Last year I wrote a post about how I pretty much have chronic marathon tattoo and how it gets worse when I forget to BodyGlide the front-and-center chest area where the band of my sports bra sits.
You'd think that this is a problem that could be solved with the right sports bra, but after twenty years of wearing sports bras, I have yet to find one that's completely chafe-free. Some are definitely better than others, though, and my current choices (MovingComfort Alexis and Nike ProCombat) are the best I've found so far which is why I continue to wear them.
But still, getting into the shower becomes DEEPLY unpleasant with an open wound or two, even when it's comparatively less-open than it has been in the past.
So. It has come to this.
Yesterday was my first easy "test-run" after cutting Saturday's long run short due to some not insignificant Achilles/calf pain (and a few other minor things). I took Sunday and Monday completely off, and when my leg still felt a little off just walking around on Tuesday, I decided to play it safe & take one more complete rest day.
On Wednesday, I decided to try an easy out-and-back six to see how it felt, with mixed results. For the first mile and a half it felt okay & the pain was just a little twinge; then at about two miles the twinge got worse, with most of the pain occurring at toe-off, and I started to get a little nervous. Suddenly my Achilles/calf area--on both legs, mind you--felt hard as rocks. At three miles, it was at its worst, the kind of for-serious pain that, had this been a race, probably would've caused me to drop out. That was my turnaround, so I did a little walking and stretching and hoped that would help it relax and loosen up. (This was one of those moments where I actually miss having access to a treadmill -- I totally would've stopped right then if I hadn't been three miles from home. :P )
Heading back, the Achilles/calf pain subsided a little bit (but was still very much present), but I wonder if the pain there was causing me to adjust my stride in some subtle way, because by mile 3.5 suddenly my entire right leg started to hurt from the hip down. Seriously--this was quad pain like I have only had at mile 23 of a marathon. And I haven't done anything to my quad. The hamstring was bugging me as well, but I really can't imagine that it hasn't fully healed from the strength testing Friday and I haven't done anything else to it. So doing weird things to my stride to compensate for the calf pain is the only thing I can think of.
By maybe 5 miles, some of this started to subside a little. The leg was far from pain-free, but it wasn't at quit-the-race levels anymore. I had kind of a bad feeling at that point that even six easy miles was going to end up having been too much and that even after three days of rest, I'd managed to make things worse with this run.
So we'll see what happens. It's always amazing to me how quickly you can go from feeling ready and excited for a race to debating whether you're healthy enough to run it; if Oakland were this Sunday, for example, I'd probably bow out. On the other hand, it's equally fascinating how quickly the body can heal at times, and a lot can happen in a week and a half. In the mean time, I've completely thrown out my training plan. For the next few days, at least, when & how much I run will have to be dictated by how my leg feels. I won't be surprised at all if I end up doing nothing but easy miles this week, and I'm definitely not setting a mileage goal. The only goal right now is to be healthy enough to run on the 25th, and if that means resting every single day between now & then & losing a bit of fitness, then that what it means. Better a not-great time than a DNF (or DNS).