A glimmer of hope

Thursday is practically the weekend, right? Well, I’m celebrating early with a glass of red wine and my favorite chocolate bar. And although the rest of the US and even Ireland is getting hit by winter storms, here in Utah we are having our warmest winter in years. It was in the mid 50s this week. What the hell? It would be the ideal winter for marathon training……

So where am I at with this calf injury? Actually, I’m feeling pretty good – my calf is behaving and I’ve mentally taken a big step and am surprisingly relaxed. So let’s get physical first.

On Saturday I decided to test out my leg with some run-walk injuries. My last really serious injury was hip bursitis (6 weeks out back in 2013) and I recovered from that using a run-walk strategy. It basically started with 5 min walk + 1 min run repeated 5 times. I like to think that this was what I needed starting with zero base, and I felt as if I could be a bit more aggressive with my interval splits this time around. But I still started with a 5:1 split #sensible. I did decide to push myself a little and see what I could do interval wise before I felt a the slightest hint of a twinge. This ended up being a 3:3 split – although the run portion was at just a little faster than my recovery pace (6.5 mph on the treadmill). I managed an hour – my gym now has individual tvs for every cardio machine and I spent my time watching the first Sex and the City movie. I think being able to watch tv and distracting myself with intervals helped me cope with the dreadmill. 5.5 miles total followed by lots of stretching and PT exercises.

One thing I changed was wearing some new kicks. I have been running in Brooks PureCadence shoes for the last 2 years and I managed to find a pair for $60 last fall. I was wondering if my current shoes might need to be replaced, and whether they might even be contributing to my injury.

Not my photo - sorry I forgot my phone. But aren't they cute?

Not my photo – sorry I forgot my phone. But aren’t they cute?

And holy crap – they felt so much stiffer than the shoes I had been wearing. Thinking back on it – I starting wearing my old shoes back in the summer and wore them for most of my long runs and my marathon so I think they needed to be retired.

I have also been taking it super easy. No fast runs. No tempos. No speed. Pushing off works your calves and that just ain’t happening for me right now. The overall consensus from comments after my last post was to slow down. That it’s better to run slow and easy rather than push things and end up injured again. My first race of the year is scheduled for next Saturday and will be my first ever road 5K. I still plan on running it but will need to repeat this in my head – I’ll probably have to shout it at myself and not get carried away with a race atmosphere. Think long term!

I’m swapping out long, slow runs for long, slow swim sessions. Sunday was about 80 mins in the pool – nice and easy. More run-walking on Monday and Wednesday (4.5 miles each – 3+3 intervals) and then a yoga class this morning where we did zero down-dogs and chatarungas!

I don’t know if it’s coming across in this post but I am surprisingly at peace with this injury. I mean I can run-walk at the minute which is good – some running is better than none. I’m still feeling a little tight in the calf but not when I am on the treadmill and it seems to be improving. I’ve also pretty much accepted that this marathon training season is not going to be perfect. And that’s ok. Not every race is going to be a PR. And that’s ok too.

Getting to the starting line in one piece and finishing the race still in one piece is my number one goal. And if I can’t manage that – well I guess I’d have to skip a race. And that’s not going to be the end of the world either. There are plenty more races in my future and what I’ve learned most from this experience is that you can’t fast forward through healing. It takes time and you have to accommodate that into a plan. Of course, I would have loved to do the perfect training schedule and aim for that BQ time. That’s going to have happen some other time. And you know what? I’m fine with that. I can wait because some things are worth waiting for.

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15 thoughts on “A glimmer of hope

  1. FLRunnerBoy says:

    This great news Irish! The strong runs will return again for us both soon! It seem we are both in the same place with our injuries right now. Being at peace with what the body allows at present

  2. It definitely sounds like you’re in a good place with things. I fully agree that being able to run, no matter how slow, is better than not being able to run at all. Also, I’m jealous that your treadmill has its own TV. My old gym had that, and it made longer treadmill runs so much easier!

  3. Good perspective! Running will always be there. πŸ™‚
    I ‘m running a “race” this weekend but I’m in the same boat…I have to tell myself not to even try to push the pace! not worth getting reinjured

  4. charissarunning says:

    Yay! You’re in a very good place now and being so sensible! I admire the hard work and attitude you’re putting into this. It will definitely get you to all your goals in life πŸ˜€

  5. so glad to hear you have such a great perspective on this and i hope you continue to heal and get stronger and stronger. i’ve never worn Brooks at all. and i love red wine and chocolate. πŸ™‚

  6. Such a great attitude!! Such a great post!! You’re right, too- not every race is going to be a PR! Such a true point! I’ve definitely been reminding myself of that, too!! You’re amazing!! XOXO

  7. Martha B says:

    Way to be the poster child for mental health and injuries. I think a lot of us need to take a page from your book. I’m glad you have this clarity, and I know everything is going to sort itself out. Enjoy your weekend, and enjoy that beautiful weather!

  8. Glad to hear you’re managing some running. When I was coming back from injury in October/November my mantra was “a slow run is better than no run”. Persevering with slow runs means ultimately you will come back stronger. Keep up that positive attitude πŸ™‚

  9. It’s a long slow journey, isn’t it? I’ve been in Pure Flows the past few years and have been injury free. Whenever I buy a new pair, I use it for my long runs and use older ones for shorter runs. They are about to come out with the 4, so the 3’s are going on sale! Time to stock up!

  10. I’m late catching up on posts but I know how you feel! I’m also dealing with a mid-training-plan injury that’s derailing my goals. And my injury was also because of my shoes 😦 But we will get through this! Good luck!

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