It's Thursday. The LI Half Marathon is on Sunday. That's 3 days away. As I write I'm icing my left calf. My last long run, actually my last run, period, was FUGLY. The weather was perfect for a 10 mile run. I was feeling fine. We decided to start on the trails of the refuge again, do both trails, totaling about 7 miles, and then finish up in the neighborhood around the house.
So, once my Garmin found a satellite we started running to the refuge. We started on the longer trail and finished it at around mile 4. We stopped and had some chews to help refuel. This was my first run with my new hydration belt, and I was so glad I bought it! All I have to carry now is my sweat mop and my right bicep thanks me for it! My handheld holds my iPod, phone, chews and 20 oz. of liquid. Carrying that for a long time really tired my arm, so that's one worry crossed off the list. Now Charlie carries it, which I feel bad about, but it IS a step up from him carrying a regular old water bottle. He can put his iPod in there and carry his own fuel.
After the 1st leg of the run, we then ran the shorter trail and finished at about 7 miles. Running those trails are tough. There's a lot of small hills, constantly, and a lot of sticks, pine cones and small holes from squirrels, I'm guessing, (and hoping), to avoid. I like it because you don't have to worry about cars, kids, dogs, bikes, etc. but you could wipe out at any moment from the debris. A couple of times my left foot shoved a stick into the side of my right foot and nearly gave me a heart attack. Falling would not be good.
I felt better after 7 miles this time than my last run. We stopped again and ate some more and I made the stupid decision to do the short loop again. Only a mile in my left calf cramped. It was just a quick twinge, but I knew I'd be fighting it the rest of the way, and I did. By the end I was basically shuffling through the pine needles. At 10 miles we were on our way home. A half mile walk took about 15 minutes, that's how slow I was moving. Charlie was in great shape, which makes me happy.
When we got home I stretched and foam rolled a lot. On Monday I was feeling fine. I went to the gym and did 45 minutes on the arc trainer. Tuesday is when it hit the fan. I went to the gym and did 15 minutes on the rower, 15 minutes on the elliptical and then a half hour walking 3.5 mph at a 5% incline. That's what did me in. My calf muscle felt like a rock. I could walk with no pain, but when I pointed my toes which flexed the muscle, I felt pain. It's not excruciating, but it's there, and I'm worried.
Listening to everyone who I've asked, I'm dutifully icing it and stretching. It feels better today. Yesterday I just mowed the lawn, but nothing strenuous. Other than that, if I'm not up to prepare food or do some light cleaning, I'm sitting here, babying my legs and on the computer, most likely playing Candy Crush. That game was made by the devil. If you haven't played it, don't! Your house will fall down around you and you will become a slug! At least that's my experience.
I believe that the trail running in regular running shoes effed me up. Add the fact that I AM running in the new shoes, which is changing up the rest of my alignment, and my calf could not take it. So, I'm sort of panicking about 13.1 miles. I can only hope that all of that trail running will make running on asphalt easier and I'll become The Flash out there. The calf is feeling better and I hope it's as good as new and not an issue at 8 am Sunday.
I have a lot to think about and remember while I'm running those 13.1 miles. This picture will hopefully make me think of Sheldon from 'Big Bang Theory' and how hysterical he looks in this costume. I also have the new mantra "Run if you can, walk if you must but finish for Boston" to chant in my head. There are many innocent people that were standing on the sidelines of the Boston Marathon cheering on runners coming into the finish line that no longer have a leg, or even two, to walk on, let alone run. If I have to hobble and shuffle across the finish line, I will. Charlie will make sure of that.