I’d been planning for weeks to join in with a bunch of my trail friends for a nice, long (22 mile) trail run. This morning that run happened without me since I’m still slowly rebuilding after this calf injury (and the subsequent IT band problems I’ve had.) I felt kind of proud of myself for showing some restraint about that since I often suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out!!)
The sun was shining, the sky was baby blue, I saw the first sign of springtime buds on the trees and the birdies were tweeting – you know ACTUAL tweeting, not that silly “typing a message that all your “followers” will see” goofball human kind!
Since this week’s recovery workouts went pretty well with adding short walks (2-3 miles) again, the short test run a couple days ago caused no issues and then having the spin class not cause a setback yesterday it was time to add another step forward – so today my plan was to run my usual neighborhood 6 mile out and back. And, that’s just what I did! I was very tempted to do the 6 on trails, since I miss them so much, but I know that the uneven footing, rocks and such may still be too much for my calf, so I decided to save it for the next step in my slow build up back to normal land, so I ran on the asphalt this time.
I walked the first half mile to warm up the calf and IT band, then started lightly jogging. I ran until the first mile was up, then walked a bit again (making sure not to overwhelm the recovering leg.) It seemed to be a good balance. I ended up walking about 2/10 after each mile beep so probably ran 75% of today’s “run” which is definitely progress!
I felt absolutely ZERO problems with the calf that had the strain, which was awesome! My IT band, on the same side, which has been showing more irritation since I hurt the calf 3 weeks ago did start speaking to me at about mile 4.5. I just slowed it down, walked a bit more and tried to stretch it out, but was fine to complete the workout.
I will see my massage therapist this week for a deep tissue massage and have her work over my IT band and calf to keep me on the road to recovery. I’ll definitely see my chiropractor next week for more Graston on the IT band if that doesn’t resolve it, too. He’s been able to keep my IT band happy for about a year and a half so I think this is something we can manage just fine since it’s just “tweaking” and not entirely locked up like it was a couple years ago in what I now like to refer to as “the world’s longest 50 mile run” at Wild Idaho that took me roughly 22:47 (that’s hours and minutes people and to put in perspective just how slow I was once I was hurt.. I had done the first 23 miles in about 5 hours and 20 minutes.. so that was a llloooonnng second half of limping once the IT band seized up and I was too stubborn to stop!!) That injury took months to fully resolve!
When I got back, I took about 30 minutes in my front yard, stretching, doing clamshells, Myrtle hip exercises, calf and hamstring stretches, butt firming work (my issues with the hip area/IT band stuff are partly because of weak glutes, so I am going to keep trying to add in stuff like this after each run!), then did 50 crunches and 50 girly push ups on the grass, while the birdies tweeted overhead. It was a lovely day!
Ave HR: 153. Max HR: 180. Elevation Gain: 119 feet. Felt: One step closer to normal, but still a long ways from confidently saying I can do that 100 in three weeks without causing injury issues to reflare up and set me back (now my focus is on the IT band more than the calf.)
3 weeks is still a long ways away in runner world, though, so it’s too far out to say for sure what I’ll decide about the race just yet. I can bump down in distance (to either 25k, 50k or 50 miles) until the Wed. before the race. I am also signed up for a 24 hour, flat-as-a-pancake loop course race the week after, so I am also having to decide how I want to handle that. It may be smarter to go easy at the first race (doing the 25k or 50k for instance) and then push more at the second race (where I get a point in a local trail series for every single mile I complete in this particular race which is much more generous than the other races in the series so it might be nice to take advantage of that.)
If I was feeling pretty confident and strong another fun idea would be to do the 50 miler option at Antelope Island Buffalo Run instead and try to do it under 11 hours (this one is a qualifier for Western States and I ran that first loop in about 12 hours last year during my 100 and felt like I was holding back, so if I felt strong, that might be the way to go.)
I have time to figure it all out…… All in all, things are going well, I am happy with the progress I am making and looking forward to an exciting racing (and directing) year ahead! The next race our little company, Final Kick is putting on is only two weeks away! The Shamrock Shuffle at Ste Chapelle winery in Caldwell, Idaho should be a really fun time and I’m looking forward to cheering on our runners and walkers as they celebrate St Patty’s day with 5k and 10k races through wine country, the sounds of a live bagpiper and green local brewery beer at the finish!!