DIARY: Injured Perhaps?

Just a short update. Seems like I may or may not have picked up an injury. The left calf (specifically the area from kneecap to just above start of the Achilleus tendon) where I suffered the shadow cramp last week has gotten increasingly painful after training sessions, especially the morning runs.

It seems to bother me least while doing my sprints (it didn't stop me much during the tempo sessions of Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday's Circuit Training for instance). After the sessions, though, recovery is worse and worse, and the slower runs and walking seems to emphasise the troubled area.

I've treated it well, good food, what massage I can give it, Arnica, Deep Heat creme, and plenty of the supplements that aid healing: Creatine, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Cod Liver Oil, Zink, Magnesium, Ginkgo, and Apple Cider Vinegar.

And, of course, I try to get as much sleep as I can, which means postponing my planned article where I will (ta-da!) reveal all my training schedules, and discuss mileage levels attained so far.

What Now?
Tomorrow morning I'll do a test and decide whether or not I cancel the final long test run before the marathon with Brendan and Mick. It's a hilly 28km route that will surely aggravate the problem. My backup plan: A few days rest, do a 30km run on next Saturday, and then start tapering a week later than originally scheduled.

Monday I have a final session scheduled with Emma Cutts from the Peak Centre, however, and hopefully she can help me find a plan to stay on course for the 3:30 marathon. The meeting was scheduled to discuss pacing, refuelling strategy and general tips for the days before and after the marathon, but now we seem to have a new point on the agenda.

After putting so much effort into a training that I frankly enjoy less than the hill running training, failure would be a major disappointment.

Update - The Art of Listening
This morning (Saturday red.) the leg is much improved, but the area is still definitely troubled. I'm facing quite a conundrum, can I risk postponing my last big test by a week and miss out on a long run completely this week? Or will doing it invariably damage the area so much that I have no chance of recovering in time to do the marathon at the speed I want to be doing it in?

It's a tough decision, but it'self-inflicted. Lindie Naughton mentions this in her new book "Let's Run" (of which a full review will follow when I finish it), and Emma Cutts said it straight away when she gave me my first training programme: "If you feel like you need a break, take it. You have to listen to your body."

Looking back at the last weeks, I might not have done this, as the tiredness, and strange games I've been playing with myself to force in the morning sessions may have been a sign that enough is enough. But it's hard when you're getting faster every time and you keep completing your sessions. You just want to push on, and push on hard, especially when you consider the massive speed gap to the top runners that needs to be if not bridged, then at least minimised.

My logic says, don't do today's run. I'll make my decision within hours...