Each week for the past 2 months I have been increasing my workouts, or the shots I take on the court, or the miles I log on the road. In that time I've logged 138 miles of running that consists of interval runs, easy runs, long runs, and one race (Shamrock Shuffle). This past Sunday, I hit my high mileage in one run for Mother's Day - 12 miles. The most I had run up to Sunday was 10 miles (which I had run twice). I felt like I was ready for the 12 miles. I had my carbs the night before and slept a full 8 hours. I wanted to approach it like it was a race. I woke up on time, had a banana and bagel, and let it all digest for an hour. And then off I went.
First mile was horrific as usual. Second mile was a little better. Then something odd happened. I had this very sudden wave of confidence. Like I could push it a little bit. Mile 3 was fast (for me) at around 10:40. I still felt good after that, then I logged another sub 11-minute mile. I stopped and walked because I know I needed it even though I wasn't tired. Mile after mile I was hitting 11 minute (or less) miles. I was loving it! Then I finished mile 10, with two left going toward home. Oh dear. The proverbial wall! The legs started to cramp slightly and I felt like stopping. I was able to put my head down and push through this wall. I realized I was tense so I kept telling myself to relax my muscles. I was good to go. 11th mile done in 11 minutes, and the 12th done once again under 11 minutes. My final time - 2:17...I was ecstatic!
I walked home pounding my chest knowing I had achieved something I had never done before. I got home ready all ready to do my stretching. Jaz made me eggs so I scarfed those down with some chocolate milk. Started stretching and hurting in spots I didn't know existed. But one spot hurt a tad more than the rest. The tendon behind my right ankle up to my calf felt like it was spasming. It wasn't super sharp pain, but very uncomfortable and unnerving.
I instantly went to the experts. My running friends on Twitter! Probably the best explanation was from @MarathonBrian: "...you probably hurt your Achilles; a common injury for runners, especially when you increase your workload (pace, distance) in a short period of time before your body is used to it." DAMN! I knew I was going to fast! (I normally average a 12min/mi pace). I continued on with Mother's Day walking VERY slowly everywhere I went. My victory run was over-shadowed by this new injury. Part of me was devastated because I felt like I was on such a roll, but part of me feels blessed. Let's be honest, I could have gotten hurt much worse! Hopefully something like this with proper rest will pass.
I should have displayed more patience on my last run. Now that I know I CAN get under an 11 minute mile, I don't need to hit that again. Not anytime soon. So the next couple days, I will just rest and relax. Let my body heal itself, drink lots of water, and just wait it out. Now that I can't run, I just want to run. My ankle and achilles don't feel right. Maybe I need to see a doctor, but I will have to be patient with whatever I do.
Patience, Joey. Just breathe and rest...