When I started this blog, I knew in the abstract the going would be slow. The goal I had in the back of my mind was that I wanted to complete a full mile by the time Hood to Coast rolls around (more on why later) and a 5K by the end of September.
Neither proposition seems terribly likely, so let’s look at the good news: If I can just multiply my current distance by 39, I’ve got myself a marathon.
The short, irritating reason is that I’m still having calf problems. They’re very slowly improving, but still are by far my biggest obstacle.
Through a combination of things I’ve picked up from commenters here – I got myself the foam roller you see at the top, for instance – and better stretching, the stopping point is gradually getting pushed back.
Very, very gradually.
Basically I’m running two-thirds of a mile, then limping the rest of it.
Just to be clear, I know the difference between normal exercise pain (which I like) and what’s going on now (which I very much don't). I had to let go of the notion that there’s going to be some big breakthrough where it clears up some week and embrace the idea that it’s going to work itself out slowly, over time.
So, I’ve decided to shake things up a little. I got really tired of not getting in any significant cardio, so once I’m done with my daily running debacle, I head to the gym for 30-45 minutes.
I think that time on the elliptical is also playing a role in loosening up the calf muscle. Between that and better eating habits, I’ve lost about five pounds in a month. I suppose when I step back, it’s a reasonable amount of progress, but it’s frustrating because one gimpy muscle is preventing me from doing more.
My short-term plan is to keep completing a mile by whatever means necessary until I’m running the whole thing. Then, I’m going to buy some new shoes and see if those help out. Then, I’m going to set a 5K goal.
Ironically, Hood to Coast next week is going to screw up my running somewhat.
I’ll be driving one of the vans for a women’s team called Slippah Stream and writing about the experience here. It should be a lot of fun, but between driving for 25 hours and then sleeping for another 25 once it’s over with, I doubt I’ll be getting in a lot of running.
In the meantime, I’ll keep writing here and trying to hit a mile, and my cat Colbert will keep playing in the box the foam roller came in.