I was so excited to start May off on a good note! I was thrilled about my running again after my Pike’s Peek 10k PR. It boosted my confidence and made me feel capable after hitting a rock bottom running moment at Boston. Unfortunately, the month did not go quite as planned. There were many running ups and downs. A brief snapshot...
On Tuesday, 5/1, I decided that I was recovered enough after Pike’s Peek to do the interval workout. After the first couple steps of my warm up, I knew something wasn’t right with my right upper hamstring/glute (which I will refer to my butt from here on out). I didn’t even attempt the intervals and headed to the gym to do some core work. Then on Friday, 5/4, I felt good enough to try the tempo. I had to drop out after 2.25 miles. My butt started to tense up and ache if I ran anything faster than a 7:40 and my form was all off. I should be running 5k tempos at less than a 7:20 pace. I left on a business trip to Denver on Saturday, 5/5 for 5 days. This little break came at a perfect time and I thought it would give my hamstring time to heal with long, slow easy runs. I had 5 beautiful crisp morning runs with the Colorado Rockies as a backdrop. I loved every second of those runs and need to go back. So, with a couple days away from the track, I decided to try the 5k tempo again on Friday, 5/11. I made it 2.75 miles. Cranky butt again. I attempted an 11 mile run on Sunday, 5/13. My butt felt good but my breathing was labored and miles 9 through 11, I was averaging an 8:50 pace and could not catch my breath. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? A month ago I ran the last mile of my 20+ miler at 7:39 pace with no problem!! Ok, bring it, speedwork. I will show you who is boss. I showed up at the track on Tuesday, 5/15 for the interval workout. We were doing a ladder workout: 1200, 800, 400 x 2 or 3. I made it through the first ladder, ran one more 1200, walked off the track feeling frustrated and defeated. My butt hurt. This isn't fun. Ok, you win, speedwork. I decided right then and there to take a few days away from the track. It was too defeating to start and not complete these workouts. Then finally, on Saturday, 5/19 I had the most spectacular run. Everything felt good and in sync. I finished feeling so strong and encouraged. THIS IS WHY I RUN! TO FEEL LIKE THIS! I decided that I was going to take the following week off from speedwork as well, start PT for my butt, visit the allergist and figure out what was going on. Each run the week of 5/21 was invigorating with lots of laughs, great company, and great weather…just awesome. On Friday, 5/25 after an easy 5 miles I noticed my calf muscles were a little tight. Nothing too unusual though. Then, I showed up to the CAR long run on Saturday ready to do a 12 miler. Cheryl was there distributing some new CAR gear. I grabbed my gear, pivoted to jog to the car and that is when I felt a pop in my leg. It felt like someone had pegged a rock at my left calf. I actually turned around to look at my teammates to see who the ‘joker’ was who threw it, but no one fessed up. I turned to walk on it and felt excruciating pain through my inner calf. I could hardly put any weight on it. I was confused, and a little teary. Not only because it hurt, but because it scared the shit out of me. What just happened?!? I googled my symptoms while all my teammates were running and iced my calf. It seemed to be a strained muscle. I was hoping it was not a tear. I decided to just take it easy for the rest of the day, ice it, keep my leg elevated and I started to see some healing progress by Saturday afternoon. At that point, I figured it was just a muscle strain and not a tear. Phew. It has been getting progressively better every day. I have not run at all since last Friday but have logged about 10 hours of pool running which I really like, so it’s not so bad. It just feels really tight and if I walk too fast it kind of locks up – a very strange feeling.
This calf thing was a wake up call. I was pretty bummed but I think my body is trying to tell me something with all these "little" issues. It needs a break. I am really going to take some time to heal for the next couple of weeks - allowing my muscle fibers to repair themselves - focus on my PT and spend a lot of time in the pool, which is ok with me. At least I have something!
I mean, in the grand scheme of things, it's really no big deal. Thank goodness it’s not a stress fracture or Achilles issue, but again, it’s just frustrating. I can train for a 50 miler, complete it injury-free, but now struggle to run 40 pain free miles per week?! How can this be? I just need to focus on the non-running things that affect my overall well-being like sleep, diet, core-work, and stress management - RECOVERY! Tim, one of my CAR teammates posted an article on the difference between rest and recovery which really struck a chord with me. Check it out!
So, that's my long sad May story! Ha. Let’s hope for a better, stronger June!