Wednesday, March 28, 2012

90% Trained or 50% Hurt?


Every so often, I’ll watch a movie with plot holes the size of Texas egos.  The girl will answer the door, the pizza man will give her a wink, the pizza man’s pants fall off....it certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what comes next.  (Cue the electric jazz.)  My running over the last 3 days has been very much like one of the “Debbie Does Dallas” movies (where egos aren’t the only thing that are Texas sized).  At the end of the day, someone gets screwed.  I think I might be teetering on the injury knife edge.

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.

Monday’s run went well, but Tuesday’s run was one of the worst in distant memory.  I had pain in my calves, aches in my knees, and an ass that wouldn’t quit and a hamstring that was twitchy – all things that point to something not going well.  It was even bad enough that I had a slight limp as I walked up my driveway.  Houston, we have a Texas Sized Ego problem.  I’ll admit, I said a swear word.

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.

16 comments:

XL said...

I would rather be less trained than ever injured. I would be happy with just running to run and not be fast if it never hurt. No brainer to me.

Laura is Undeterrable said...

I feel like you are telling the story of my life right now. I'm having so many lower legs problems. I've had 2 tear inducing runs in a row and I'm at a loss. I didn't run at all last week and I came back in the exact same condition. I. Freaking. Hate. This.

Missy said...

I think you are making the right choice. Injuries suck. Racing injured is like caring around a 400lb elephant. It weighs heavy on the mind and body.
Good luck. Hope your legs feel better soon.

Hannah said...

Injuries suck. You're making the right choice.

Kris Lawrence said...

I just raced injured and it was disheartening. Half the battle of running to your true potential is getting to the starting line healthy. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Jamoosh said...

What's with all the Texas bashing Mr. I am too good for Daylight Savings Time?

Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal said...

I'm pretty sure you should go to a yoga class. A) It would probably help you a ton and B) I'm betting your recap would be freaking hysterical! That is all.

Meghan said...

I have extremely tight calves as well. Luckily for me - sister, aunt and best friend are physical therapists. Foam rolling and stretching were NOT helping me. Ever since I've started doing these 3 things I have noticed a drastic difference.

1. Compressions socks (very ugly) from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. Sometimes during runs.

2. Trigger point - a foam box with a "tennis" like ball and dumbbell looking thingie. Basically it is much more aggressive than foam rolling. Go to my blog, entry "Woo Woo" on March 6th for a picture. Roll that ball around the pain on your calf until you're in tears!

3. Stretching my calves for 10 minutes in a sauna or steam room before and after working out.

I hope it helps. No word of a lie - no calf issues since I started doing this!

Meghan said...

Oh - and to add to my previous long post. You should be icing right after exercising. But heating then and there after. You need to encourage blood flow to the area to loosen it up :)

Running Through Phoenix said...

It's those shoes. You gotta run barefoot man!!

Katie said...

pictures requested of the ass that will not quit.

Brian said...

Good luck Adam. I've had some calf issues since last summer. They've been somewhat better since I took off from running in January to let my (probably related) shinsplints heal.

Before the layoff, though, foam rolling and "the stick" helped, and since coming back I wear the compression socks during runs (rather than just for recovery) and that seems to help.

I think you're right to take it easy until you feel better. It seems like runners always want to rush back from injury, and I always make it worse when I try to do so.

Runners Fuel said...

Injuries suck! You're doing the right thing. Hope it gets better soon!

Barefoot Neil Z said...

Without you breakign records in training,this blog would be very boring.

wait.

Nevermind.

www.fueledbyspite.com said...

First time commenting but I've been having shin issues too. Meh. Have you ever tried tp therapy rollers? Holy crap I swear it helped me a ton...till I over did it again. I posted about it on my blog under therapist or something like that. Good luck! Ps... You crack me up.

toryburchshoesbags said...

buying outfits that you like in threeHogan Scarpe progressive sizes will get you through the first year with a littleFranklin Marshall Store more ease and less stress at this crucial time in the baby's D&G sunglasseslife as they need a lot of attention.