Know when enough is enough. For most dedicated runners this is tough to acknowledge. Four days ago during a routine training run, my lower right calve began to ache. I thought nothing of it, there is always some form of ache somewhere in my body when I am running 40+ miles a week. The following day I went out to run again and this time the pain was dull and numbing. It was almost unbearable certain ways my foot would strike the ground. After 4 miles I found myself walking. I never walk! I couldn’t believe this close to Boston something was going wrong. My body was telling me no and my heart was telling me to run through it. After about 3 minutes of walking I began running again. I had to cut my training run 3 miles short. Once more I went out for a third run hoping my calve would no longer be full of dull pain. Sure enough the pain was in full effect. I had no choice but to continue running, I was leading a group run. I sucked it up and made 7 miles. When I returned home I immediately RICEd (rest-ice-compress-elevate). I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing shin splints or fractures due to overuse or improper shoes. Others I have spoke with describe shin splints as a dull achy pain. I rarely do this but I called my PT for advice. I am too close and well trained not to make it to Boston. My PT used a technique I have heard of many times in diagnosing hair line fractures, it involves a tuning fork. He hit the fork against his hand and then held it to different areas on my leg. There was no pain. If I had a fracture or shin splints I would have jumped off the table in discomfort. His diagnose is a strain. I was told no running over the next 5 days. I have never listen to a doctor when he/she has told me not to run. I normally leave their office, drive straight to the park and run. “Why do I pay doctors to tell me what I know I should be doing and then not listen to them?” What a waste of money on my part! Today I listened for the first time in 29 years. I registered for a cycling class. I plan to cycle the next 5 days in order to keep my cardiovascular system up to par. Cycling will take the pressure off my leg and still provide me with one hell of a workout.
Knowing when to rest is tough for us running. Listen to your body and don’t ignore discomfort. I would mush rather forgo the next couple of days not running to be able to kick ass in Boston. Today I received my race packet, it reminded me why I am resting, icing, compressing and elevating now. I know by taking care of myself I am going to have one hell of a race and an experience that I will care with me for the rest of my life! 22 days and counting!