I tried to write about something else today and save my piece on my last week of training until I’d finished the race, but I can’t concentrate on any other subject today. This was week twelve, the final week of training to prepare me for my first half-marathon and it was designed to be an easy week. The plan was to run three miles on Tuesday and two each on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday and Saturday I planned to rest…then the big race on Sunday. It didn’t turn out that way…
Not even a mile into my run Tuesday evening, I started limping. I didn’t pull a muscle, but my left calf felt as if I was recovering from a pull. I had pulled it in April and been careful to let it heal before running again. To have it act up so many months later was dispiriting. I didn’t risk further injury so close to race day, instead I limped home. I posted my woe on Facebook and soon had the emotional support I needed, advice to employ R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and ibuprofen. I also had the promise of help from a co-worker with long-distance running chops in the morning.
So, all week I’ve rested. I’ve elevated. I’ve iced and then heated with Bengay. I’ve stretched and stretched and stretched…and I’ve used up more of the 600mg Motrin tablets I was prescribed when I originally pulled my calf in April.
Today I went to the “expotique” for packet pickup. I lured along my 13 year old daughter with promises of free manicures and hair braiding. I got my bib and was picking up my T-shirt when my daughter pointed out an exhibit of compression sleeves for calves. I wandered over to the exhibit which was put on by the vein center of a major medical school. I figured the sleeves couldn’t hurt and might help. I was advised that the sleeves couldn’t help a true sprain or pull, but definitely were good for my veins and therefore a benefit for my running.
Next my daughter pointed out “Sweaty Bands”, an almost endless display of narrow and wide headbands designed not to slip off during exercise. Since my hairdresser had recently advised me to have a great run and be sure to wear a pretty headband, I stopped for a look. Ultimately, I picked out a wide band with a black and white design. I offered to get my daughter a Kelly green head band to go with her CYO uniforms for volleyball, basketball, and softball…a true bargain!
Next, we checked out the free services of the local Aveda Salon school. The students were offering chair massages, hair braiding, and manicures. We stood in the line and soon my daughter was getting her nails manicured and I got a short (very short) chair massage. There was another company there giving sports massages and stretches which looked more therapeutic. We got back in line and my daughter got her long hair braided in a herringbone design and I got a lovely, shell-pink manicure.
So, tomorrow I will get up before dawn and drive into the city for the race. I’ll catch up with the two other women from my department who are in the race and we’ll get psyched for a great run. I’ll find my pace group and take off. I’ll start off with my lovely hairband and nails and my crazy, neon-green calf compression sleeves. I’ll run with high hopes of finishing injury-free.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and remember, there is always another race!