Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Running Hiatus

Well, my running ambitions have been put on hold. What? You didn't know I had running ambitions? I do. I have remarked to various people off and on that I'd like to do the TC Marathon in 2013, when I turn 40.

Side note: People who actually run marathons are NOT the best marketers of the experience. Everyone I have ever known who has run a marathon has talked about how much it SUCKED. Apparently, after 20 miles your body just revolts and it's all a mental game. As a particularly lazy person, I'm not sure why this sounds like something I want to do.

David and I have signed up for the entire Monster Series (Polar Dash 5K, Get Lucky 7K, Minneapolis Marathon Relay, Minneapolis Duathlon, and Monster Dash Half-Marathon). Yes...I am going to do a half-marathon. But first, I needed to get ready for the marathon relay. I found a nice 10K training plan which didn't use any words I didn't understand such as fartlek, tempo run, or lactate threshold.

Instead it encouraged me to run for 30 minutes moderate. 45 minutes light. 30 minutes moderate with 5 short bursts of speed (30 seconds each). I can handle that.

What I couldn't handle was going from running maybe twice a week to four times a week and then five times a week. Oh sure...at first it was great. I was running faster. Faster to me is a few times running a 10-minute mile. A miracle!

I was also running farther. 4 miles easy. 5 miles a couple times. I got to week 5 and was looking forward to a 60 minute run one Sunday, when I realized I just could not ignore the pain in my shins anymore.

Shin splints. I had these in high school when I was on danceline, and at that time I thought it was kind of cool. There was always a debate about whether those of us on the danceline were athletes. Well, athletes get shin splits! I am an athlete. But this...this was different. No doubt this can be attributed to the fact that I am now 20 years older.

I ran for about a week with the pain...I think the longest run I did was 50 minutes and when I was done I was hobbling around like an old lady. This coincided with a cold, so it seemed a good time to take a rest. I took about a week and a half and then headed out again.

Problem was, not my left calf was really starting to hurt too. I got on the treadmill one day and oooh....not good (I can't think of anything witty to say. It hurt).

I managed to make it through the marathon relay with no problems. Some pain, but not too bad. I ran a couple times this past week, but stopped and took many breaks. The last time I ran was Sunday. I did three miles while we were in Winona. And then I decided to stop. My left calf really hurts and my shins protest when I chase the bus (another reason I should be biking to work). Actually, they kind of hurt just walking around, but that might be the heels.

I am on hiatus, like your favorite TV show. Let my poor shins heal. And my calf. Stupid calf.

This is so disappointing to me because I was having such a good time running. I was so proud of myself. Sure, I'm slower than just about everyone else I run with...but I could do it. I could do 5 miles, propelled only by ME. I was getting faster and having a good time. And now...sigh.

So, what now? Well, the elliptical and I will become friends. In the past we haven't really enjoyed one another, but I think that might change. I'll also be getting to know my road bike really well. And I might hit the pool for the first time in a year. With any luck, I'll be back pounding the pavement in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted.