“I’m starting to think I might actually be ready to race an Alaskan marathon in September!!” – concluding sentence of my training log from last week.
Famous. Last. Words. Serves me right for getting all hopeful and optimistic in the middle of a training cycle. This week (today to be exact), I had to press pause on the Hanson’s training plan. And it will likely be another week before I can hit play and start back down the road with easy miles, with about 4 weeks before I can incorporate track work again. GAAAAAH!!!
The word on the street (or in the ART chiro’s office) is that I have a grade 2 soleus (mid calf muscle) strain. How did this happen, you ask? Okay, you didn’t ask. But that’s what I’ve been asking myself on repeat, along with WHY OH WHY AM I SUCH AN IDIOT?
So here’s the backstory. My calves were feeling really tight on Friday, but I told myself I’d just stretch after my easy 7 miler. No big deal, right? Riiiiiight. By around mile 5, I started feeling a lot of discomfort. However, I was so distracted by the good conversation and company that it was easy to ignore. Unfortunately, by the time I got home, I couldn’t ignore it. I cancelled a hiking date with a friend, and iced and foam rolled in hopes it would magically be better by the long run the next day.
I woke up Saturday feeling pretty good and decided to give the long run a try. My friend and I kept the pace slower to accommodate my handicap, and overall I didn’t have any trouble until mile 12 when the pain started to set in again. We finished 13 miles, and I went home to ice and stretch and foam roll. I took Sunday completely off (scratched an 8 miler) in hopes I could rest and hit the track for 3 x 1600ms on Monday.
I woke up Monday feeling good and decided to try to get back on track (both figuratively and literally). The 2 mile warm up felt fine, but after the first 1600m, I knew I had to cut the run short. I ran the rest of the prescribed 7 miles at easy pace, while my friend finished her 1600m repeats (which she nailed!).
Then I shuffled home and called my ART guy in hopes he would magically fix everything. I did magically get a next day appointment when his schedule is usually booked out for weeks. So that was a happy thing. But the news? Not so much. The tightness in my calf wasn’t an isolated issue. (Nothing ever is!). He identified tightness from my hip flexor all the way down to my ankle. Since it is on the post-op side, this is not even remotely surprising. He also asked if I had rolled my ankles in the past. I said no, not recently. He asked, “How about in the last 30 years?” And I was like, “Oooohhh, yeah, my ankles were a mess from about age 10 to 13, when I was a gymnast.” And he was like, “Ooooohhh, yeah, that totes explains it.” Not really. He just nodded knowingly and said, “Yep.”
Then he did some mean ass stuff to my ankles and arch and calve and IT band and hip flexor. We’re not talking hurts-so-good deep tissue massage. Oh no, we’re talking about get your childbirth breathing techniques ready because you’re gonna need some coping methods pain. And of course I’m going back for more on Thursday.
So here’s Week 9 of Hanson’s:
Monday – 7.5 miles, track. Warmed up for 2 miles, including drills. Then 6x800m with goal of 3:35, 400m recovery. Actuals: 3:29, 3:26, 3:30, 3:30, 3:30, 3:33, Cool down.
Tuesday – 8 miles easy. Ran with my friend Dana. We were both hot and tired but kept each other going.
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – 11 miles with 8 at GMP (8:00). So thankful that my friend Dana was there to help motivate me for this! We ran a 2 mile warm up, then she ran with me and turned around at 2.5 mile mark since her plan called for 5 at tempo. It was rainy and miserable, and at the turn around (around mile 3.5 of my 8 mile tempo), the rain picked up and I had to run against a pretty demoralizing head wind. I was pretty discouraged and just counting down the minutes when I saw my friend had turned around and was going to run the last 3/4 of a mile with me! I was so happy to see her there, and it helped carry me to the end. We cooled down for about a mile to bring the total to 11. Goal was 8 miles at 8:00. Splits were: 7:58, 7:57, 7:58, 7:54, 8:11, 8:10, 8:06, 7:53 / 8:01 average, Avg HR 158
Friday – 7 miles easy. The fateful day my calves revolted.
Saturday – 13 miles (supposed to be 15) at 9:04 average. Cut the run a little short due to soleus starting to hurt at mile 11 or 12.
Sunday – Off (supposed to be 8 miles).
Total – 46.5 miles
And here’s the plan/ training for Week 10: Failed track workout (7 miles), 30 minute pool run…..pool run, pool run, another pool run, oh, and a pool run to end the week!