Saturday, July 17, 2004

Tough Decision

After today's walk I'm making a tough decision. I've got to take several days off. That pain in my left calf from last week's long walk is still bothering me. Today's plan was 20 miles at the lake; then I was going to do 20 miles again tomorrow (the family is out of town so I thought I would take advantage of their absence). Unfortunately at about 7 miles I started to feel some discomfort; it gradually worsened until I decided to stop at 8.4 miles. I could have gone on; it wasn't excruciating. But I knew that with each step I was probably exacerbating the problem. I walked (regular walked) the rest of the way back to the car and called it a day.

I really don't want to take a break, but I know that if I don't this problem will linger and will affect the quality of my training. I'm encouraged by the fact that I made it so long before the pain appeared, so maybe a good long break will set everything right.

The plan is to stop walking until Thursday. Thursday I will do easy mileage on a treadmill (I'm traveling almost all week so I'll use the hotel treadmill) and see how things feel. If all feels good I'll walk again on Friday, take Saturday off, and then do long miles on Sunday. If there are still residual issues I'll take Friday and Saturday off and do medium distance on Sunday. That means I'll have four whole days with no walking. I haven't done that since last summer's vacation.

I know this will be hard for three reasons:

1. My legs will feel fine. I don't notice any problem when I'm not training, so I'll be lulled into the thought that everything is OK.

2. I love to walk! It's become so important to me, especially in times of stress. The next four weeks will probably be the most challenging weeks of my career (and the most unpleasant) so it will be hard not to walk.

3. My weight loss has been great lately (I'm down to 163) and I don't want to lose momentum.

But I know this is the right thing. If I can't get over this problem, or if I let it linger, I will never be ready for Heartland or Ultracentric. Now's the time to deal with this issue and put it to rest.

Distance: 8.37 miles
Time: 1:33:25
Pace: 11:09