Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Race week niggles and hitches

Relieved after my Vermont Shake-Out Run

Bodies have a remarkable way of "knowing" things. Mine ALWAYS knows when it's race week. There's a definite pattern -- I feel tired and a bit lazy. I may get a bit irritable and out of sorts. And I become very aware of little niggles and hitches that heretofore had been unnoticeable.

The Monday before Nationals I had a short run that included some 5K pace pickups. Right from the start, I felt a definite tightness and pulling in my right calf and Achilles; that's not an area where I typically have trouble. I should have pulled the plug on the run but didn't (I need to work on that) and it was sore and tight. Frankly, I was worried.

I shared my concern only with my coach, close friend, and family. I was in to see my chiropractor and he concurred that it was tight and inflamed. I iced, gently stretched, and took care of it the next few days.

I did not run again until a short shake-out run in Vermont on Thursday. It was still tight but I felt it could at least get me through Saturday's Olympic race. If there was any question, I would pull out of Sunday's sprint.

I went on to race both the Olympic and the sprint without ANY problems or ANY thoughts of the calf whatsoever during the race or since. I PR'ed on both the 5K and 10K run legs.

What is up with that?

While the soreness and tightness were real, there's got to be an unconscious psychological element to it also. This is not the first time I've had a race week issue resolve "just in time" for the race.

I've learned my own race week patterns and I try just to deal with them, ignore them, or ride them out. It's like dealing with a temperamental child; giving them too much attention only makes things worse!



  1. Ohhhh I know exactly what your talking about, race week, I always feel "something weird" going on with the body or I feel slighty under the weather, usually an upset stomach, by race day, its all gone.

    1. I get some of that too - the vaguely sore throat, stomach, general malaise...I guess it's all part of it!

  2. Yea the tricky part is knowing when to ignore and proceed and when to take seems that usually 3-4 days is how long a "small" pain will resolve itself - weather treated - as you wisely did with consults and chiro and/or rest. I recall getting pneumonia and a bit of bronchitis about 14 days before a marathon many yrs ago. I secretly knew I would still run it but loaded up on antibiotics and did no running except light treadmill walking for 10 days and told myself I might drop out. Got in a couple of miles a day or 2 before the race. The result? A new PR (by 1 minute) and I still hit "the wall" but my body healed up (enough) just in time.

  3. These are brain games goin' on in the cranium! I would suggest that you de-brain yourself until after the event, but ummm, errrr... never mind.
    My friendly advice is no good here since I've never had a race week. I've only had a "cake week".

  4. Maybe I need a cake week, too. I have a race one week from today. I also return to work (I'm a teacher) this week. The first week back at school is always stressful. Nothing like adding my second ever (and first in 13 years) triathlon for the end of it! The race is the day after my birthday, so perhaps I should start with birthday cake. :-)