My runs have been pretty darn good this last week. I ran 9 miles last weekend and was very pleased with it. My starts are generally the hardest, meaning, that those first 2 – 3 miles take the most out of me, but by the 4th and 5th miles I’ve found my rhythm and am able to step my runs up from 1 minute to 2 then 3. My longest runs have been 3.5 minutes long with a minute walk. Not exactly how I’d pictured my first half marathon but it’s been the plan from the beginning as anything more would be impossible (calf nerve issues, not muscle). That said, I’ve really come a long way since I’ve first started so I’ve been very pleased. I had another 5 mile run on Tuesday and then was unable to do my second 5 mile run on Thursday due to some conflicts (kids sick, work, etc…) and the calf was acting up.
Today I was going to go for my last long run. I’d had a few days rest without running and was optimistic, feeling good overall about the week and my half marathon a week from today. Last night I had a nasty little pain that ran the left side of my lower back into my left buttock. It was a nagging pain and didn’t feel like a muscle strain but more like a nerve pinch. Well, I stretched things out pretty well this morning before heading out and found that at a mile and a half, the calf started feeling a bit nasty. I could feel the tell-tale pain that stretched the length of the middle of my calf all the way up to the back of my knee. Not good. Rather than push myself, which would only do more harm than good, I decided to walk the short distance back home. That means that I was not only 8 miles short of my target run for the day but that I couldn’t even walk it for fear of making things worse.
A couple of things I think are contributing to it, and this of course is my non-medical diagnosis, I’ve gone back to work this past week and so have had to don the heels again after a much enjoyed respite. I think they’ve contributed to some of the nerve issues as the calf is having to work muscles that it hasn’t had to in several months. Secondly, that nerve pinch in my lower back is definitely related to my calf. It’s one of those pinches that just needs Troy’s touch, adjustment, to get it back in line.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I won’t let the calf win. On my walk back I did some thinking and have accepted the fact that I may not run the majority of this half-marathon. I’ve known from the beginning that I’d be running/walking it, but today I realized that I could be walking more of it than running, assuming the calf acts up again as it did today. I could pretend I’m not disappointed, but I’d be lying. I’m irritated. My options are to quit or accept the fact that I’m there to do my best and finish. I’ve chosen the latter. Walk or run, I’ll finish. Yes, I’m a plodder, but it’s not for lack of trying.
My goals: to be present in the moment, and finish. This human may be broken, but my spirit is not.