Wednesday, April 18, 2012
It's been a long Wednesday. The weather was gorgeous, high near 50° F and sunny; the one good thing about scheduling was that I could fit a run in on my lunch hour. Well, almost.
Got a few minutes into the run, and my left calf began to ache. The ache got sharper. Been there with the right calf; the first time past, I ran through this and came up lame, interrupting training for 9 days.
This time I picked a mappable point and slowed to a walk, then walked back to the gym. Total running time, 4:45 for 0.68 miles. Added some walking to make 16 minutes, and did my full set of running stretches afterward. The stretches confirm that it's my soleus that hurts.
Oh, well. I can still walk. I was able to run a short distance later in the 16 minutes, but a sustained run won't work today. I'll test it again on Saturday, and if it isn't enough better I'll turn that test into a walk instead of a run.
Forgoing a run isn't much fun, but it beats not being able to walk for exercise.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Sunday morning, and there is no choir at church. I have plenty of time. My foot feels better than Saturday, though still not 100%. I decide to run before church. The plan is to run the standard 5K route, plus a leg that adds a smaller hill segment. The weather is 54° F (12° C) with a light fog, tee shirt and shorts weather for running.
I got out, and it felt pretty good. The hill was more effort than pre-injury, but not as daunting as the first time I ran it. Along about 2 miles into the run, I began to feel the bad foot. Hmm. Discretion would say that I should cut the 5K route short and go home the short way.
I turn back the short way, and by then the foot is feeling better. I think about adding a twist to the short way home. Then the spots where I raised blisters on Thursday remind me that they're still there, and pounding them a whole lot probably wouldn't be a good idea. I bypass the extra segment.
On the final leg, my left calf begins to complain. It's not a loud complaint, just a reminder that I haven't been doing this regularly. So instead of trying to sprint for the final 100 meters or so, I just keep running steadily till I get home. Then I take a walking cooldown that is longer than I usually would need for such a short run, because walking has always helped my calves after running.
This is tricky stuff. I know to be careful about the healing foot, but I'm finding other aches telling me not to push too hard now. I guess Mom was right when she said growing old is not for sissies.
The run mapped out to 2.96 miles in 21:28, for a 7:15 pace per mile. That's a reasonable training pace for a short run like that. I didn't raise new blisters, so I think this will be part of the normal process of re-developing my runner's calluses. And my left calf spoke up from time to time through the remainder of the day; I gave it a 3 mile walk in the late afternoon, which seemed to help.
This is progress. The bad foot still isn't 100%, but it's getting better over time. Going to church in shoes with lousy arch support didn't bother it. It didn't complain loudly enough to remind me to take ibuprofen every 4 hours.
But, this is *slow* progress. I think right now I can run twice a week, if I space the runs out far enough. Tomorrow has to be a non-running day, and i really want to get a run in on Tuesday or Wednesday, so I can be in running shape again by Saturday.
And I'm pretty sure I need to bail on the half marathon two weeks from today. There's no way I'll be in shape to run 13 miles by then. I might be in shape to walk that far; but reality is that an organized race environment will get me to run. And I'm likely to run further than I ought to, and walk further than I should after I admit I need to stop running.
And I need to write this to remind myself of how it is. I'll pick up my expensive technical shirt, but I really shouldn't second guess myself and push through a 13 mile course in two weeks. It's more important to build toward being able to run four days a week.
That makes my next race goal the Chase Corporate Challenge on Thursday, May 31. By then, I should be able to push to run 3.5 miles fast; but not if I aggravate the bad foot and possibly create other problems trying to run too much, too soon.
Goal Number One: Avoid injury. Okay, I missed that one earlier. I need to work on meeting it going forward.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Coming back from the foot injury, I ran on Saturday. Then I waited a week, and ran the following Saturday. By the following Tuesday, the foot felt good enough to run again; but I didn't find the time till Thursday noon. The plan was to run twice this week, with the second time being Saturday morning.
This morning I did some test jogging up and down my hallway, and felt the injured foot. It was kinda sorta okay, and maybe I could have run on it; but I felt it more than in past days. I made the executive decision that running three miles on that foot was too likely to aggravate it, and walked those miles instead.
I'll see if the foot is enough better tomorrow that I'm willing to try a run. I hope so, as I really want to get back to running regularly. But it appears that this will be a slow process. I am now 80% sure that I'll bail on the half marathon two weeks from tomorrow. I'd certainly bail if it were tomorrow; I don't think my foot is in shape to tolerate 13 miles of run-walk, and maybe not even 13 miles of continual walking.
It's possible that the foot will improve enough to convince me to run-walk the HM route in two weeks; but that's not my current expectation. So right now, my sights are set on continuing the rehab, and getting back to where I can ultimately run 4 days a week. If I don't do anything stupid, I should be in good shape to run the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge at the end of May. Yesterday's effort convinces me that I'll have a decent shot of making my stretch goal of 24 minutes for the CCC.
Probably the fact that work is busy right now is a Good Thing for my foot rehab. It gives me something to do when I shouldn't be overdoing the running. Too bad that situation is likely to last longer than my need to limit running will last.
One step at a time. Right now, I'm looking forward to being able to run twice a week. I think I'm there, physically; but I didn't manage to space the runs out appropriately to work that in this week. I'll have to give it another shot next week.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
This morning was something of a disaster at work. Things popped up that prevented me from making much progress on the big priority, and I got a bit fried mentally. So it was a perfect day to cut out a bit early and get a run on my lunch hour.
I ran close to a familiar route, altered a little for the changing patterns of road construction since my last run downtown. I wasn't trying to run fast, and even slowed down deliberately a couple of times. I adjusted the tail end of the run to be 25 minutes total, for that fifth Spark Point.
It mapped out to 3.58 miles in 25:02, for an average pace of a fraction of a second under 7:00 per mile. I could have sworn I wasn't running that fast. But then again, I do tend to run faster at lunch from the gym than from home; maybe the walk to the gym is a better warmup than I get at home? Or maybe it's the psychology of running a trail with other people on it. I'll probably never figure it out.
The run felt good. The injured foot didn't complain much afterward. But I did raise blisters on the balls of my feet. Hmm. I need to re-develop those runner's calluses. That probably won't happen in the two weeks between now and the HM I'm signed up for.
We'll see how the feet feel tomorrow, which will definitely be a non-running day. Right after today's run, I thought the HM would be a no-go; now I'm willing to wait out the two weeks and see where the running rehab takes me. If the calluses redevelop, I can probably run-walk the HM. But we'll see. If it still feels like rehab two weeks from now, it would probably be wiser to bail on the HM and work on getting back the ability to run regularly for pleasure.
Saturday, April 07, 2012
This morning it was 30° F (-1° C) and sunny. It had been a week since my first run back from injury, and my foot was feeling a little better than a week ago. Even though it might have been better to let the foot rest, I couldn't let this great running weather go to waste.
I ran an easy 3.48 miles in 25:42, for a 7:23 pace per mile. I tried to pay attention to my stride form and the bad foot. The foot bothered me at first, then didn't, then ached again during the walking cooldown. I had visions of a repeat of last week, where the foot went backwards and it took me most of the week to recover. So far, it's not that bad. The foot hasn't ached as badly today as it did after last Saturday's run.
I even got the lawn mowed for the first time of the season, prudently taping up the foot in recognition of the fact that my lawn mowing boots don't have good arch support. What with one thing and another, I'm over 15K steps for the day. This is the first time I've been over 13K since the foot was injured.
Tomorrow I'll tape the foot again to go to church. Hopefully all will be well, and I can try another short run some evening next week; but it won't be the end of the world if I have to wait a week, or even two weeks for the next run. I've shown that I can still run, if the foot will tolerate it.
It is now three weeks to the half marathon I signed up for. It is very unlikely that I will be able to run that course. I am hopeful that I will be recovered enough to run part of it and walk part of it; but the call on whether to attempt it may come down to the weekend of the HM.
If I have to choose, I'd rather be able to run 3 miles 3 days a week in May than run a half marathon on April 29. I hope it doesn't come down to a choice between those two options; but if it does, I know which way I want to choose.
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