Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Off the Road Again

No local trail reviews in this post; just a personal update.

As bad luck and reckless training would have it, that sluggishness referenced in the February 17 post below turned out to be the beginnings of a torn soleus muscle, likely triggered by PJ McArdle hill repeats on the prior weekend. As it further turns out, cani-cross with a recently retired and newly adopted sled dog is not the wisest sport to undertake when one’s soleus is starting to tear. So, two weeks after that post and eight weeks before the Big Sur Marathon, my right inner calf swollen and pulsating with pain, I realized I probably wouldn’t be running in the Big Sur Marathon this year.

The doctor ordered seven weeks of rest, and aside from two very painful test jogs in the middle of those seven weeks, I abided. A lot of chilling, a bit of stretching, an increasing dosage of cycling and an occasional foray onto the elliptical eventually found me still feeling the pain in varying degrees at the end of six weeks. And then it suddenly subsided.

I was still signed up for the marathon at that point, though knowing I wouldn’t be ready. So I down-graded to the 9-mile option despite uncertainties about whether my leg could even handle that much in its semi-healed state, particularly given the hills of that course. A few more sessions on the indoor bike, a lot more stretching, and two meager runs proved joyously pain-free, so I gave it a shot

Sunday morning in Carmel-By-The-Sea, the weather was perfect: about 55 degrees at the 6:45 a.m. start reaching above 60 when I crossed the finish, without a cloud in sight. The 9-miler followed an absolutely beautiful course, mixing Highway 1's pavement with the beach trails and park roads of Point Lobos Natural Reserve, which meandered along the coast and through tall pines. Without question it was the most scenic run of my life--if a bit bittersweet in light of my original plan--and my leg held up just fine to my delighted surprise.

All this to say I’m back on the trails, thank God.

No comments: