Friday, February 25, 2011

Does the Running Streak Stop at 93?

I just got back from the gym where I did 2 miles on the treadmill. Just over 1 mile running sandwiched with a 1/2 mile walk on both sides of the run. I almost didn't make it 1 mile. My left calf was very tight and painful. If the calf is the same or worse tomorrow, I won't make it another day. The streak may end at 93 days of continuous running. This is particularly disappointing since yesterday was my best run of the week. I only did 3 miles, but it felt good. The calf was slightly tight, but OK. I was proud of myself that I didn't extend the run to 4 or 5 miles...or pick up the pace. I ran a steady 9:00 minute/mile. BUT IT FELT GOOD ENOUGH THAT I WANTED TO RUN FASTER AND LONGER.  Not today.  I hope things settle down tomorrow. If the calf doesn't improve soon, I won't be doing the Land Between the Lakes trail marathon in 2 weeks.

For now, the running streak is alive at 93 days.  But it's on life support.

UPDATE 1:  I am limping around at the office this morning.  This isn't good.
UPDATE 2:  Still hurting over lunch.  This is bad.
UPDATE 3:  Son of a...it still hurts tonight. 

4 comments:

David said...

I think one of the central tenets of barefoot/minimalist running is the importance of listening to your body. One must be careful when following any sort of training plan (or dare I say, streak) too religiously; at some point the plan (or streak) runs counter to what your body is telling you. Like the angel and devil sitting on your shoulders, you will be torn as to which to listen to.

Now, I'm not suggesting you affix your derriere to the couch while you wait out your calf. Rather, start a biking/elliptical/water-running bridge between your running streaks, and think about what you can do to avoid future injury (training, technique, etc.).

Now excuse me as I ignore my achilles and knee pain, and head out for my 6 mile tempo run, as per Hal Higdon's marathon training plan. Boston's not going to wait for me!

Chris said...

David,

Yep, the smart person would take a few days off and cross train. Me, I'll toss a few ibuprofen back and go for an easy jog tomorrow afternoon. If I can get out of bed!

Good luck at Boston.

janak said...

Chris,
I came to know of your calf pain just today. My advice is based on physics (or bipedal robotics to be more precise). Calf should never get involved in a simple flat run. If you use the gravity method, (or pause method, Chi-method etc.) you never use your calf for pushing. You use it only to maintain balance.
The gravity method is simple - Fall forward, leaning forward and catch the fall with the advancing foot.

I wish I could show you a wooden toy that walks down hill with no springs in the legs. That illustrates vividly that you don't need muscles!!! All it needs is gravity and a perfect hinge at the hipbone to let leg hang like a pendulum.

If you can stand on one leg with the injured calf, you could run with the gravity method. If you can't then you have injured it too much.

Chris said...

Janak,

I have the ChiRunning and POSE books and DVDs. Time to rehearse that stuff. You're right about the gravity lean and picking up your feet and letting them fall--rather than pushing off. Little calf involvement. I'm going to give it a try. Lots of massage helped last night.