I took Sunday off so I could move the speedwork back from Tuesday (effectively, my first day at work) to the holiday Monday. The heat was brutal that day. I was scheduled to do 3 x 1 mile repeats, but couldn’t handle the heat. I cut the repeats down to 1200 and instead of jogging 800 between just sat in the shade for three minutes. Even so, on the third one I started to feel dizzy, so that was that. It would be one of two speed sessions cut down in its prime this week. Later, at the gym, I made up the work with two faster bits of running on the treadmill.
Over the next few days I got the hang of getting up very early to run (around 4:45 am most days), although I did one run after work.
Then on Friday disaster struck. The weather had cooled off. It was a beautiful morning to do some track work. I got there and did a decent warmup — about 9 minutes of easy running followed by 4 x 100m sprints on grass — and went into my first 800 repeat. 600 metres in it felt like someone was tasering my leg. A lightning bolt of pain started in my achilles, hit my calf and shot up midway through my hamstring in all of half a second. It hurt like a mother.
I’d pulled something. But the intense pain was gone as quickly as it came, leaving behind a dull shadow of itself. Could I still run? Should I still run? It’s so hard to answer this question. If you let every little issue cut short a run you’d never get any quality work in. So I decided to try doing the rest of the workout. My calf was complaining, but it wasn’t altering my stride, so I ignored it.
The 800 repeats were fine, the 200s not so much. I made it through two (at the appropriate speed) and then on the third one my calf was really beginning to bray at me. So I stopped running fast and headed into 10 minutes of easy running. But my leg was not done with me yet. Three minutes into that it went “Boing!” again and I could run no more. Walking was iffy now.
Unfortunately, I had to walk a lot in the city that day, as part of my gig involves running around town and interviewing people. Three ibuprofen, 20 minutes of icing and a slathering of Voltaren later, I was in reasonable shape to walk. The leg got a bit better over the course of the day, as I think walking helped stretch out the knotted calf muscle(s). But I was in no shape to run on Saturday, as walking was still painful.
Yesterday I tried a run on the treadmill at the gym. That really hurt. So I spent 45 minutes on the elliptical, which didn’t.
I hope I can get this cleared up by Saturday. I have a race that day.