Training Week 4/4

Training for the week 4/4 to 4/10:

Training for the week was, again, like last week, non-existent. My focus has been healing from the calf injury incurred during the National Marathon a few weeks ago.

To that end, I spent the week with easy, light runs and lots of stretching (gentle in the areas needing care and heavy in ancillary areas needing hardcore beating).

The week started as the last had finished, with my calf yielding no improvement. Anytime my calf got engaged, which it does upon foot-fall and again at push off, the injury was present with substantial weakness, almost as if my leg could give at any moment. This lack of engagement in my calf continued all week.

On Saturday, however, something was different — different in a good way. I didn’t push it. I continued to jog easy and compensate in a healthy stride for the tender area. Different was that I had, for the first time since National Marathon when the calf seized at mile 8, a connection.

Where before it was full weakness in the calf that gave no energy feedback to the body for running motion, much like a 2-cylinder engine losing a cylinder, I now felt the connection to the road through my calf as energy was able to propel my body forward rather then deaden. Although I did not use this new-found connection to thrust me forward, I felt it.

That, I knew, was the first sign of healing.

To that point I had been logging runs of only 1 to 4 miles each day. I knew I could run longer, but I kept them short in hopes for healing. Boston (the marathon) was out. That much I knew. But with all things like this, I didn’t want to make a call just yet because, well, I didn’t have to. I’m already registered, so I would make the decision when I had a definitive answer.

During this time, Heather and I talked about joining Kathy, my sister-in-law, at Doyle’s Road Race. Doyle’s is our family thing. They have an amazing after party, and it is located less than a mile from her and my brother’s house. Can I run 5 miles? For this, yes!

And so on Sunday, Heather and I drove to Jamaica Plain to join Kathy for Doyle’s. I had no expectations. I was going to stuff myself in the back or middle of the pack and jog easy through the five mile rolling hills course.

The race started with me joining Heather and Kathy in the middle of the pack. It took us 25 seconds to cross the starting line. With 2400 folks in this race through Franklin Park’s Emerald Necklace, it was crowded. I finally got my jog on a little beyond the starting line, once the crowd moved.

Within minutes I discovered that my calf actually felt better. I still felt it, but I was actually able to run. The connection to the road was apparent. Before long I found myself running on the side of the path to get past slower folks. Mile 1 came in a surprising 7:12. I stayed easy for another half mile but then hit near race pace (sub 6:00) for remainder of the race. I blew myself away clocking 31:30 (pace 6:18), with a few sub 6’s including a final mile of 5:42, all of which was good for 75th place of 2400.

Where I started the week knowing that Boston was a no-go, I am now changing course, thinking that I might run. My calf is still tender, so I’m now at about 50-50%.

The week went something like this:

Mon: 4 miles, easy
Tues: 3 miles, easy
Wed: 4 miles, easy
Thurs: 3 miles, easy
Fri: 4 miles, easy
Sat: 4 miles, easy
Sun: 5 mile w/last 3.5 hard

Focus of the coming week, the one before Boston, will be to continue stretching, continue with easy, short runs, and get to the point where I can declare that Boston is a go!

Fingers crossed. I’m doing my part.

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