First I’ll start with the good news. Last week I had a great long run on Thursday and followed up with an equally good long ride on Sunday. I started at 6am Sunday on the CompuTrainer so I would still have a time with the family. I chose to do the EagleMan 70.3 course (56 miles) figuring that it would take me around 3 hours. My last long ride was 2:30 on the same course (50miles of it) and my legs were fried after that effort.
I started with a warm-up and after calibrating the CompuTrainer I settled into a good pace, around 19-20mph. I chose to drink only water for the first 90 minutes, then had 2 gels in the next 30 minutes and finished the last hour with Pertetuem – as a test to see if it would work on race day. This was an effort to start training with the nutrition that I want for the 70.3 race in June. I managed to finish the 56 miles in just under 2hrs 49 minutes, a time that I’d love to replicate on race day. Average watts were 184 for the whole ride and my power split was close to 50/50 too. This is all great! I felt that I had some in reserve and after the ride I had plenty of energy, so I complete a short brick run after the ride. I did notice a surge of energy once I started with the gels. The other encouraging thing is that I have read some recent discussion forums that people often see 1-2mph speed increases over the CompuTrainer when they are riding outside, I’d love to see that happen!
I have completed 3 brick runs in the last few weeks, all have been average at best – legs feeling heavy and a pace that is a fair bit slower than my normal runs. Sunday was different – I felt pretty good immediately running sub 8 minute miles, which is really good for me. My goal was to run for 30 minutes, and gradually build this up for the next month prior to EagleMan in June.
Towards the end of the 30 minutes I felt a little tight in my left calf – so I slowed down and and didn’t push too hard. I went through the usual stretch routine that I learned from all of the Physical Therapy for the right calf in January/February.
On Monday I was a little stiff, which I was ok with, considering that it was my first 3hr ride in a long time, and I was coming off 2 weeks of a heavy cold. My only workout for the day was a 2000y easy swim (10x200). I figured that it would be good for recovery.
Tuesday morning I still felt a little stiff, so instead of a hard bike interval session, I decided on a slow 30 minute run. I took it much slower than normal, in the 9-10 minute mile range – and after 20 minutes felt some tightness in the calf again. I stopped and walked home, then worked for the day before going to a masters swim session in the evening. Once the swim session started, I could feel the calf even with my almost non-existent kick. With each lap it seemed to hurt a little more, and for the first time I had to leave the session early. At that point it was really hurting
Wednesday morning I woke up and could really feel it. this is not good news. I was hoping that it would magically go away, but no, it is definitely a muscle tear. I followed the R.I.C.E method (rest, ice, elevation, compression), which has helped, but I fear that I’ll have to go back to Physical Therapy to accelerate my recovery.
I’ve really disappointed that I have another setback to my training, but I am determined to do the right thing and not hurt myself any more. I am so close to good form, my running has been great recently and the bike is coming along too. I’d hate to go backwards from where I am, but I am hoping that it means missing a week or two of running. I am hoping to race the Kinetic sprint on May 15th as a tester to see how my form is before EagleMan.
So this week I have adjusted my plan, reduced the workload and made an appointment with my physical therapist. I am hoping that riding won’t cause any discomfort, and I think when I swim next I may use a pull buoy so I don’t have to kick at all. Fingers crossed I can recover quickly and get back to training soon.