An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Calf Strain...

Before I get into the calf strain, I wanted to write a little bit about just HOW much of a good decision it was to not run the Chicago half marathon last Saturday. I went out for a 10-miler on Saturday morning, the day of the event, and at 6:30 in the morning (when I left the house), it was already 74 degrees and rapidly rising. I didn't have the best of runs would be accurate, if not a little understated. In the midwest farming country, rarely does ground water run clear. Miraculously, I found one yard draining into a ditch where the water was clean. I stopped and dowsed my head to help cool off... Helped for about a mile.

Anyway, I got an email yesterday morning from the race. In it was the following:

There have been many questions about the timing and results of this past weekend’s 13.1® Chicago Marathon. This email should answer most or all of your questions, however should you have additional questions, there is an email address listed at the bottom of this message that you may email for additional information.

When the Red Flag was issued at the race at 8:51 AM, official timing was stopped and all clocks were turned off. This was done to let runners know that the event was no longer being timed and that participants were encouraged to slowdown and/or walk for their safety. When the timing was stopped at 8:51 AM, there were only 130 participants in the half marathon who had finished the race. These 130 people are the only runners who will receive an official time from the event. The decision to go to the Red Flag is never easy, but it was done with the safety of all runners at the forefront of our minds.

If you have any additional questions on this topic, please send them directly to

So they called the race at 1:38 from the start (for the first wave). We would have still been on the course, with quite a bit to go. I think it would have been pretty devastating to start, with all the issues going on, only to not get an official time.

Yeah, it was a good decision to forego the event.

Anyway, on to more recent events -- yesterday's lunchtime run. After the time in Illinois, with the heat and running on nothing but roads, I was looking forward to a run in familiar climate and terrain. I laced up the Trail Gloves and went out with Eric on a normal 5.3 mile loop. I could feel my left plantar fascia feeling a little sore at about 3 miles, but it wasn't bad, and wasn't getting worse. I could then feel that my left calf was a bit tight. At least that's how it felt. Not out of the ordinary, or something alarming -- wasn't affecting my stride.

Well, at 4.6 miles, my left calf tied up with that knife-in-the-muscle feeling, and I immediately knew the run was over. I've had calf strains before, usually in my right leg (for whatever strange reason), so I know what they feel like.

What caused it? Who knows... Could have been not enough warm-up or stretching, could have been dehydration, could have been a sudden swap back to the Trail Gloves or trails after 10 days of roads and the Altra Instincts.

I have a neoprene calf sleeve from those past calf strains. What I remember was that I'd stop running for a couple weeks, it would feel good, and then I'd try running again, only to have it tie up a quarter mile into the run, starting the whole process over again. I'm determined to NOT go through that again.

So... I guess I'll be taking some MORE time off running. Grrr....

Warrior Dash is in 5 weeks, and the Tacoma Narrows Half is in 8. I may be ditching those events as well. Nothing like wasted entry fees... Hopefully it won't come to that.

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