Sunday, March 25, 2012

Calf problems

It all started with the fact that I had to buy new running shoes. My current ones had 350 or so miles on them and were beginning to feel flat. So I did. With the help of the helpful folks at Tortoise and Hare I selected the new Nike "Lunarlon's" out of three or four others. I spend a day just walking around in them, and after a rest day did a short 3 miler. I loved them. But after the run I could feel a new tension in my calves, particularly my right calf. So I did what most people are inclined to do: I tried to stretch it out. Bad idea. Left calf ok. Right calf, I felt the pop. And I immediately panicked. I had a 10K race the next day that I was so looking forward to. And come that morning, after waking up at 5:30am to see if how felt, I ultimately had to bag it and not do the race.

That was last week... Since then I've been very carefully taking care of my calf. I took two full days off, and then slowly ramped up my routine: I did run/walks, running a quarter mile, and then walking a quarter mile. The next day I tried running just a bit further and walking less. And finally on Friday I did 5 miles without walking. After each run I would ice my calf for 20 minutes. All in all it felt great.

On Saturday (yesterday) I did a 2.5 mile walk instead of running. And today, with absolutely perfect weather, I got up early with the anticipation of doing 10-12 slow and easy miles. I even picked a fairly flat route that would not stress out my calf. It was going to be a great run. But around mile 4, my calf suddenly started twinging to the point that I had to stop. I walked for a bit, hoping that I could work out whatever was stressing it, but eventually realized that today's run was over.

I turned around and started to hobble home. About a mile into it my calf was substantially uncomfortable. The walking was not helping, and I could not find a comfortable gait or way to place my foot to releve the tension in my calf. I finally had to call AnnDee to come pick me up (that's one good argument for having a cell phone... I've been considering ditching my iPhone and using a wrist gps device. Not anymore.)

So now I'm on the couch, icing down my calf, and I'm disappointed and worried about my training.i have 12 weeks until the AA Marathon (10 weeks until the DexAA HM), and I am officially behind in my miles. If I have a micro-tear in my calf, as I did a year ago, that could side line me for several weeks. This is a problem as it will be difficult to build up the endurance for the marathon in a very short time span. (note that I said difficult, not impossible). The important part right now is to make sure that I am as healthy and as strong as possible so that I can.

As I sit here in my frustration, my plan is to take a shower, not run for a couple of days, do whatever PT I can think of or read about on my calf, and take a new look at things on Wednesday. Absolutely worst case is that I don't run the AA Marathon and train like a bastard for the Grand Rapids Marathon.

10 weeks to the DexAA HM
12 weeks to the AA Marathon
30 weeks to the Grand Rapids Marathon

Friday, March 16, 2012

nutrition really matters

This week I had a bad run day and a good run day.  And I think that it all centered around being nutritionally ready to run.  On the day prior to the bad run, I didn't fuel myself properly and I definitely did not fuel myself as I should have on the day of.  And I could really tell that I didn't have any juice.

On Wednesday I had a goal of doing 12 miles - but due to other commitments I was going to have to split it into two runs.  I also had the idea that since I was splitting up the run that I would do more than 12.  But for reasons that I can't fathom, on Tuesday I didn't eat balanced meals (carbs/proteins).  In fact, for some reason I was very protein intensive (but I did end the day with some totally awesome, over the top good, smoked ribs compliments of my neighbor!) .  Prior to my Wednesday run, I did a goo pack and took off with a goal of doing 7 miles prior to breaking for an appointment.  But despite the fact that it was a beautiful day, cool, no wind, sunny, I never found my rhythm, I was constantly struggling for juice.  At mile 2, I sucked down another goo and forced myself to finish 5 miles.  And to make matters worse, I felt totally fatigued for the rest of the day.  I never made it to the second part of the run.  This was bad because I was slightly behind in my training schedule for the AA marathon.

But the one thing I did on Wednesday was eat. In fact it occurred to me that I was eating more than usual. Small portions, and all leaning towards carb-heavy.  But I ate. I even went out and had a few beers that evening (I had taken myself off beer because I thought that it was adding pounds on me that I didn't need).

Thursday morning I had a whole wheat English muffin and after 90 minutes hit the road.  And I had a great 10+ mile run.  I did 5 miles on flat terrain, goo'ed up, and then did 5 hilly miles.  The hills were hard, but the work out felt great.  And I felt strong afterwards.  I even toyed with the idea of doing an extra 2 hill miles, but decided that sanity needed to take charge.  Let's not get ahead of myself....

Bottom line:  pre-run nutrition is so important.  And it's not just the day-of, it's also about the day-before.  And the day before that, and so on.  I'm slowly figuring it out.

This weekend is the Sham-Rock 10K
10 weeks to the DexAnnArbor HM
12 weeks to the AA Marathon