Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where Am I?

I'm still around. I'm trying as hard as I know how to avoid losing too much fitness during the time off.

I tried running Sunday morning. Nobody but me showed up for the weekly 10 miler, and that was probably a good thing for me. I started very slowly, and I could feel my calf. There was no pain, but I knew that if I went farther or faster that it would start hurting, so I just quit. If someone else had showed up, I probably would have run with him and done more damage. I'm taking a full two weeks from Sunday and then I'll test it again. If all goes well, I'll start base building so I can hit August 8 (the first day of my 18 week marathon training schedule) ready to endure the grind.

In the mean time, I'm doing weights, spinning, recumbent bike, core work, etc. I'm really hitting those exercises hard. I'm watching my diet very closely. Yet the pounds relentlessly appear. I've gained 6 pounds since the first sign of the injury. Maybe they're not all bad pounds because I do think I look a little better in the mirror! :) (But that's not nearly as objective a measure as the scale itself.)

One thing I've learned in my 38 years is that I am not a person who can just go on auto-pilot when it comes to body weight. I have to watch it very closely all the time. I'll never have it licked. I'll have to be disciplined with it for the rest of my life or I'll weigh 250-300 pounds or more. I envy people who can eat cookies and ice cream and cake and fast food and not gain weight. I am not one of you. Even at 70-80 miles per week during training for Country Music Marathon, I gained weight because I got lazy and unfocused with my diet. Ugh. And to me, saying "no" to ice cream is more difficult than grinding out that 5th 1200m interval at sub 5k pace.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Still not back

I took another 5 days off because of the calf. On Sunday, I thought it was 100%. I took off from the 10 miler to be sure. Not wanting to just be lazy on Sunday, I went to the gym. I was on the recumbent bike at the gym and about 50 minutes into the ride, that same calf just completely locked up. We're talking a serious Charlie Horse. I had to get up and walk it off, and it hasn't been the same since.

I ran Monday anyway (probably not wise), and after about 6.5 miles, it was very sore. It was sore for the rest of the day and is still tender today.

I had to be at work at 7:15 this morning, so I woke up at 5:00 hoping to get an easy run in. My leg was still sore, so I thought better of it. So I went to the 5:15 AM spinning class at the gym. That was a pretty good cardio workout. It did nothing for my endurance, though. I say that because I was sweating like mad during the class and was struggling at the end of each interval. However, 5 minutes after the class, it felt like I had done nothing. I liked the class, and I'll probably be back at least until my leg heals.

I feel like I'm going to have to spend the next 6 weeks strictly getting over this calf thing and building base for the training that starts in August.

Friday, June 18, 2010


So I thought I was better. Sunday's run was great. I ran a little hard and my calf felt fatigued at the end, but there was absolutely no pain. Monday's run was also great. Tuesday, not so much. I mixed in some strides on Tuesday's run, and the calf started hurting. And it hurt all day Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday was better, but I could still feel it. Today it doesn't hurt, but I'm afraid to run.

Ugh. And I said every day that I would go to the gym and I didn't go at all. What is wrong with me? I won't get to 3 hours in December like this. The injury I can live with. It's part of running and I know that. It's nothing that rest, ice, and Aleve won't cure. However, the lack of motivation to do something else while I'm injured is something I have to overcome.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Athens 10 Miler

We had another good group to join our weekly 5:45 AM Sunday 10 miler today. There were 6 of us and it was HOT and HUMID!

After about a mile, the group formed into two packs with Carl and I up front. I didn't realize it until I looked at the splits this afternoon, but we did a pretty good stair step today. Each mile was faster than the one before it. I was working much harder than I should have been for a 7:28 finishing mile. I'll blame the heat.

The calf is fine. I felt fatigue in the calf, but no pain for the last mile. I'm going to continue to baby it and avoid 5k pace or faster and avoid hard hills until it is completely normal.

Have I ever mentioned that I'm really glad that this run is a fixture on my calendar? Come join us some Sunday morning. You'll be hooked.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Plan

I have an answer for the "what next" question.

I am going to run a sub 3 hour marathon this year. I will do this on December 11 at the Rocket City Marathon.

August 8th marks the beginning of an 18 week training schedule for the Rocket City Marathon. I plan to hit that date healthy, in shape, lean, and ready to work hard. If I meet any of the other goals I have set for this year, it will be collateral to my preparation for Rocket City. Laser focus.

Goodbye cheeseburgers, ribs, ice cream, cookies, and chocolate. Goodbye sub-50 mile weeks. Goodbye extra pounds. Hello 2:XX:XX.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

On the Couch

After the Cotton Row 10k, I noticed some pain in my right calf. It was completely new. Hmmmm. I didn't want to run the 5k, but I did anyway, and it didn't hurt any worse, but I noticed it during the entire 5k. By Monday morning, the pain was completely gone. I was probably just tired, I thought.

Yesterday, I went on a long-ish trail run. There was a time when 20+ miles was a long run. Now, anything over 12 is long for me. Ugh. Anyway, about 8 miles into the run, I noticed that same pain again. Hmmm. I didn't stop because it was bearable. It was nothing major. But it kept getting worse with every step, especially every uphill step. By 11 miles, I had to stop. I walked for a bit, then tried to run again. Ouch. Walked more and then ran again, but couldn't run without a limp.

The problem was that I was a long way from my car. I didn't know how far, but I knew it was FAR. Walking would take way too long. I had to run when I could. Uphill running was completely unbearable. So, I ran (okay, limp-jogged) the downs and flats and walked (okay, limped) the ups. It ended up being just over 3.5 miles back to the car.

I could barely walk the rest of the day. With that, I'm on the couch with ice and advil for a few days. It completely feels like a muscle pain and not ligament, tendon, or bone. But I'm taking at least 5 days off to let that heal up. Maybe during that 5 days I can get some cross training and stretching mixed back in.

I'm guessing that the fairly sudden increase in hills recently has caused this. I'll get back to hills soon, but gradually, like every other week instead of twice per week. One of my less measurable goals this year is to convert uphills from weakness to strength.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Really, what next?

What will I do next? I still don't have an answer to that one!

I looked at my goals for 2010, and I'm way off. Way off. Let's see....
  1. A 5k in 18:30. I haven't done it yet and my best chance was Chick Fil A in Athens. However, that doesn't seem unattainable for this year and I'll have plenty of chances to try.
  2. A sub 38:00 10k. Um. Perhaps I should re-think that. Ouch. The only chance I can think of to get this one is the Dam-Bridge run in Florence in November. At least I have time to prepare. I had better get started.
  3. A sub 1 hour 15k. I think I can do that at Monte Sano in October.
  4. An 84 minute half. This means 1:24:59. Maybe.
  5. 26.2 miles in 2:59:59 or faster. I'm not sure I'll run another marathon this year. I'll have to decide. If I give a go at this goal, it will be Rocket City.
Maybe I should punt and make all of these 2011 goals. Or maybe I should just pick one of the hard ones and make it my focus and see what happens with the others.