|Photo courtesy of Flickr by Trevor Haldenby|
I haven't blogged since it happened. I'm trying to ignore it, ostrich-style, head in the sand.
Training was going really well. I did 15 miles the Saturday before last and it felt good - hard, but good. I was ready to stop at the end but if someone told me I had to keep going, I could have. I had a massive blister at the front of my left heel, but considered it a badge of honor. I was ready to go!
I skipped my Tuesday run because of an evening event (only 3 miles, no biggie) and did just shy of 7 on Wednesday. It was hard, and I could feel it, but I figured I was rusty after not moving for a few days. I had some shin splints but I get them fairly regularly so I wasn't overly concerned. And my blister hurt but, whatever. I was more concerned that it felt like I was running on the seam of my shoe, and that was what caused my blister rather than anything else.
Thursday I went out with The Irishman for 4 miles and it was really painful. I did the 4 miles but the blister, the calves, the shins, they all hurt - especially my left leg. It made me doubtful for the first time in my training that I was going okay. I rested Friday and skipped 16 miles on Saturday, opting for swimming at the gym instead (btw, swimming is hard work!).
I went to Niketown with my runners and discussed what was happening: they had me try a few shoes and run on the treadmill to diagnose my stride. Turns out, to make a long story short, I'm a neutral runner (not needing any correction) in a very firm and tough stability shoe - therefore overcorrecting my stride that doesn't need any correction and possibly forcing me to run differently. They wanted me to buy another pair of shoes but my left calf hurt so much running on the treadmill that I couldn't focus on the bloody shoes.
So I rested Sunday and Monday, and will rest for the rest of the week. I have been icing my calf and doing a lot of web research, tentatively self-diagnosing myself with a strained calf. I have a few suspicious black and blues turning green around my calf and ankle which I think have to do with the stretched muscle bleeding and pooling at pressure points. Great.
Clearly I am overreacting at this point. I've been alternating between despair and making pacts to sell unborn children for my calf to recover. A friend recommended a physio who herself is a marathon runner, so I'm going to gingerly do a few miles Thursday or Friday and then book into see her. I have 7 weeks to get back to fighting form on my calf and I'm not quite desparate, but at this point I've invested so much into this race that if I DON'T get better and can't run I'm not quite sure I'll be able to console myself.
Do any of you runner readers out there have any tips beyond the RICE technique?