Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tales from the DL

Silence in blog-land is never a good thing, and, in this case, it's no different. Twelve days ago I strained my calf. Not the same calf as mid-June. Nope. This time, it was my left calf, and it was worse than the previous strain. I was out on an early morning run. I felt it tighten. I babied it on an uphill. Then, just after I crested the hill, it popped. I had a miserable mile limp home knowing that I was going back on the DL.

This latest calf strain doesn't come without a confession. Part of the cause is my own stupidity. The day before I did a tempo run. The day before that: 8 miles up and down Mt. Ararat. I wasn't easing into things like I should have following the previous calf strain, so I have only myself to blame.

Why was I being stupid? Simple: pressure. Not a single ounce of external pressure, but all pressure coming from within. The Bradbury Scuffle was coming up, and I wanted to feel ready. I knew I wouldn't be in great shape, but I didn't want to stink up the joint. Beyond that, I knew I was behind in my MDI Marathon training, and I wanted to catch up a bit. (Has that ever worked?) And, finally, I'm anxious to prove (to whom, I have no idea) that my winter wasn't a fluke. From January through March, I had some solid results, and I'd like to continue that trend. I finally felt like I was running like I should be, but I've missed so much time since I broke my ribs that I'm afraid I'll never get back there. Rationally, I know this is insane. Who ever said my chosen pursuits were sane?

That being said, I'm taking a very sane approach to this recovery. Two weeks off. Minimum. My calf has been feeling much better the past couple days, but I know I need to remain patient. I can't have any additional setbacks. Even taking racing out of the equation: I need to get out there. (Although, I'm not missing training in the heat of summer. That's a tiny glimmer of a silver lining.) I'll probably look into a little massage. And, once I do start running again, I'm going to ramp up very slowly. I can admit now that I'm a more fit than my legs are ready to handle. I need to get my legs underneath me. They need to catch up to my cardiovascular system. I'm sure I'll be posting about "worthless" runs, but those short, easy runs will get my legs back in order. And, obviously, the tightness that caused the calf strains isn't just in my calves. Plenty of stretching and foam rolling is in order. (Actually, I'd been foam rolling every day, but still strained my calf. That should tell you something about my stupidity/tightness.) And, before you ask, no, I haven't been cross training. I like to run. I don't like biking. I hate swimming. No yoga. What's this thing you call a push up? Sure, all that may help my overall fitness, but that's not what I'm interested in. I'm only interested in running. That's what I like to do.

Looking ahead...well, I'm trying not to. After all, too much looking ahead is how I got here. MDI is still on the calendar because I'm already registered. We're still planning to go to the island that weekend. Maybe I'll run 26.2 miles that weekend. Maybe I won't. Hopefully, I will, and, hopefully, I'll be able to open it up a touch. Beyond that...I haven't looked at a single race in the fall/early winter. Not a one. ;-).