To find your limits, you have to go right up to your breaking point and be able to turn back right at the last second to avoid injury. Unfortunately for me on Friday, I went one step to far. I strained my calf side stepping a prickly bush (got some mean stickers in there too) and spent the weekend trying to massage the knot out and get some easy mileage in to help work it out. It’s a knot about the size of a quarter in the middle of my calf, and it’s all a bit unsettling as I formerly saw my calves as invincible and capable of taking unlimited abuse. Interestingly enough the knot isn’t much of a problem on uphills, but more so on downhills where the calf has to tighten and release quickly and dynamically. I’m hoping the day-to-day improvements continue until Ray Miller 50 on Saturday, but I’ll have to wait and see what happens.
I don’t think I was doing anything out of the ordinary, but I may have been a little low on electrolytes. I’ve been pushing the distance on my weekday runs and have probably gotten to a level where some coconut water or SaltStick would be beneficial. Since my injury I’ve been upping those intakes a bit more than normal and it’s seemed to help with getting my calf to release more smoothly and cramp less.
Also, my right ankle still is a bit of a weak spot. I’ve rolled it 3-4 times in the past few weeks, and it’s made it much more apparent that more barefoot work is required. Soft sand drills and some other cross training is on the schedule for this week as it’s all about getting as close to race ready this week as I can.
I’m definitely grateful for the youth I still have as it helps injuries to heal quickly, but I’m also acknowledging that I’m getting to a level with my running where I’m able to get unique injuries that were much less common with my former fitness levels. As immensely enjoyable as it is to run up and down a 5k climb more quickly and comfortable than ever before, it isn’t free. Though initially I can handle more time spent running when there’s more vertical involved, it has also proven that I still have a lot to learn about what my ideal cross-training and form is for such endeavors. At any rate, I’m happy that this is happening in February and not May when I want to be at my peak mileage.
4mi, 1000ft, :40 easy pace
5 mi, 2750ft, :55 strong effort, 3mi at 15%, 1mi at 10%, 1 mi cool down
2mi, 1000ft, :20 morning treadmill
7mi, 2000ft, :70 Crystal Cove
8 mi, 2000ft :80 – Silverado-Bedford Peak
2mi, :20 – MT00’s at night
8mi, 1750ft, :90 – Calf Strained at Crystal Cove
5mi, 500ft, :50 – Easy at Bluejay
19 Mi, 3,750ft, 3:50 – Easy Holy Jim, Main Divide, Trabucco Trail with Katie
Katie on Holy Jim
Total 60mi, 14,750ft, 10:55
The calf was the limiting factor on any good runs later in the week, but it’s about time to taper for Ray Miller in 5 days anyways, so maybe this is a good thing.
Bombay Bicycle Club - Dust on the Ground (Banjo or Freakout Mix)