of last August’s half-marathon, you can’t blame me for being a bit wary. I’ve opted to (a) crank up my hydration another notch and (b) take magnesium supplements. I hate pills, but I hate cramping even more.
I noticed the registration for the 2016 Disney World Marathon weekend featuring the Dopey Challenge opens in about one week. I think we already agreed that 2016 isn’t in the cards, but a re-run is not completely off the table for a year or two later.
A Running Challenge of a Different Sort
Lastly, I’m working on putting together a different sort of running challenge for my group for this summer. We like to post lots of crazy pics to our (invite only) Facebook group, so I thought why not crank up the stakes a little. A photo scavenger hunt… of the kind only runners could do. How is that not gonna be awesome?
In the continuing saga of post-half-marathon recovery updates I will admit that things are starting to loosen up… finally. It’s Thursday and almost ninety-six hours post race and post-epic-cramping-episode, and this morning was the first time in all those hours and days that I walked for more than three minutes without wincing at the agony of it. I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but having something as stupid as a leg cramp debilitate you for so long and with such absolute resolve has been a kick in the pants after an increasingly frustrating summer of running. I’m not certain I’ll be doing any actual distance in the next few days, or over this upcoming long weekend, but with another (short) race in a little over two weeks, I think the fears of another fail are starting to diminish a little more each day. What I do realize is that I need to –and very quickly– figure out a proper strength training program and get on that.
Another pain-and-recovery update: Yesterday sucked. Yesterday every movement of my legs, anything at all that put stress or strain on my calves, felt like a delicate balancing act of ache and that urge-to-stretch-it-out and the feeling that they were one-second-from-going-nuclear and right back into a full-on cramp. The last thing I wanted was to be rolled and broken, crushed to the floor of the mall as I was walking to the LRT, or trying to get some lunch from the food court, so I hobbled slowly, stairs the most painful of all, but made it through the day with just a few bruises on my pride. I spent the entire evening doing careful and slow stretches, sitting on the floor on in front of the television to distract myself, icing and then kneading each of my lower legs with a little massage ball. Resting. Elevating. Massaging some more, all before crawling into bed early and hoping that I wouldn’t be woken in the middle of the night with explosions of cramping pain. This morning things are improving. My legs still hurt, but they now feel like they are stiff and sore, in need of a really good stretch or massage, and I don’t have that ready-to-implode feeling (not as much) anymore. I’m thinking I’m going to need a few more days sans running, but with work I could be back in action by the weekend.