I went to Letti for a sports massage yesterday morning to sort out my left hamstring/groin strain and right calf cramp. Letti told me that there was bruising at the back of my left leg (consistent with where I felt the pain when attempting to waterski last week) but that the damage was more than likely surface tears in the muscle (not the hamstring - can't remember the name but it connects the groin to the thigh) as opposed to anything more serious, especially since I was able to run without much discomfort.
My right calf on the other hand was rock solid and required a lot of uncomfortable manipulation to loosen it out. She recommended using "winter green" as opposed to "deep heat" as it penetrates the muscle more.
I know the massage will work but it does take a couple of days. Letti said that if I was running that evening to make sure to stretch well - this should have been a hint to me to lay off running for the day. Not for me - I went the the gym after work with the intention of doing 30 or 40 minutes on the threadmill and stopping if I felt any discomfort. I did a warmup mile at about 9 minute pace and stopped and stretched (not too bad) I went back on the threadmill at 8 minute pace but after half a mile I felt the tension building up in my calf and called it a day. When I went home I had a hot bath to loosen out the muscle and boy did it feel hot - I lasted 10 minutes and crawled out of the bath exhausted.
This morning I drove to the park to cover about 5 miles at an easy pace to see if there was any improvement. I ended up covering 5 .75 miles at an easy pace. I could always feel a tightness in my left calf but it didn't get any worse. I was conscious of the fact that a faster pace, hills or a harder surface would be a better barometer of my recovery from the cramp. With this in mind I increased the pace for the last 0.75 miles covering it in 07:24 pace. While my calf didn't feel too bad the pace felt tougher than expected - I had wanted to push closer to or even under 7 minute pace which is my HM target pace. After stretching the tightness returned to my calf when walking, however as the morning has gone on this has eased. Lets hope the next 24 hours see more significant improvement. I have a number of options for tomorrows half marathon as follows:-
1) Give it a go and see how I do - and drop out if necessary (oh the shame)
2) Run it as a fun run enjoy the event without going for a PB
3) Turn up and support Thomas in his PB attempt (He is certainly race ready)
4) Turn up and pace Thomas for the first mile, 5 miles, 13.1 miles (oh I wish - option 1 without the shame)
5) Give the whole thing a miss and concentrate on recovery and the Cork to Cobh 15 mile race at the end of the month.
Too early to decide. If tomorrow morning is as sunny as this morning a PB would be a tall order even in full fitness.