Sunday, August 2, 2009

Oh Shit I'm in Trouble

With the Gale Force race less than 3 weeks away I went out for my first off road/trail/mountain run this morning.
Kitted out with my new Salomon running shoes and a small Berghaus backpack Kevin Birchall and yours truly headed for Glendalough.

I was telling myself that my cough had cleared up- yeah right !- and that this should be a handy 16k.

Well, wasn't all that positive thinking going to get fucked up.

Wheezing through the first mile of tarmac and track should have given me a clue that all was not well. In fairness the pace was a little faster than I would normally start a training session at, but still !

By the time we were into the second mile my right calf was painfully tight and a few stretches did nothing to relieve tightness. I pushed on for another while but the calf was getting worse.
I reckoned with Gale Force and the Adidas 10 mile race so close I wasn't going to risk injury so after a quick look at the map - I should have looked a bit closer - we decided that Kev would push on over Camaderry and I would return to the car and drive around to pick him up.
I went about 1/4 mile further along the track at a jog/walk and then did an about face for the return to the car.

Picking my way through the rocks and stones I risked an occasional glance at my watch and was really surprised at how slow I was descending. Another lesson learned, don't underestimate how long it takes picking your way over rocky ground, even if it is downhill.

When the track leveled out and required less concentration I had time to ponder why my calves had caused so much trouble. I guess it is the different running style needed to negotiate steep, uneven ground.
The need to place your foot in a reasonably exact spot means that you land on the ball of your foot rather that the more heel first style of road running (note to self- check out the Chi stuff). I surmised (I'm watching too much Law and Order) that the strain and stretch put on the calf by pushing uphill from the ball of the foot caused the tightness in my calves, especially the right one (I must be leading off more with the right) and the solution: MORE TRAINING.

I went to collect Kevin from the prearranged spot - this is where I should have paid more attention to the map - I ended up waiting at a car park beyond Glenmacnass waterfall, however, I should have been on a completely different road, eventually I realised and made my way to the correct place. On a positive note because of the delay Kevin managed an extra bit of running ;-)

No comments: