One week to go and all that stands between me and a BQ is a tight calf and a sick kid. Oh, and a marathon on Sunday, but that's the least of my worries right now. The calf I think I can deal with...it's more of an annoyance than a problem (so far, knock on wood). The sick kid however, may be a bigger problem. You see, it's Murphy's Law in our house that one of our kids will get sick sometime in the two weeks before a marathon. This is at least the fourth time that it's happened. Of the previous three, I also got sick twice; once the day AFTER the Fargo Marathon and once a couple of weeks before the Missoula Marathon (long enough to recover). Now, I'm in a precarious situation. If I get sick in the next 6 days, I'm pretty well screwed. If I can hold out until next Monday, then fine. Being sick and recovering from a marathon at the same time sucks ass (I know from my Fargo experience last year), but it's better than being sick and missing out on the marathon. In any case, I'll me making a trip to the store to stock up on Airborne and Emergen-C today. I don't know if that crap works, but I'll take a placebo effect as long as I don't get sick.
Oh yeah, I did some running last week:
Monday - 6 miles recovery. I notice that my left calf and right hip are really tight. This is an omen of things to come.
Tuesday - 8 miles general aerobic. The right hip tightness is gone, but the left calf is definitely telling me something. Not cool. As soon as I get home, I jump online and order "The Stick" massage tool from Running Warehouse.
Wednesday - Rest. That's right. Rest. Zero miles. First time since February. The schedule said 6 miles of recovery, but I'm freakin about the calf and decide to play it safe.
Thursday - 9 miles GA. Calf is still tight, but feels better than it did on Tuesday. The Stick arrives in the afternoon and I began assaulting the calf with deep tissue massage....there's definitely a knot in there.
Friday - 6 miles recovery. I can tell the calf is there, but it's not bad.
Saturday - 8 miles w/ 3 @ marathon pace. As soon as I got out of bed, it seemed like the calf felt better. It was almost unnoticeable during my run, which I did with the Spearfish Running Club. We did and out and back in Spearfish Canyon, which was uphill on the out and downhill on the back. Since Colorado is also downhill, I decided to do a few MP miles to see how the calf felt. No issues. Good sign.
Sunday - 13 miles. I had hoped the calf issues had died, but I was wrong. It felt alright for the first 8 miles or so and then suddenly tightened way up for about a mile before loosening again for the last few. I also picked up the pace during the last few (not really intentionally, it just happened) and the calf felt better (i.e. it was less noticeable) when I went faster. Interesting. I guess I'll just have to outrun the discomfort.
Total - 50 miles
So, I've been barraging my left calf with a combination of The Stick, ice, heat, stretching and ibuprofen all week. It's improved a little, but not as much as I'd like with less than a week to go before the big race. The good news is that it doesn't really hurt when I run, it just doesn't feel "normal", and it actually feels more normal when I run faster (i.e. elongate my stride and increase my turnover rate), which is good news for the marathon. Also, outside of a couple of marathon pace miles on Wednesday, I've got nothing but recovery runs this week and an extra day of rest won't affect my fitness at this point. So, I'm all systems go for Colorado on Sunday, sore calf, sick kid and all.