Uneven Training Cycle

I’m 25 days out from my half marathon and I’m not feeling exactly well-prepared.

Although November went pretty well, especially given I was at reduced mileage at the start of the month because of my marathon October 19. I felt pretty optimistic about gaining speed and I was hitting paces on the track that seemed to indicate I was on my way. I was experiencing some tightness in my right calf, but I had some massages and chiropractic work done on it and it seemed to keep it from getting worse.

Then my son shared some sort of bug at Thanksgiving, and I had a couple weeks coughing and feeling somewhat drained. I struggled with needing longer recovery jogs between my speed intervals, but I was still at least getting the pace that I was looking for. My right calf still was bothering me, feeling like I had a big knot in one of the deeper muscles. It twinges some, but never felt like actual pain. I was getting concerned that it wasn’t getting better, but it usually loosened up after a few miles warm up.

But midway through December, we were hit by a big family crisis, and I had a terrible long run that I cut short. I did ok on my runs during the Christmas holiday, although my easy pace was slower than I wanted it to be (still in range, but it felt harder than it should). Hitting my goal paces was a struggle, though I’d say it was at least half mental. I did mange through, but I keep feeling disappointed. I feel all over the place in terms of any “progress”, which is disconcerting because I felt pretty positive during my last couple training cycles.

I don’t know what to make of it all. I’m trying to be patient with myself.


Yes, I’m pasty. But im not usually this mottled. I just got out of a hot shower, so I’m a little pink too.

This weekend, I noticed a problem with my right calf while shaving in he shower. Check out the bruise that is right about where it’s been bugging me (ignore the place where my sock band left an indent). The discoloration is the healing phase (versus a fresh contusion). Um, perhaps I hurt that calf a bit more than I was willing to admit. I’m not sure if the full effect can be seen in the picture, but when I showed it to my chiropractor and my trainer, they both seemed a little alarmed until I told them it didn’t hurt. However, the area is still too tight for comfort. I’m kind of concerned something in that calf wants to go “pop”.

I hope this is all “bump in the road” and that things come together in New Orleans. Or at least for me to go into the race with some semblance of confidence. :-/


23 thoughts on “Uneven Training Cycle

  1. Happy New Year! I hope the calf gets to feeling better soon. Try Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, and even compression sleeves for your longer runs/recovery. I have a naggy right calf and have found these remedies to help!

  2. Sincerely sorry to read this. It is so disheartening when there is an event coming up.
    Fortunately calf injuries is something I have not had to deal with, but I do understand the frustration with other injuries.
    Hoping everything heals in time.

  3. Hmmm … lots going on. All I can say is to make sure you know what you are realistically expecting out of New Orleans and spend time mentally focusing on that. It might not be the same as your goals in mid-November before ‘Typhoid Mary’ came home, or even early December before the ‘stuff hit the fan’ … but that doesn’t matter. You are no longer THERE … you are HERE and NOW. 🙂 And good luck 🙂

    • Typhoid Mary, lol. That’s one way to put it. I think it’s put a pretty big drain on me, as much as I’d like to say otherwise. It’s tough dealing with this overwhelming sense of disappointment, and not just because Typhoid Mary came home but also in myself. I’ll get through — I think writing it out helps. And you’re right about revisiting my hopes for the New Orleans race. I ran a 5k last night and downgraded my initial “run hard but not all out” strategy to “run moderately” because I didn’t want to wreck the calf due to the hills and cold four weeks before my goal race. But that sort of sucked too, like I wimped out. I can’t win with myself sometimes.

      Arg, I’m writing a book here and I’m feeling a little down. Thanks for listening. You’ve become a great source of reason for me, so thank you. And have a wonderful 2015!!!

  4. Oh goodness, that calf doesn’t look too happy…

    A lot of things may not be going according to plan lately, but take the time that you’ll be traveling for the half to focus on you. You may need to reevaluate your goals or just run it for fun, but you still GET to run, where you want, on your terms. I know how disappointing it can be when you miss a goal, especially a big one like a destination half, but I have confidence in you to make the most of it! You got this, girl!

  5. AWWWW sweetie! You be careful with that calf.. I’m sending you a little squeeze, but I’m not touching your calf in the process!!;) happy new year!!

  6. Oh wow – I hope that the calf heals sooner than later! Hopefully they can figure out what it is exactly. I think what you said about being patient with yourself is important. We are pretty good at hammering at ourselves (I did the same two days ago when I couldn’t finish my intervals – had zero in the tank, and had been overworked, not sleeping well, poor diet, etc. but I laid a good mental beating on myself!). So be gentle to yourself and trust the process. Words I need to heed!

    I know you’ll rebound! Have a wonderful new year!


    • Isn’t it funny how we sometimes need to tell other people they are being too hard on themselves to realize we have been doing the same to ourselves?

      Thanks for the kind words. I hope your runs and the stuff affecting them gets better for you. Happy new year to you too!

  7. Martha B says:

    Happy happy new year. I really hope your calf is a lot more minor than it looks. Ouch. I don’t want anything in you to pop this year. You’ve really been a tank through the past few difficult months, and I’m proud of you. Here’s to brighter days ahead and hopefully a speedy half in your near future 🙂

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