Ten miles into what was feeling like an amazing long run, my last before the Napa Valley Marathon in two weeks, my right calf decided that it didn’t want to run anymore and snapped it’s muscular finger sharply at me, quickly getting my attention. I stopped running immediately.
I hate that I have to swear on here, but that is what reverberated in my head and out of my mouth. I’ve been down this road before. I have been sidelined from running because of a calf strain for 8 weeks. This time it didn’t feel as bad so I walked on it a bit. I stopped and stretched it a little, then continued to walk. I walked about a half mile, then tried to run lightly. I made it about five strides before I resumed walking. Feeling defeat and starting to get cold, I pulled my phone out of the ugly belt, happy I had it, and called my dad.
Can you pick me up? I asked choking back a sob. (I was still 6 miles from home).
Then I called my (running) and close friend Lisa and started sobbing. All I could think was… I won’t be running the marathon. I have trained for fourteen weeks and now… I don’t even want to think of it. Lisa knows about my calfs. She has been there through my previous calf injuries. She told me to rest it, ice and ibuprofen (all things I know and have done today) and that I might heal in time for Napa. I just sobbed, like I had just lost a lover. Well, I kind of did, in more ways than one actually. By the time I was seated in Dad’s car, snot was just hanging from my nose, and my run group would laugh at that because they know how much I hate boogers! Yeah, that was gross and you probably didn’t need to know that, but so what? It just made me laugh to write it.
On a good note, I was running a pretty nice pace… and maybe that is the problem. I was not taking it slow. I wasn’t pushing, and it felt completely comfortable. But my training plan said to run a 10:35 pace and even though that is what I averaged overall the ten miles, that last mile, from nine to ten was an 8:39 pace. I was just listening to my music, feeling good. Maybe too good.
Maybe I shouldn’t have just laughed silently in my head at the awkward runner dude I passed moments earlier.
Two days ago I had taken the Super Feet out of my shoes for my run (Friday). They weren’t making my feet feel so super and I felt fine that night and yesterday. Maybe that was why. I was trying to get back to basics, with my running. I didn’t wear the Smartwool socks either today. So maybe that was my mistake, changing things-a fatal error before a race. But I thought maybe the Smartwool socks were why I was having problems with my feet, a change I made at the end of December only to start with foot pain 10 days later, which was an a-ha moment I discovered Friday after talking to our sponsored Athleta athlete Jeri Howland.
I am ultra frustrated (which is why all the tears earlier) with my running. On so many levels. I feel like I don’t know which way is up!
I know there is a positive in all this, but I’m not sure what the message is yet. I am going to rest. I am going to stay strong and hopeful. I am going to keep acting “As If” I am going to run this marathon. I will keep doing my strength training and watch my nutrition, stay hydrated and hope to be back to running in a week. It’s taper time and all my miles have been logged, so I should be good to run providing my calf thinks it’s ok. I will do what I can and if I can’t run the whole way, I will walk. And hopefully if it gets down to it, Sonja will come through on her word and carry me across the finish line. Either way, I am determined to make it happen!