Monthly Archives: June 2006

Here We Go (Again)

Start time: 06/18/06, 7:00am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Distance: 4 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Average pace: 9:30min/mile

At long last, my training season has started up again. I’m training for the Florence Marathon, and raising money for Whitman-Walker Clinic. This year I’ve agreed to raise a record high of $3700, so every little penny will help!

Anyway, after Tuesday’s run I decided I was doing good and ready to start up training this weekend. I wasn’t sure if I was going to run with the 9:30 or 10:00 group but decided I’d give 9:30 a go; if it was too fast I could always slow down, but I had a feeling that if I didn’t try it out I’d never attempt to move up. When I got there (along with jabulous) I saw there were two names on the 9:30 sign-in sheet from last week, and one person who had just put her name down this week. I added mine to the list, and introduced myself to Stephanie. Little did we know… we were it for the 9:30 group. Meanwhile, the 10:00 group appears to be Boyztown or something. Hmmmmm.

We headed out onto the course, and it was about a mile and a quarter in when I felt a sudden twinge in my left calf. Oh hell, I thought (or perhaps it was something a little ruder), not again.

Within about ten seconds, though, the severity of it went from a 5 to about a 3 (versus the initial incident which was probably an 8) so I decided to keep moving. If I had to I could always stop when we hit the two-mile point and hitch a ride back with Soyini. It never got any worse, though, more uncomfortable than anything else. Still, not something I’m willing to have happen every week. We finished up in exactly 40 minutes (which once you add in the required walk to kick off the run is pretty good) and I talked a bit with Coach Karen and Coach Julie Ann. They reiterated my need for more stretching with the achilles tendon and calf; I think tomorrow at work I’m going to set up my Outlook to auto-remind me twice a day to do the stretches. After jabulous‘s group finished up (not far behind me at all) we headed back home, and from there it was some stretching, ice, and a bit of ibuprofen. It’s still sore at this point, bah.

So, right now I’m leaning towards not running for the next week or two, coupled with really making sure I continue to stretch every day and take proper care of myself. Which, let’s be honest, totally stinks to be sidelined again and so very early in the training process… but better for it to be early than later on, right? Ah well. I’ll catch up quickly. And who knows, maybe I should take it easy and hang out with Boyztown when I do get back. (Don’t get me wrong, Stephanie is super-nice, I like her a great deal. But at the same time…)

Sweet the Sting (or, 16 Days Later)

Start time: 06/13/06, 7:00pm
Location: Clarendon and the Custis Trail
Distance: 4.25 miles
Average pace: 10:17min/mile

So. Been a while, huh? Since my last update here, I figured out last Thursday night what was probably causing the strange cramp in my calf muscle (short version: wearing my running shoes for every day walking around) and hoped that removing the problem would mean I would be back up for running again today. The last time I tried to run, within well under half a mile I was in a lot of pain, so my plan for this evening was to jog slowly up to Pacers (4/10ths of a mile) and see how everything felt. I got up there with no problems (and the GPS said it was a 9:27min/mile pace… so much for slowly) so I decided I was ready to run again.

Chris showed up before too long, and miss_ev made an appearance as well (and with an adorable short haircut!) and we headed out and onto the Billy Goat running route. It’d been a little over two weeks since I’d gone running, and this is a tough course, so I had a feeling that I would bomb out before too long. The first mile was at a nice clip (9:25min/mile) but I knew that wasn’t going to last for long. Sure enough, there was a gradual slowdown over the next three miles (10:20, 10:36, and 10:51 for that fourth mile that goes straight uphill, with the final quarter mile being at a 10:04min/mile pace) as I could feel my reserves running out. My body was wondering why I wasn’t sitting on the couch! What was nice, though, was that I got to run it with three other people; Chris took off ahead for the last mile (and I must say I’d have picked up the pace if I could’ve) but the other two I was with were with me for a bit, then the one woman (Chin?) dropped back a bit and the other fellow (whose name I’ve forgotten already) slowed down to stay with her.

The leg held up pretty well. The last half mile it was feeling a little tight, but it didn’t hurt. More of a feeling along the lines of, “I haven’t run in a while and you’re sending me up and down all these horrendous hills.” Still, I stretched it out when I got back to Pacers, and used the Stick on it post-shower. (Man oh man did those frozen cubes of Freeze shower gel from LUSH feel good tonight.) I might try and knock out a few slow miles on Friday when I get back from a trip to Pennsylvania but a lot will depend on what I’m really feeling up to at that point. If I don’t, no biggie.

Things I did learn today include that a pre-run food of applesauce is a no-no (NO BOOTING), that I need to take a second dose of allergy medicine in the evening if I’m to run (stuffed up, ugh), that both this and the Alexandria store will be adding on additional days for running (both will have Tuesday and Thursday options in a few weeks), and now that it’s warm out I should start putting on the Bodyglide for even these shorter distances. Ouchie.

(Oh, and the GPS was dead-on accurate with the Google Maps route I’d plotted out for this before. Yay!)

One Week Later: I Suck

After taking a week off from last Sunday’s calf problems, I figured I was ok to start running again. I’d gone for a long (2.33 mile) walk on Tuesday night which helped a lot, and on Wednesday gotten a massage from Kris that seemed to really knock the problem out of the park; Thursday afternoon it seemed to be entirely gone. So, about half an hour ago I suited up, headed down to the Arlington Boulevard Trail… and in less than a third of a mile it was starting to hurt again. By the half-mile point it was starting to increase rather than decrease, and that’s when I stopped.

It killed me to stop. It’s still killing me to have stopped. Part of me keeps thinking that if I’d kept going it would’ve gotten “worked out” and started to decrease. The rest of me thinks that it’s better to be safe than sorry, that it was the right decision to not keep running and risk further injury.

But I’m pissed at myself, and mad, and just really torn up by all this (no pun intended). I don’t take injury well as you can tell, and any and all doubts that had gone away about starting back up with official training a week from today are now back in full force.

And just think, this is what I do for fun.