Week 6 (7/28 8/3)
This was another week that was primarily cross-training in an attempt to rehabilitate my strained left calf. It was also the last week of summer school teaching. I told my co-worker, Peter, that if I was busting my hump on the elliptical trainer every day to stay in shape so that I can pace him to a BQ at Baltimore, he darned well better be ready to run on October 11. I plugged in his time from the Frederick Half-Marathon into a race converter and it spit out a 3:04 full. Since he has increased his training, we decided to shoot for three hours as our Baltimore goal time. By the end of the week I was not experiencing any tightness or pain in my calf so I attempted a run. This was a major mistake and may in the end prove to be a very costly setback. I am currently on vacation with my family in Massanutten, VA and dont have easy internet access so I had to make some of this quick and dirty.
Monday An hour-long elliptical session. Tired from last weeks double workouts, I faded during the second half.
Tuesday A 50-minute reverse elliptical session (+ 10 minute forward cool-down). It was a fairly decent workout.
Wednesday An hour-long elliptical session. I tried to push since Wednesday is my usual tempo day, but I again faded during the second half.
Thursday A 50-minute reverse elliptical session (+ 10 minute forward cool-down). I kept the effort relatively relaxed and my legs felt pretty good.
Friday An hour-long elliptical session. Best workout of the week. I faded again but was still able to hold on for a respectable distance.
Saturday A 2-mile swim. I had planned to swim 5K for my long day, but I got pulled out of the water just after 2 miles when there were rumbles of thunder.
Sunday A 5-mile run. This run started off with my calf doing just fine. There was no pain and I was actually more focused on my stomach issues (I went out too soon after breakfast) than my legs. I felt great and my first few miles were almost effortless. I hit splits of 6:18, 6:10, 6:07, and 6:08. Then, as I pushed it in for the final stretch, I felt my calf seize up with just a quarter-mile to go. I limped in to finish the final mile in 6:03. I headed towards home with a heavy heart and a feeling like something was being ripped out of me.
At this point it is hard for me to write about how things are going. After the Frederick Marathon I had hoped to create this blog as a way to provide advice and motivation to my fellow members of the running community (and to help promote the Maryland Double). Now my calf injury is three months old and I may have put my healing process back to day zero. It is frustrating to grind out mind-numbing elliptical, pool, and spin sessions for so many days in a row only to have to reset the rehab routine without even making it all the way through a single run. Knowing that much of it was due to my own foolish mistake of pushing the final mile (it felt so good to run again and my calf gave me absolutely no warning signs that it was going to tighten up) does not help with my sense of despair. Having recently completed my best ever season of running at age 38, I feel like a brand new gift has been snatched away from me. Self-pity, however, will not help me cross the finish line in Baltimore on October 11. Be prepared to read about more cross-training next week