First I have determined the issue is definitely with my calf muscle. I think the other tweaky ankle, shin pain was from limping around for three weeks off and on. Because yes, my calf was hurting for about three weeks before I finally broke down and decided to take care of myself... lesson learned. Today it doesn't hurt like it did before, the muscle just feels really tight and very sore. I am taking this as a good sign, the pain isn't there any more, just that muscle strain feeling.
Second, I decided to opt out of running for a week total. I ran four on Saturday and iced and stretched, but I decided not to push it and try and do 22. It hurt with each step. So on Sunday I went to the Y and only was able to sneak in one hour on the elliptical, very busy day. So all my usual runs for this week will be replaced with the elliptical until my calf no longer hurts.
I do have a 10K race to do on Saturday, the Easter Sun Run. I won't be setting a predatory rabbit (PR) and I will only race (i use the term race lightly, i should say run it) it if my calf doesn't hurt one OUNCE. I am supposed to do 12 on Saturday, so if feels okay I plan to run six miles before the race and count the race as my last six.
Three, I'm doing my "22-miler" on the elliptical tomorrow... that will be me and three hours of quality time on the elliptical. WOW. It's the soonest night I could fit it in since I'm teaching tonight (don't judge, it's finals week, I'm just sitting in class helping with questions on the final). So to help the time fly by on the elliptical I'm planning to take a book, read some magazines and maybe just plain zone out to the iPod. I've already informed Ed he has to do at least a 30 minute stint next to me, so that leaves me 2.5 hours to entertain myself. Sigh. But I am assuming it is better to do this, than to putz out and do nothing at all. The elliptical doesn't hurt my legs one bit, so I'm safe with this plan.
Four, I've decided freaking out is getting me nowhere. And thanks to some people over at Run to Finish (which I just joined) I'm realize I need to just think positive, ice, stretch and do what I can. So no more freaking out, I will make it through the marathon. My new goal is to beat Oprahs time, should be do-able!
Thank you again for all your advice, it was greatly appreciated! It really did help me make my final decisions. Oh and I'm calling my doctor tomorrow about the calf thing to see about getting into PT for some massage or ultrasound on it to loosen it up. I guess I'll have to wait and hope and see.
Cheers to an excellent running week my friends!