In spite of their chicken appendage appearance, I’ve always had issues with my calves. Quite simply, they’re wound TIGHT. In the past, they’ve pulled on my shins, pulled on my knees and even pulled all the way down to my feet. Stupid calves. I’ve found that a steady diet of calf stretches before and after running, more foam rolling than humanly possible, and ice kept them under control. However, over the past few weeks I’ve felt them getting tighter and tighter. Call it a fun side effect of multiple 65+ mile weeks. (Another side effect? Ironically, pants that fall off.) I’ve tried to stretch them to keep them lose but honestly I haven’t been doing a good enough job.
Last night I rolled, iced and this morning I took a very easy day. Which, means that I ran 5 miles. It was better than the day before, but something was still very “off”. Frankly, normally I’d run through it. It isn’t enough to slow me down so why should I stop? Fortunately, I’ve been running long enough to learn that 4.5 weeks before your major spring race is not the time to (hard) run through injuries. So, I’m going to build back up with lots of easy miles to ensure that I’m on the mend before I ratchet down the speed again.
Essentially, I’ve had to ask myself an important question: PR in training or PR during a race? No one cares if you push too hard in training and kill a run....if you then go on to limp through a race. One of my favorite sayings is that: “I’d rather be 90% trained than 50% hurt every day of the week”
Hopefully I’ve make the right choice.