Sunday, May 20, 2012
Yesterday I was all bummed out about my left calf getting hurt while I ran. Those who were paying attention to detail will have recognized that this was my previously healthy leg, the right one having given me issues most recently. That aspect was particularly frustrating.
So I rested the leg. Among other things, I didn't even think about mowing the lawn yesterday. But the grass still needs mowing, and there's no one else to do it. So about 6 pm, with my handy remote thermometer telling me it's 90° F (32° C) outside my window, I started the routine to mow the lawn this evening. Go down to the basement to get cords for the electric mower. As I reach the main floor with the cords, I realize that I didn't notice my calf on the way down. Hmm. Go down and back up, paying attention.
Today is not a day to run on that calf, but it's much better than it was yesterday. I'd say there was a fair chance I'll be able to run again on Tuesday. *Maybe* I could get away with it tomorrow, but I don't think I'll chance it.
Now to go mow the lawn, which might put me over my 10K steps for the day. Yeah, it's been a pretty sedentary Sunday, mostly working on my work computer. And I need to do more of that after I mow.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Today I ran 4.93 miles in 35:04, for a 7:07 pace per mile. The only problem with this was, it was a planned 5.20 mile run.
I started my Saturday by taking the luxury of moving slowly in the morning. Yeah, I was out of bed at 6 with the alarm; but I didn't hustle. I dawdled through breakfast, and went light on the morning exercises in anticipation of running. Got out on the road a bit before 9, and set out to run a very familiar 5.2 mile course.
Right now, 5.2 miles is further than I've been running. Thursday I ran 4.31 miles with a couple of small hills, so I figured stretching the distance to a course with only one minor hill would be okay. I made no attempt to run particularly fast, even on the modest downgrades in the early part of the route. A pace of a a bit over 7 minutes per mile felt sustainable. It felt good. The weather was beautiful, 64° F when I started, with sunshine and intermittent light breeze. I concentrated on paying attention to my legs, and making this sustainable.
Everything felt great. I got to the last downgrade a bit over half a mile from home, and picked up the pace just a little. Got to the corner to my street, and wham! Sharp pain in the left calf.
Well, I've seen that before. Stop running, look at watch, fish out iPod, stop the stopwatch, look back at watch to see how many seconds to subtract. Treat the remainder of the course as the first part of the walking cooldown. Stretch, take care of the legs. When stretching, the left gastrocnemious seemed to be the issue; but the way it hurt to go down stairs felt more like the soleus.
Sigh. As I'd been moving through those last 2 miles, I'd been thinking this would be my longest run for the next two weeks. The plan was to run less than 4 miles next week on Tuesday and Thursday, about 4 on Saturday, and limit myself to a 5K the following Monday before resting up for the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge on May 31. A real training plan, complete with taper!
Well. After being mostly sedentary the rest of the day, with some shopping to walk off whatever stiffness will walk off, the calf doesn't hurt all the time; but it's not in shape to run on, either. Maybe I can try again Tuesday, and maybe I'll need to wait longer.
When things go like this, my natural inclination is to hide from the online scene. It's a lot easier to write about running when the run goes well. But, I guess this is part of life. Sometimes, I have to find out how much is too much the hard way.
Oh, well. At least I can still do pushups and pullups.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
With a question mark, because I don't trust it just yet.
Today was a work from home day, which meant I could squeeze more time to run at lunch. I ended up squeezing a bit more time in than I intended.
Temperature at noon was in the low 60s F somewhere; I didn't look when I started, but it was 64° F (18° C) when I remembered to look later. There was a light breeze and sunshine. Good running weather.
I set out on my basic around the neighborhood run, adding two small hills to the known 5K distance. Today I added a different pair of hills than last time, to avoid training to the precise route. It also avoids knowing whether I'm faster or slower than the last time, which helps me not to second guess myself.
Got a bit of a late start, so I didn't warm up. I just figured to run easily at first and speed up when it felt natural to do so. I ended up trying to run a little faster on the downhills, and just trying to run at a sustainable pace on the near level stretches.
When I got near home, it was clear that I would be over 28 minutes and pushing 29. Can't resist that; clicked lap at my driveway to note the time, and ran up the street and back far enough to make 30 minutes for that 6th Spark Point. The total route mapped out to 4.31 miles in 30:10, for a pace right at 7:00 per mile.
Best of all, pretty much everything felt normal. Yeah, the bad foot isn't 100%. Yeah, there was some mild intermittent grumbling from my right ankle. Yeah, I'm still developing good runner's calluses, but the bottoms of my feet felt better than they did after Tuesday's run.
This is progress. Perhaps this weekend I'll try to run a bit further, maybe the known 5.2 mile route. My self-competitive nature wants to go for 10K, but my head says I shouldn't be there yet.
Two weeks from today is the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge. I've paid, and the team captain has ordered shirts. From a motivational perspective, when the captain asked what time I expected I told him 24 minutes if my legs were healthy. Looks like they're healthy, and I don't want to do anything to mess that up in the next two weeks.
And if I'm really going to run 3 times per week, it's time to start eating like a runner again.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The cold I caught last week just didn't seem to go away, till I realized it was cheap heating season. That's the season when neither the heat nor the air conditioning kicks in, and the utility bill is low.
Cheap heating season also coincides with high pollen production. Some years, that doesn't bother me. This year, it did. Once I realized it wasn't just a lingering cold, but seasonal allergies, I dug out my prescription allergy med that I don't take very often. I slept well last night, and was able to function this morning.
The dang allergens were stuffing me up so bad that I couldn't tell when the cold got better.
Today was a work at home day, where the allergens are worse but I can squeeze more time in for a lunch run. I ran the route I had planned last Thursday. The right calf felt fine. The bad right foot muttered a little, but not very badly. It still isn't 100%, and probably won't be for quite a while; but it won't keep me from running while it slowly gets better.
I started out to just run normally. Got beyond where the calf crapped out on Thursday, no problem. Got to where I was wondering about the calf on Saturday, no problem. Tried to pick up the pace a little on the downhill stretches, because a quicker cadence seemed to fit with landing lighter on my feet.
At 74° F (24° C) the sweat flowed more freely than it has while running in cooler weather. I was able to run, but thought a lot about slowing to a walk for cardio reasons. I figured I might be at a 7 minute mile, or might be a bit slower because the weather was warm. I was able to pick up the pace a little on the final stretch to my driveway, but it wasn't what I would truly call a sprint for the finish line.
The run mapped out to 3.86 miles in 26:22, for a 6:50 pace per mile. I think that's faster than I've run without being in a race environment, and it's fast enough to meet my stretch goal of 24 minutes for the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge on May 31.
No running tomorrow, and I'll see if I'm ready to run again on Thursday. Recovery feels a lot better now than it did on Saturday.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Still have the cold, and took the luxury of moving slowly this morning. Didn't get out to test the leg running till 9. Temperature by then was 65° F, warm enough that if I had to slow to a walk I'd be okay in shorts and a tee shirt.
The leg was fine, at first. 7 or 8 minutes into the run, my right calf began muttering at me. I slowed down. By the time I got to the top of the second small hill, I decided not to try the third. Slowed down some more. The calf kept slowly getting worse. I ended up running to point I could map just after 15 minutes, then walking the rest of the route.
That mapped out to 2.05 miles running in 15:10, for a 7:24 average pace per mile. Since I was running normally at first, I think I might have slowed down to an 8 minute mile before deciding the best part of valor was to walk.
Tomorrow I'll walk, and remember the wise words of my mother: "Growing old is not for sissies." I'll see how Monday goes, but I expect I won't try to run again till Tuesday. Hopefully by then the remains of this cold will be gone, and I can run Tuesday and Thursday next week.
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