I've been easing back into running in the last couple of weeks. Slowly building the mileage every week. Cutting back the mileage whenever The Calf felt stiffish or painful again.
And I'll be honest with you. I was scared sh*t to race again. What if The Calf couldn't handle a race yet? I didn't feel ready. The Calf does still feel a bit 'off'. Not like my old faithful calfie. But my PT and MD told me it would be OK to try a shorter distance race if I'd take it slow in that race. And would drop out if The Calf would do 'that thing' again.
Yesterday I decided to put on my big girl pants and stop whining about what could happen to The Calf. So, I registered for a 10-miler. Might as well get it over with, right? ;)
The race (Florijnwinterloop, Woudenberg, the Netherlands)
Mile 1-5 (km 1 - 8): I was surprised to find myself feeling as I usually do for the first couple of miles of a race. That is, thinking about more pleasant ways to spend the afternoon (watching a movie, having lunch, reading a book...) and wondering why I registered for this thing in the first place. But, besides that 'first couple of miles feeling', I also realized how much I love to race. :)
Mile 5-7 (km 8-11): Wind. Tornado-like wind. Gasping for air kind of wind. Can't hold my pace due to the wind kind of wind. That bloody wind was dead against me! Plus, rain. Enough said.
Mile 8 (km 12/13): Ahhhh...now the wind feels more like a breeze. Nice. Kick up that pace again!
Mile 9-10 (km 14-16.1): Great, wind. Again. Hello, tornado! What the bleep? It feels like I'm kicking it into gear, but my pace is dropping. I'm so over this wind! Sure glad to spot the finish line. Might as well chick that guy right before the finish line, right? ;)
Photo courtesy of Bjorn Paree (www.runoutofhell.nl)
I crossed the finish line in 1:26:30. My 10-mile PR is 1:22-ish. So, considering the calf injury, not being up to speed yet while still nursing that injury, the fact that I wasn't really pushing myself as I normally do, and the wind: not too shabby.
The day after
The Calf doesn't feel off or stiffish. Progress. :) However, I must have - unintentionally - slightly changed my gait to take it easy on The Calf. Why? I woke up with this strange pain on top of and on the outside of my left foot. I felt this same pain during the run, but figured it was just my foot getting used to running at a higher pace again. It only hurts when I walk (the pain causes me to limp, actually), it doesn't feel painful when I touch it. No running today. Tomorrow is a rest day, so, fingers crossed that it feels better on Tuesday. In the meantime I'm icing it...
I know a lot of bloggers are racing Disney this weekend! Can't wait for all the stories and pictures! :)