Monday, September 17, 2007

Waiting Games

It’s been such a bummer the past couple of days: I’ve been sitting with the same three windows open on my computer (www.trifind.com, www.hfpracing.com, www.runohio.com) and hitting refresh, refresh, refresh ever 30 seconds. I’m waiting for Saturday’s results!

But I did take a break from that excitement to run on Sunday—my first 10+ miler since June 17!

The run started off shaky. While my legs were a little tired on Saturday evening, they felt fine by morning. My left calf was a different story.

After stretching and a snack, I headed outside. It was a little bit crisp, but I was bundled in pants, a t-shirt and a hoodie… and toting plenty of tissue. I’m still getting used to the cooler weather—I’ve never run in fall—and wondering how on earth I ran in -10 degrees last winter! Neil was right. I must have been nuts.

There was plenty of take the sweatshirt off, put it back on, take it off, put it on, which all served as little distraction for my calf. My first two steps were utter agony. On most other days, I would have just turned around and spent the morning doing yoga, but Sunday was my big mileage day. And I wasn’t going to make it up later!

But I wasn’t going to be an idiot about it either. So, I started walking. Walking was fine. Then I started walking faster. And that was fine. I jogged a little bit. Agony. Ugh. I slowed back to a speedy walk and then tried to jog r-e-a-l-l-y slowly. It hurt, but didn’t make me want to cry.

What did make me want to cry was the idea of being hurt again. I started getting misty at the thought of putting in all this training time only to miss the half marathon in two weeks. I pressed on.

After about ten minutes of uber slow shuffling, I picked up the pace just a bit (maybe a second/mile faster!) and then a little after that. Each pickups made it a little uncomfortable to run at first, but then my calf would warm to it. By about mile four, I was fully warmed and at 75% of my normal training stride.

Before I hit the streets, I had mapped out my run from my apartment in Stow to just outside of downtown Hudson. It’s a different route than I’m used to running (I generally just drive to shop Heinen’s or buy cupcakes… it’s difficult to run with grocery bags), and it’s filled with all of the varying terrain, grades and hills I need. I picked out a street called Thirty Acres as my turnaround, never saw the thing and ran well beyond my mark. Lucky for me, I was feeling peachy at this point, hit Hudson and then started back.

Back uphill, that is. But I actually felt strong running down OH-91 and for the first time felt capable of running a half marathon in less than two weeks. Aside from some slight discomfort lingering in my calf, some right-foot cramping and a little bit sciatic flare-up, I felt healthy and prepared trucking the last five miles home.

My total run: 11.35 miles in about two hours. The first 4-5 miles were record-breakingly slow, so I won’t take this training run as a reflection of my future. I’m just happy to feel healthy.

My sciatic nerve, however, is threatening to be a pain again. It’s been pretty quiet for the past two months, but it’s been hinting at a comeback the past two days. I’m beginning to feel that strain in my left leg that preceded it last time. So, I’m trying to be quick about taking anti-inflams and getting my yoga in gear. I refuse to be tackled by that thing again! Good thing today is another rest day.

While I was running (and quietly sobbing), I reminded myself that this week is my last of higher-mileage/hardworking training before the half. I have about 32+ miles to run this week before having a bit of tapering next week (easy 2 miles on each of Tuesday and Thursday). I’m not going to lie: I’m really looking forward to it. And I guess I’m pretty pumped for the race as well. I just have to stay healthy!

3 comments:

kelsalynn said...

I'm sorry you're having some pain issues. I'm impressed you made it 11 miles considering! Keep taking your anti-inflammatories and make sure you ice! Take care of yourself!
KelsaLynn

Jim said...

Can't wait for the official results, G. By all accounts it looks like you met your time goal with flying colors. WTG! (Have a cupcake on me. You earned it.)

B Bop said...

Results are up!! Nice swim & run!!

Hope the 'ole legs hold up this week!! Better to be way undertrained that slightly overtrained (cliche, i know...but true).