Workout: 16 miles, 10:25 average, Connects
Today's good news: I ran 16 miles, the longest run the Hansons have me do. That means it can only get easier from here, right?! Sure.
However, that leads me to today's bad news: my right calf muscle started feeling a bit janky about 11 miles in, and after deciding to run through it, it's not feeling too hot right now. In fact, I'm rocking a pretty ridiculous wobble. This is worrisome.
While I let that soak in, let's go back to the good things. The weather was perfect today. We got a lot of snow yesterday, but it was really hot today (the thermometer's reading 62 in the sun right now!) so the roads were clear. In fact, large stretches of the Coastal Trail are free of snow! This unexpected and amazing development gave me the extra energy I needed at the beginning of the run when I was having a hard time dealing with the fact that I was going to be running for almost 3 hours. I've been running in the same places day after day, so it was awesome to change it up a bit. Plus, running on a secluded trail is way better than running with cars.
I didn't take any pictures, but here are some from CT runs past:
To me, this looks like a safari.
No snow anymore!
Another good thing: fueling. I decided to be lame and stick to what worked during my fifteen-miler a few weeks ago: sports beans and Honey Stinger gels. I brought two gels instead of one this time, and I think it made a difference. I felt pretty great during my 15-miler, but was starving when I finished. This time I wasn't nearly as hungry.
Okay fine, back to the bad thing. I was chugging along when, about 11 miles in, my calf started hurting. I was low on water so had been stingy about drinking, so I figured it was just a cramp. I don't know that I've ever had muscle pains while running, so I had nothing to compare it to. I refilled my water bottle at my car and kept going. It didn't even occur to me that it could be anything but a cramp.
As I continued, the pain didn't go away, and soon it was accompanied by a pain on the front of my shin, directly opposite the calf pain. I stopped a few times to see if I could stretch it, which didn't really do anything, and just kept going. My reasoning was that it didn't hurt that badly and I've had issues with shin pain in the past that turned out to be nothing. Also, I really didn't want to bail partway through a run, especially my first (of three) 16-miler.
The pain seemed to ease up, and by the end I thought it had gone away. But then I got out of my car to buy my post-LR treat (Subway sandwich, duh) and I realized it was definitely not gone. In fact, it had stiffened quite a bit. Ouch.
The pain is on the top of my calf, just below the knee (on the back of the leg). As I mentioned, it felt more like a cramp than anything else, but now it's just sore and I can't walk normally. There's a band of muscle that runs from the top of my calf and around the inside of the leg to the front of the shin that's quite sore/tight. I've been walking on it every once in a while so it doesn't totally seize up, but I wonder if I shouldn't be staying off it as much as possible. Other than that, I'm icing it. I read somewhere that you shouldn't stretch a muscle if it's strained (which this very well may be) and am generally ambivalent towards stretching, so I'm not doing any of that. Also, I'm unfairly blaming this on the fact that I didn't wear compression socks for the second time this entire training cycle (the first time was last Thursday and I didn't feel any different).
It goes without saying that I won't run until I'm pain-free. This pains me (hardeehar), as I "caught up" with my training plan (which I started two weeks early) so can't just take another week off and pick up where I left off. This will require some flexibility on my part, which I'm, uh, not really great with when it comes to running (everything else? Sure. Not running).
So that's where I'm at.
It's Sunday and I just ran my highest mileage week ever, so let's do a quick recap and finish this post on a positive note:
Monday: 5 miles, easy
Tuesday: 9 miles with 6 x 1 miles (9:34 with 400m rest)
Thursday: 10 miles with 8 tempo (9:44)
Friday: 5 miles, easy
Saturday: 8 miles easy
Sunday: 16 miles, easy-ish
Total: 53 miles
Huzzah! I would be screaming about how great this week was (albeit HARD), but, you know, it doesn't seem to have ended so well. Let's hope this turns out to be just a blip in an otherwise awesome training cycle, shall we?
Question: anyone ever experience pain like this? Any advice?