Week 8 Still trying to be optimistic about getting my training back on schedule. I went for a short 5 mile run after work on Monday paying close attention to my calve to be sure I didn’t reinjure it. (Click here to view this run on Garmin Connect) Wednesday, I upped my daily limit to an 8 mile run and didn’t seem to have any issues despite being still a bit worn out from the three hours spent on the treadmill during the previous few days. (Click here to view this run on Garmin Connect) On Thursday, I felt actually pretty spry and even did a light upper body workout after work. Friday was a rest day and all I could think about was whether or not I was going to be able to pull off 18 miles the next morning. Later in the day, I saw the weather forecast for Saturday and it wasn’t pretty; below freezing temps, a chance of snow, and very strong winds gusting in excess of 30 mph. I was reluctant to run outside if the weather was going to be below freezing so it was looked more and more like I would be on a treadmill once again. Treadmills not only bore me to death, they don’t use all my leg muscles the same way as running outside does. I have read extensively on the difference between the two and my own personal experience seems to validate a lot of what I have read about the bio-mechanical differences taking place when one runs on a treadmill from what would happen running on the ground. Long runs on the treadmill exasperate my hip flexors anytime I use the treadmill heavily after not using it for a while. In winter when I start hitting the treadmill regularly again due to our frigid Minnesota winters, I feel those muscles go through an adaption period, and in the spring, they need to adapt to running outside again which really seems to make my calves take notice for the first few weeks. Waking up Saturday morning felt like deja vu from the weekend before. There was snow blowing by my window sideways so I opted to take up residency on a treadmill down at the local Anytime Fitness. There is a treadmill there with a program to make the treadmill shut down after an hour however, it can be overridden so the treadmill will run as long as you want without shutting itself down. Luckily for me, this treadmill was open when I arrived at the gym so I wasted no time in getting on it. My first mile started slow, walking for a few minutes, and then slowly increasing my speed until it was at 6.2 mph by the first mile. I just left it at that speed for the next three hours, finishing 18 miles a few minutes’ shy of the three-hour mark.
For fuel, I tried out some new energy gel packs that seemed to work great, however I don’t like the ingredient list that revealed a huge chemical cocktail so I am going to keep looking and experimenting on my long runs. Overall, this workout seemed to go well though I did get three wicked blisters but think I have identified the cause and eliminated it so I wont have to experience them again.
Getting off the treadmill, my legs were not in pain but felt very heavily fatigued and after sitting down for the half hour ride back home they became very tight. By the time I got home it hurt to move and I could barely walk… hobble is a better description so traversing from the car to the house was quite the chore. I took a 45 minute bath dosing it with a fullg half a bag of Epsom salts. It is amazing how much difference this made. Afterwards, my legs, although they still felt very heavily fatigued, no longer hurt near as much. A major relief since that evening I had plans to attend the symphony with my wife and a couple friends. I was still a little concerned with the walk from the car to the concert hall while pretending to enjoy it but even after a long car ride and sitting through the symphony in the miniature seats with zero leg room, I felt pretty good. The following morning my legs felt much better although the heavy feeling persisted. So happy I am getting my training back on schedule and hoping by the end of next week, my calve problem will be nothing but a distant memory.