On Thursday I was supposed to do an easy 7 miler, which I figured I'd squeeze in between getting home from work around 5ish & meeting a friend for dinner at 8:30. Unfortunately I was reminded once I got to work of the fact that I was supposed to be in a meeting from 4-8pm. Eh, whatever, I figured; Friday was a scheduled rest day so I'd just do it then.
So when I got home today I threw on running clothes & headed out for 6-7 easy miles. Out of nowhere, pretty much everything from my hips down decided to throw some kind of hissy fit. Lower calf-Achilles area. Upper outside calf on the right side. Anterior shin on the right side. Top of left foot. Medial-tibial area on both sides (the worst it's been in months). Cramps in both feet. Right quad. Right butt cheek. All of which was completely new, by the way.
Really, guys?? I wanted to whine. Seriously??
So I had that mincing, awkward, out-of-phase feeling the whole time. I could not settle into a nice, efficient rhythm & found myself running about 0:30 slower per mile than usual at an "easy" effort. I was in so much pain that I abandoned all thoughts of 6-7ish about a mile & a half in, toughed it out to two, & turned around.
On the way back I coaxed myself up to roughly half marathon pace, just to see how it felt. On the plus side, it was easier than I expected it to be; it just wasn't pleasant. Which kind of pissed me off, because I know my cardiovascular fitness is reasonably good right now, and it did not feel that way because of all the biomechanical busted-ness.
On those rare occasions when running does not go well & I find myself getting emotional about it, I've found that it sometimes helps to imagine that I'm another running friend who is having these problems & sharing it with me & think about what I would tell her.
Because I know what I'd tell her. I'd tell her one sucky race week workout is nothing to be overly concerned about, and how that's happened to me tons of times when I've gone on to have great races. I'd tell her to trust her training, to think back on all the miles she's run in the last few weeks and how great a lot of them had felt. I'd remind her it's been a long work week with two late nights & an out-of-town trip, and her poor feet & calves & Achilles tendons have spent a lot of time cooped up in rather non-running-muscle-friendly shoes as of late (which is probably at least somewhat related to the return of the calf/Achilles tightness).
Trust me, I'd implore her, you'll be fine. I'm trying to.
So as long as we're talking about a race, how about some goal-setting? :D
"A" Goal: Sub-1:40. Before tonight I was feeling actually reasonably good about this (or at least enthusiastic about attempting it). I'm feeling less good about it now, but not ruling it out. 4-1 odds, say. In part I think it will depend on the course, which I know precious little about.
"B+" Goal: Beat my Oakland time (1:43:15). I think that unless half my body is still busted, this is a pretty reasonable expectation.
"B" Goal: All sub-8:00 miles. So I hope there are no big hills. :/
"C" Goal: Beat my Santa Rosa time (1:44:52). This is pretty much guaranteed to happen unless 1) I am in so much pain I can't actually run 13 miles, 2) something goes seriously wrong physically & I end up limping to the finish, 3) the basic laws of physiology as we understand them cease to function, & it turns out that running your 2nd most structured / high mileage six week period all year actually makes you slower than you were after your least structured / lowest mileage six week period all year.
But seriously, at this point, I'm just hoping for a solid 13 mile run. This has been a pretty discouraging night.
See you on the flip side of this bitch.