Damn Calf

on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 11:11 PM

So my calf is definitely injured. I ended up doing the 1:45 pacing gig at the Scotiabank half marathon which I've done for the previous 4 years.  Whether that was a good decision or not is still up in the air.  It's a nice gig to have since they give you a bunch of free stuff including shoes. Though I had thought about droping out, the problem is that if you pull out, they expect you to pay for the stuff.  I can kinda understand why. In previous years, they would get a bunch of people signing up to be pacers, who would receive the stuff and then pull out.  Since they started the "pay if you drop out" policy, the drop out rate has been extremely low. 

I ended up finishing in 1:44:59.3 which is really just a stroke of luck.  Since they started showing video of the finish line as part of the race pictures, it's hard to "cheat" at pacing since the obvious signs of slowing down and staring at your watch as you approach the finish line can be easily seen. I could run the last 100m, 1000 times and probably not come that close ever again.  They give out a prize to the pacer that came closest to their time.  Though you'd think I would be a shoe in, nope.  One of the other bunnies came in 0.6s over their goal time.  Even though it's the closest I've ever come to my goal time, I would probably rate this performance as subpar. One of the important roles in being a pacer is not running too fast at any point in the race.  One of the km I ran was 4:33 which should have been around 4:45 based on the 10/1 pacing I was doing.  That km was on a downhill, but still it was probably too fast. I hit the 10k mark at 48:59 which should have been 49:37 for a walk adjusted split. In previous years, I hit this mark at around 49:20 or later which is about 20 seconds of banked time which is about right considering that the 10k mark is downhill from the start. An extra 20s on top of that over 10k doesn't seem like much, but as someone who's doing the run/walk thing, the pace during the run phase is faster than if the person was doing it continuously and I'm already pushing people to run at a pace that is uncomfortable for them, to run just that little bit faster can really mess things up.  Well thankfully this was the last year they are doing the 10/1 1:45 pacer.  They are going to change it to a continuous one next year. 

As for the race itself, my left calf was hurting through the whole thing. The calf was okay (ie, no pain) before the race, but I knew that something didn't feel right as it still seemed tight. I ended up wearing a compression sock on just the one leg to provide some additional support.  Never run in the thing before, but I was more worried about the calf failing then about chaffing issues. Plus, I'd been wearing the sock for most of the week without any undue rubbing so I thought I'd be okay. It was definitely the right call.  Though I got through the race with a the calf hurting through much of it, I could barely walk after the race.

Since then, I've decided to rest for the remainder of the week and will try a short run this weekend.  The calf is getting better but is still sore when I walk down stairs. I'm trying to stretch and foam roll and stick it to helpfully get it healed before NY. Not sure how much fitness I will lose.  3:15 is definitely not possible and I think 3:20 may be slipping away also.  Well whatever. At this point, if I can run it without having to hobble, I will be happy. 


Robin said...

Sorry to hear about the calf. I hope that the rest is sufficient to allow you to run the race you want. I'd take the rest of the week off if you can. Hopefully you are ok...