Last night I wanted to test out my calf. I had been diligently icing, elevating, compressing, using The Stick, and sort of resting it (Mandy style), and it was feeling OK. I really, really think I am on the upside of this thing. Anyway, I wanted to run about 5 miles, but darkness was setting in. I realized I had one option: The Main Street Treadmill.
Here in Caratunk, we don’t have a lot of options for places to run once the sun sets. In the winter I often find myself either up and out the door before daylight, or home after dark. Our Main Street is 1.2 miles long, each end connecting with Route 201. This is the only residential street for about 20 miles that is lighted. Actually, I think it might be the only residential street for 20 miles.
The Main Street Treadmill works like this: run to 201 north entrance, turn, run to 201 south entrance. Repeat until bored to tears or you get your mileage in. Generally, I get bored to tears, but I figure some running is better than no running.
For the record, I am not scared of the dark, I am scared of getting run over by a log truck on 201 in the dark. Half the time I am afraid those bozos are going to hit me in the middle of the day.
To any of you shouting “GET A TREADMILL.” You obviously don’t know my history. Treadmills and me, we just don’t get along. I am allergic to them, I get hurt on them, I cannot stay on them. I would rather bundle up and go outside at night when it is -20 in a blazing blizzard then to go flying off the back of a treadmill. Again.
So out the door I went, first to the north entrance of Caratunk, waving to a neighbor just getting home from work. At first, the calf hurt like hell, but by the time I got to the turn around (that would be .2 miles from my house), the pain started to recede to more of a dull throb. I waved to the same neighbor as I passed again, he just waved, smiled, and shook his head.
As the light began to fade, snow started coming down, landing on my eyelashes and falling into my mouth. The stress of the day and the week started to fall away, and I fell into an easy, but steady pace. I climbed the small hill in town, looking for signs of life in the houses I passed. My calf became a mild nuisance instead of an attention-getter as I hit the north end turn around (1.4 miles down). I churned out the 4.8 miles feeling like I could have run a lot further and faster – just not back and forth anymore. I almost forgot that my calf was an issue.
I dropped 3 running workouts over the past 2 weeks – a 10 miler, an interval session, and a 12 miler. I hate missing long runs, especially with a marathon coming up in just 11 weeks (10 weeks!), but I think I needed to give the calf some time to make sure I could step up to the starting line. Last night, I wasn’t feeling quite 100 percent, but I was feeling like I was back and ready to move forward with training. After I ice my calf.