As I write this, there are 29 days left until the marathon. Four weeks from tomorrow, I will finish the Boston Marathon. I am getting very close to being the end of this chapter of my life as a runner, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m starting to play some of the head games that I am usually very good at avoiding.
It started last weekend with the massive calf knot I experienced on my 18 mile run. The pain was pretty debilitating for a few days, but then I put on a compression sleeve like the one you see here, and it started to feel better. When I went in for a massage, I got some troubling news. According to my therapist, the problem was twofold. First, my calf muscles are not well balanced. The calf muscle is shaped like a tall, skinny Y, and on the inner leg, mine are big and strong. On the outer leg, not so much.
More concerning are my gluts… or lack thereof. She told me that the majority of my issues were stemming from very weak gluts. She could barely touch my calf muscles until she worked out the gluts, and that was VERY painful. The good news is that after she worked my gluts, the calves felt MUCH better. Also, one can exercise this issue away.
I didn’t run at all last week. I wanted to give the calf plenty of time to heal. Yesterday the team had a “short” run; something between 12.5 and 13 miles. By about mile 6, my non-existent gluts were complaining loudly. I think it’s just because they were loosened up to the point of being able to do their job… Something they’re not used to doing. My calf was fine, but now I’m obsessing about another muscle group.
When I started training, I had a stretch goal in mind, to complete the marathon in under 4 hours, roughly a 9:06 minute per mile pace. I’ve run half marathons at that pace, and shorter distances much faster. At this point, I’m turning away from this line of thinking. I believe a ten minute per mile pace is sustainable if I can work these issues out. 4 hours and 22 minutes… I can live with that.
With 29 days left, there isn’t a whole lot to be done. We have our 20 mile training run next Saturday. I need to complete those miles, and at that point, will consider the training essentially complete. I’m starting some glut specific training today, but am going to keep the intensity very low. My goal is to add a little capacity, but just a little. Between that, ice baths, massage, and compression, I should be okay.
At least, that’s what logic says. Now if I could only quit worrying about it…