You are only as good as your weakest link. The weakest link in my chain today was my upper left calf which continues to be tender despite an easy effort medium long run. I felt very fresh heading out this morning, however I noticed the tightness was still there in my left calf despite laying off running for 4 days. I continued on for the warmup mile and stretched. During stretching I didn't notice any discomfort or tightness - the tender area is obviously not targeted through my normal calf stretching routine. I continued on,planning to run 13 to 15 easy effort miles - certainly no speedwork or MP efforts today.
My left calf appeared to be the only discomfort area as miles 2, 3, 4 & 5 crawled by. However I did feel very lethargic and unmotivated, often thinking of cutting the run short. Something inside urged me to go on as this was going to be the last longish run before the marathon and I needed the training (A load of crap really) - you can convince yourself of anything. Training is all about comfortably stressing your systems to make them stronger - the only things I was stressing were my poor calves, who could least cope with it- yes my right calf started to feel heavy and tight as the miles rolled on - they felt like I would expect them to feel towards the end of a marathon.
I completed 13.9 miles in all and I must say I only enjoyed the first 100 yards. With previous tough runs at least I had the satisfaction of some sort of achievement be it a hard pace or long distance or both, not with this run which was at a pace of 08:46 minutes per mile (130 HR) - This is recovery pace following long runs - I've felt much better following recovery runs. On the plus side I hardly stressed my cardiovascular system at all - at least this appears to be working ok.
After the run my calves felt sore, especially when walking downstairs - it feels like I am after my marathon - not before.
Ewen's words of warning after my last post came to mind:-
"Monitor it during the warm-up for Sunday and postpone the run if the pain is still there, or doesn't subside with continued easy running."
I will certainly be following this advice over the next two weeks. If that means no running before marathon day, so be it.
Total miles for the week about 16 or 17 @ a pace I care not to mention. Things can only get better.
I started running shortly after my 40th birthday to train for the "once in a lifetime marathon" (mid-life crisis and all that) and haven't been able to stop since. This blog charts my progress as I attempt to go farther and faster than I have ever gone before.