I have run my last half marathon - in racing flats. By the end of last Sunday's race, I realized that my calves had taken quite a beating. Taking several days off running seemed like the prudent thing to do, and that is what I did. Until today (Thursday). Tried to go out for a short run but pretty much had to abandon the attempt after 4 miles, ambling back on increasingly tight and painful calves. This is not DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) or some benign muscle pain that disappears once you're warmed up. No I'm afraid I know this feeling only too well: it is the type (and location) of calf strain which presages a full-blown calf pull. Why do I know? Painful and unpleasant memory of two prior injuries - pulled calf muscles following just days (in one instance weeks) after the Houston Marathon.
I had nothing planned for tomorrow (Friday being my 'scheduled' rest day) and will likely take the entire weekend off. There is really no reason for me to be over-stressing my legs now. December 15 is when I start training for Boston; until then there's a lot happening with some social commitments, Thanksgiving and an early December trip to Southern Africa. Starting to get excited about that. It will be good to see my mother and family again, albeit very briefly. So until mid December running will have to play second fiddle in my life.
The bottom line on using the racing flats in the recent half marathon? Yes I am paying the price now, but it was definitely worth it. As it turned out, I just barely made my goal time by 4 seconds and everything else being equal, I would have missed it with regular running shoes. Why? Because conventional wisdom has it that racing flats can improve one's pace by about 4 to 5 seconds or so per mile. Which is all I needed.
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