Thursday, August 26, 2010

seven weeks to chicago.

First off, I started this post last week and want to finish it, even though it's only six weeks to Chicago. I'm behind, and I DO WHAT I WANT. That's it.

So just like everyone in the world, my life has been a bit hectic between work, starting back up with teaching for the fall semester, family and life in general. But probably, unlike most of the world, I've also done a bit of pouting lately thanks to a new bestie who made a home in my OTHER calf. The right one. I un-affectionately named it "Mongolia." Yes, that's right. China in the left, Mongolia in the right. My calves are plagued. And so I did what I do best when it comes to my calves. I pouted. Let me tell you, that did absolutely nothing to help the situation.

I suppose the good news is that while I pouted, I was able to refrain from totally flying off the handle and doing what I like to call FREAKING THE F OUT. Maybe I'm just a pro at handling the whole injury during marathon training thing, or maybe I'm just growing up and realizing I don't always get my way and life doesn't always go how I demand it to go. Either way, there was pouting and some venting, yes. Freaking out, no. I am giving myself a gold star.

Here's the thing. I came to the conclusion after Mongolia reared it's ugly head so furiously that I couldn't run from a week ago Thursday until last Tuesday that there had to be an explanation as to why my calves had been viciously evil the past two years. Yes I could attribute it to running too fast (pretty sure that isn't the case this summer), or hitting higher mileage, or the heat and humidity. The list of 'could's,' is potentially endless. And yes something on that list should include how I once again wasn't taking the best care possible of my calves (and self) the past few weeks. Aside from all of those, I couldn't shake the nagging feeling lately that there is something bigger going on. There HAS to be a reason my calves are the bane of my running existence. I'm not sure I've found the conclusion, but in stopping and really thinking things through I came to a bit of a theory that I am currently testing (yeah i'm a nerd, i love theories and testing them, i may even make a spreadsheet).

Orthotics. I got mine after a series of hip issues and a second metatarsal stress fracture on my left foot. Wait here is a short aside: my hip issues that landed me in PT originally I am now certain didn't come from running, but from going to yoga classes where instructors weren't concerned with the safety of the students. Lesson learned. I found this out by going to a yoga class I used to frequent during my hip problems and the next three days after that class I had a lot of hip pain. Culprit found, problem solved. Aside complete.

During this revelation about my orthtics, it literally just randomly popped in my head one morning while pouting, I whipped my orthotics out of my Mizuno's (MIZUNO!) and looked them over. On the bottom was the date they were created, it said 11.08. Right around the time when all my awful calf issues started. Perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not. I could delve further into my thoughts on this, especially since I just read Born to Run, but I won't. I'll leave it short and sweet. I decided to try running sans orthotics for a few days. Run No. 1 sans orthotics, my calf hurt a bit but after a few miles it seemed to loosen up. Run No. 2, even less calf pain even though I hadn't run for nearly a week and ran six miles the morning before. Very surprising. Very happy.

For now I'll just save the rest for my next Chicago post and share that I do in fact think the orthotics were causing calf issues. That said I've also been getting daily leg massages and taking better care of myself overall. That's it on that issue for now. Like I said in my last post I had a good running week, then a bad running week thanks to the calf (i.e. i barely ran) and then this past week was pretty successful running wise, but again that's another post. For now, the breakdown of the previous two weeks of running.

Week 8 - Chicago Training
Tuesday - 5 miles
Wednesday - 6 miles
Thursday - 8 miles
Friday - 4 miles
Sunday - 16 miles

Total = 39 miles

Week 9 - Chicago Training (mongolia showed up)
Monday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 3.27
Friday - 7 miles

Total = 13.25 miles (ugh frustrating, but i'm taking it as a very unplanned super rest week)


Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Dam Mogolia!!! I have to say I am a bit jealous that you have a Marathon sooo soon.. GET BETTER ASAP!

rUntoNamAste said...

Got damn you Mongolia! []
Glad you found the root cause of the problem. Have you ever tried Zensah calf sleeves? They help when I suffered from a calf strain. I hope the rest of your training goes well. Fingers crossed!

abbi said...

Here's hoping the removal of the orthotics will make Mongolia move.

Indi said...

Hmmm...interesting theory and by the sounds of how your last run are right on! I give you double gold stars and a big gold ribbon too for not freaking out! You will be AWESOME!!! I just know it! See you soon!

Marlene said...

Not Mongolia!!! Sounds like you have identified the culprit... hope you can keep the calf woes at bay to get you through Chicago!

Irene said...

Yoga? Who knew? Glad you figured that out. Ditto on the Zensahs, but if you're going to use anything like that you need to try them now. I LOVE mine and they have saved me on numerous occasions. Take care.

Mike Russell said...

Try those ice baths, even if it is only from the knee down. It will help some of the inflammation.

I second the compression sleeves. Especially where you teach and are on your feet for most of the day, all they can do it help.;

zbsports said...

Great, I was entertained by the post. I learn more things on it. Thanks!!!