I suffered my calf strain two weeks ago on that ill-fated long run on my taper week. I can't deny that the run itself was a lot of fun and the hilly terrain was challenging. Too bad my legs didn't agree!
Since then, I've done a lot to try to recover quickly:
- cut out shifted runs and increased rest days,
- cut mileage,
- cut quality runs (hills/tempo/intervals)
- employed a run-walk technique that involved running to increase blood flow, but not to the point of making it ache or hurt,
- gone to physio,
- applied heat,
- self massage and stretching.
I was starting to get nervous about my goals for the half marathon. While I didn't lose any fitness, I certainly lost some progress on my training plan. I didn't hit my 20K run that I'd planned for myself, but I kept telling myself that if I can do 18, I can do 21.1.
I headed out the door this morning not really knowing what I was going to run, though the schedule called for 20K. As I ran, I kept telling myself that I was loose, strong and that I felt good. When I passed the 5K mark, everything felt great and it didn't change the entire run! I'm so happy to report that I felt good the entire 18K. I ran 6.5K, walked 500m, Ran 6.5, walked 500m, Ran 4K at 10 sec. faster than HM pace. My calf felt fantastic and walk breaks were preventative more than anything else, as I didn't want to overdo it today only to suffer a setback so close to the finish.
Now I feel a lot better heading into my taper. I know I can do this. It's hard to believe that Race Weekend's only two weeks away!