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!