Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Out of the race.

Whelp... no more marathon for me.

The leg "cramp" I thought I experienced that shortened my 16 mile run (you can read about that here), was in fact a tear in my calf muscle. A few days after I originally hurt it, I was playing basketball (poorly) with a couple of friends from work. I pushed off with my right leg, and OUCH. I knew something was definitely wrong. I made a doctor's appointment for the following morning, and she gave me my diagnosis.

The only thing that can really help me at this point is time to heal. My doctor referred me to physical therapy, and gave me a 60 day pass to a gym with a pool. She wants me to swim and to try deep water running (which my trainer is also a big advocate of).

When I called my trainer, Dan, he took the bad news in stride. While I was feeling badly for myself, he had more of an "Okay, well that happens." approach. He did make it a point to tell me that I hadn't done anything wrong; injuries are part of the sport.

But it really isn't guilt that I'm feeling about this. It's disappointment. Disappointment that all of the miles I've run and the Saturday mornings I've sacrificed didn't add up to completing a marathon. Disappointment that this didn't happen earlier, so I would have had time to recover and not miss my crucial long runs. This past weekend's workout was supposed to be 18 miles, and Saturday's was supposed to be 20.

In the end, this sucks. That's all there is to it. But... there are other races out there, and I am grateful that it wasn't something more serious. Plus, when you look back at the not-so-distant past, I started off in November barely able to complete three miles. I'm at a point now that I can do 14. I know I should be proud of that, and honestly, I  am.

So... my plan at this point is to listen to my doctor and heal. Then I'm going to do some research and pick the next race, and work my way up to it. Just because I'm down right now, I'm certainly not out.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Getting rescued mid-run...

I guess it happens to a lot of people during marathon training, but it hadn't happened to me... that is, until my long run on Friday: a massive, debilitating leg cramp that brought my run to a screeching halt, and that can still be felt days after it seized up.

I was scheduled for 16 miles this past weekend, and because of Saturday travel plans, I had to do it Friday before work. I carefully mapped out my course. I psyched myself up, and I hit the road. I was chugging along, and just after I hit the 13 mile mark, the muscles high in my right calf knotted up painfully. Ouch! I walked it out for a few blocks and then attempted to run on it. It seized up again (ouch for the second time), and I knew I was done for the day. The only problem? I was still three miles away from my car.

At this point I was very happy I use my iPhone for music when I run. I called two cab companies, both of which told me it would be an hour and a half before they could come get me (What?!?! This was at 1:00 on a Friday, for gods sake!), so call #3 went to my friend Henry, who was my knight in shining armor. He came and rescued me and dropped me off at my car. Thanks again, Henry!

I was pretty limpy for the rest of Friday, and stairs were not my favorite. It's since started to feel better, but I can definitely still notice it when I go down stairs or walk uphill. Tomorrow will be a true test. I'm scheduled for seven miles, but I think I'm just going to take it easy (read: very slow, and not pushing through pain) to test out how things are really feeling.

I also iced it this morning and this evening, but the pain point is so deep in the muscle, I don't know if I'm really even doing it any good. Frustrating!

This entire episode has made me very nervous. I'm just days away from attempting 18 miles (again on a Friday because of travel plans, but at least I don't have to work after), and 4 weeks and five days away from the whole shebang.

Like I said before, I'm sure this happens to a lot of runners, but I don't know how I can get prepared for 26.2 if my muscles don't feel like coming along with me for the entire journey. We'll see what happens! Hopefully I can't kick this stupid muscle pain soon. There's work to do!

Oh! And I have to say welcome to Scout! She is the cutest little 8 week old Airedale, and the newest member of the Allison clan. My parents picked her up this weekend, and I can't wait to meet her!

This week's Marathon Monday piece featured an awesome clinic at UVA that helps runners become better athletes. You can watch that here. And as always, my schedule for the week is posted below. It's a little different this time around, because I'm doing my long run on Friday. Have a great week, everyone!

Training schedule for the week of 03/04... designed by trainer Dan Bayliss.

Sunday- Off
Monday- Run 5 miles
Tuesday- Run 7 miles
Wednesday- Run 4 miles
Thursday- Off
Friday- Run 18 miles
Saturday- Off