Before I get to the meat of today’s post, I want to give a huge, monstrous, one helluva CONGRATULATIONS to my twinsie, Caitlin, who got engaged this weekend! I am not about to take any of her thunder, but I am so, so , so, sosososososo happy for her and Joe. It has been the best part of my weekend.
I was going to save this discussion for tomorrow, but I would so much rather that Marvelous Monday stay positive, and this is going to deal with running, so we are doing The Long Run on a Sunday, this time.
I wish I could say that Debby left her downer elsewhere, but unfortunately, she set up shop. If nothing else, the fact that I didn’t write a Long Run post on Saturday probably was an indicator. I always find a way to talk about something, but it just wasn’t a good brain day. I did a lot better that night–Alex and I went out to dinner, and I got my big-girl pants back on. And had some magnificent beef carpaccio. Otherwise, though, it hasn’t been my best weekend. Friday was yucky, weatherwise, but I managed to find some time between grossness to get a run in. I put on my glorious Ravennas and decided that I just needed to go outside. I said I think I am experiencing some post-March hangover, and I just needed to be outside. Plus I didn’t want to run on the treadmill just yet. Well, maybe I should have.
About 2 miles into my run, I felt my calf (right in the middle) get tight. And all I could think was, BALLS. I have spoken about my seemingly now chronic calf issues–the reason for rest #1 of this year and the extra week in healing my hamstring. Something that I have known through my experience with horses but am now understanding more scientifically through my NASM studies is that soft tissues injuries tend to be recurrent. The fiber matrix gets interrupted, and little nodules form at the lines of stress and injury. Well, when the muscle heals, it does not heal as it did before–these little nodes interrupt the previously ordered matrix, and you experience impaired neuromuscular activation and efficiency due to altered length-tension relationships, etc. So what all of this leads us to is this fact: I injured the soft tissue of my calf, it is now prone to becoming pissed off. My hamstrings feel AOK now, but the fact that the hamstring and calf muscles work together during the running gait cycle means that issues with one (hamstring) increases the likelihood of issues with the other (calf). And if I am unable to get my glutes to release, I carry more load in my hamstrings. But with my glutes working better (I hope), my hamstrings and calves are duking it out (apparently). AAANNNnnddd, because we are dealing with impaired activation, they are more prone to being little b*tches.
SO. I ran, my calf got tight, it is still tight, and I am wondering if there will ever be a time again when I will be able to leave the house without the wheels falling off. I was running 30 miles a week during December, and it was when I backed down from that number that my calf started to hurt in January. Now I am barely getting 4 runs in before it cries out. I didn’t run for 5 weeks. It got yogaed and stuff (technical terms, I know) all March. And yet still, this.
For some reason, I am not seeing the rainbows and sunshine this time, even though I was finally able to sit outside in sunshine Saturday. Which was lovely, but I was just feeling really, really lonely all day. Stuck, if you will. It has been a while since I have felt that way. I didn’t go to yoga due to my calf, I walked around a bit but tried to not overdo it because of said calf, and I just lacked all motivation. I took a rest day, hoping that it was just some overload of the muscle. I don’t think that it is.
I am really discouraged at the moment–as I said, I feel snakebit. I wish I could say, eh, I’ll rest again. But I just rested EVERYTHING. If it was unhappy, it should have dealt with it then. I can’t even run 1/3 of the mileage of a few months ago without getting injured. And, to be honest? Sometimes it feels like running/working out is all that I have left, especially to fill my days. Sure, I can study, and that definitely takes up time, but other than that, I workout, I was going to yoga (but not anymore, so that is gone), and Alex is gone during the day. I blog (obviously) and I (try) to work on reviews and things for Ramblen. Job hunting has once again come to a standstill. With running, I felt like I was accomplishing something again, while these other developments are percolating. Plus, it showed me how much stronger I am, how the rest was really worth it.
I probably should just pack this post away, let it just be more of a journal than anything. But it is where I am, and it is something that I know we will all deal with at some point or another. We’ll see what the next few days bring, but it is obvious I will not be running the LakeFront 10 miler Easter Weekend. Or going for a run on my birthday, when I will also be hanging out with Bart Yasso for a airing of “Finding Strong” at Fleetfeet South Loop. Yet again, another running-related event where I am down for the count.
It is times like these that I wish you all lived here in Chicago with me. I need a running/fitness/foodie/blogging community hug.
And now I am going to go take pictures for Ramblen. Because they are awesome and deserve my best. Tomorrow I will hopefully be feeling much more like myself, now that I have gotten all of this out.
Anyone else feel like they are perpetually falling short? Or snakebit?
Tell me one FREAKING AWESOME thought about anything.