This week has been a break through week for me with my calf finally feeling under control, I won’t tempt fate and say completely healed as I saw the scan a week last Tuesday and the tear is there, albeit a new one and a lot smaller. I spoke to my physio on Wednesday and he is the most pessimistic (or realist?) person you could ever meet when it comes to recovering from injury and even he said if I could run 10k without any issue then I should continue to run and build up my cardio fitness. He did recommend not running the City to Surf Marathon in August and I was vague on this point knowing full well I had entered only a few days before. I suggested we discuss this subject again in 4 weeks time, knowing full well that in 4 weeks, if I’m still running, then I’m lining up for my 9th City to Surf in a row, come hell or waters high.
Letting the boys know I’d entered spurred on an avalanche of entires and it seems I won’t be alone on the big day with the two Mark’s entering and Jon. Gareth has ‘footy’ coaching but I’m sure he’ll find a replacement for the big day as , speaking from experience, missing out on these marathons is frustrating, and that’s putting it nicely.
Training wise I have to walk a tight rope for the next few weeks. It’ll be a lot of Elliptigo time (which I love at the moment) and any running will be at a very relaxed and slow pace. This morning for instance I was awoke by one of the puppies early so had an hour to kill. What could I do but go for a run but this was to be a rest day so I had to make sure the run was at a pedestrian pace at best. As it was 5:30am and pitch dark outside this was easy enough and I managed a 5:45min/k average for the 10k. Returning back to the family nest very happy that I managed to maintain this pace and truth be told at the end I was quite tired , which doesn’t bode well.
Can I break sub 3 ? It’ll be a big ask and my training will need to go very well but that is the target. I’ll plan for 50k this week (maximum) and then increase that to 70k next week and maybe nudge 100k the following week. This will then give me 3-4 more training weeks of volume before a 1 week taper. Add in some serious time on the Elliptigo and I should be in sub3 form. The only fly in my ointment is the last time I was out for a 4 week period I ran the Bunbury Marathon a month later and ran a 2:59.xx time, cutting it very fine. I remember running through halfway at 1:28 feeling absolutely ‘goosed’ and I had to work very hard to scrape under three hours, very hard ! I have the finishing shots and you can see the emotion on my face, it was one of the highlights of my running career, not for the time but for the effort required to dig very deep to get out of a very big hole.
The City to Surf will require another lazarus like comeback to go sub3 but I’m hoping the Elliptigo will be the extra weapon in my arsenal that will allow me to get some serious time on legs without the pounding of running but with the added benefit of being a better workout than cycling. I’ll know so much more in a week or two as my last attempt at returning from my original calf tear went well for a week and then ended up with a new tear, probably due to over training so soon after injury. I certainly ate a large portion of humble pie but it was a risk I had to take with the Perth marathon as a carrot dangled infront of me.
What’s different this time ? The original tear is healed and the new tear is a lot smaller and probably nearly healed as well. I still haven’t got the confidence to add pace to my runs but I don’t have to for a few weeks. I will of course need to eventually add pace as I need to be comfortable running 4:15min/k or better to break the sub 3hr barrier for the 29th time (and hopefully number 26 in a row; remember what I said about runners and streaks; if I was to go over 3hrs I would be devastated, and that’s putting it mildly!)
Right back to training, a big week so far for me , 25k and with a 10k pencilled in for tomorrow I should be able to find 15k over the weekend to hit my 50k target. this will be the first hurdle; next week I add another 20k, hurdle number two. I will feel a lot more confident once I move towards hurdle number three as by then all calf tears will be well and truely healed.
What have I taken from this injury ? The main point is it could have been avoided. I knew I was pushing my limits and the calf had felt tight and sore for weeks before it eventually gave way. If I had rested more, even visited a physio for a massage, done some calf stretching exercises or hydrated better I’m confident I could have avoided this situation. Moving forward I really need to listen to my body more but the old saying about old dogs and new tricks seems to resonate in my mind for some reason. I suppose the only thing on my side is my youth? Still making rookie errors but hopefully learning from them, after all at 50 I still have another 50 years of running ahead of me, I hope my Elliptigo is up to the job, may have to check the warranty ?
We all run for different reasons. Personally I live for the thrill of the race…