You may recall the unfortunate story of that time I went running and ran headfirst into a bus stop pole . Ouch. That morning I had been headed out to do my 26km training run for Goofy Challenge. Needless to say, I never did complete the run. However, my Goofy teammates (and many other people in our Run Club) got a real kick out of the story and were eager to help me stay safe on future runs...
Not quite a running helmet but it was good for a laugh!
This weekend was when I was scheduled to do the 26km training run for the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May. The way my weekend worked out with inlaws visiting and other social commitments, I decided that Friday morning would be the best day for me to go out and do that 26km.
Unfortunately, Friday morning was a totally gross day weather-wise. 5 degrees and pouring rain the whole morning. No big deal. I've invested in tons of rain gear over the years and in fact, was quite looking forward to a few hours out on the road by myself. I headed out and the first part of my run was uneventful. It was raining lightly but I was warm and feeling great.
It was somewhere around 13-14km that I realized I was actually feeling awesome! It was raining harder but the run was going well. I was dressed right and felt really good. I happened to be out in the country on this part of my run and it was just peaceful and relaxing. I was really pleased with my pace too. I'm sure all the people driving by thought I was nuts being out there in the rain and the puddles but I just smiled and carried on. This was definitely one of those brilliant mezamashii runs Mizuno talks about.
Anyhow, a few kilometres later I turned down Old Yale Road and started heading back towards downtown Langley. Old Yale is a just that, old and the surface is a patched-up mix of cracked old concrete and asphalt. It's one of those roads where you really need to watch your step but it's a quiet country road too so it's a nice place to look around and enjoy the scenery.
I guess I wasn't watching carefully enough because all of a sudden, I took a step and kind of squealed a little. I looked down to see that as I struck with my right foot, my heel fell down into a little pothole on the down strike. It wasn't very deep but was enough to overextend my calve and cause me to yelp a little. Things felt a little strange but generally okay so I carried on and hoped I hadn't done any damage.
The rest of my run carried on pretty good. Around 17km I passed the Running Room and the pole I ran into all those months ago. I made sure to step carefully around it this time and I carried on. I had a little under 10km to go and I was on the home stretch. The rain was just starting to pick up as I climbed the biggest hill of the run, which wasn't actually all that big. By the time I got to the top it had changed to a full-on downpour. Brrr! At one point I hid under a tree and pulled out the spare pair of gloves I had brought along. My fingers had gotten pretty wet and cold by now and pulling on that dry pair of gloves was like heaven...
This is me totally freezing and hiding under a tree
Just a few more kms to go and suddenly my right calve really started to bug me. It felt fine to step down but lifting my foot up and back was getting to be really uncomfortable. I started taking a few extra walk breaks because I didn't want to make things worse for my leg but with such a short distance to go I tried to run as much as I could.
And then with just a km or two left the rain was suddenly coming at me sideways and the huge winds picked up! It was miserable! I was totally drenched, my leg hurt and I was ready to be done. How did my awesome, peaceful, relaxing mezamashii run turn into this? Ha ha. I laughed out loud at myself a little and ran the rest of the way home. When I finally stepped into the house I could barely even pull my gloves off because my fingers had gotten so cold in the soaking rain!
I peeled off my soaking wet clothes in the front entrance and grabbed my housecoat before collapsing on the floor and icing my poor calve. And as i was sitting there totally freezing, icing my aching my leg I realized that the 26km training run is cursed for me! First it was the pole and a concussion and this time it was a hole and a hurt calve muscle! There is definitely a 26km curse.
Anyhow, my leg ached and hurt all day and all the next day. I could barely lift my foot enough to go up or down the stairs. I was starting to get really worried. What was I going to do if I really damaged something in there or tore something. All kinds of horrible thoughts were going through my head. I have lots of plans this year and was getting all panicky I wouldn't be able to do them!
We actually attended an awards ceremony on Saturday night and surprisingly, my heels were far more comfortable for my calve. I guess walking on my toes alleviated the strain on the muscle I pulled and it didn't bother me all night...
What? High heels more comfy than runners?
When I got up this morning it is feeling so much better so I'm guessing I likely didn't do too much damage in there. I'm planning to just quit worrying, continue icing it and just rest for a few more days and see how it goes.
But seriously, the 26km curse is alive and well. I think I'll skip this run next time around...