The second week of training for the National Half-Marathon, to be run fifteen weeks hence on March 29, 2008, was held yesterday morning in South Arlington. I went out with the intermediate group, and we ran seven miles out and back on the Mount Vernon Trail at a 9:09 pace. Before the run, the Reebok rep came by with running outfits for the coaches. Reebok is sponsoring the training program, while my running club is supplying the coaches. I liked the running jacket provided, it was light-weight and wind-resistant, keeping me warm on a cold windy morning without allowing too much of a heat-buildup as the run progressed. (Above: Reebok's lightweight men's running jacket. Absolutely perfect for West Point graduates.)
During the run I developed a painful cramp in my right calf muscle, which I ran through. It hurt, although I couldn't imagine how you could injure your calf by just running. Perhaps the two miles I did the night before, an 8:28 outbound mile uphill and a 7:55 return, started the problem. I really should warm up before I just "head out" when I return home from work and before I eat dinner.
I was going to do 18 miles this morning. It was in my brain that eighteen was what was on the schedule and it's so hard to give up when it's locked in. Forget about the cold pelting rain out there, other runners were out in it. But as I worried my calf "injury" with my Runner's Stick, it really hurt. Dragging the stick over my right calf twenty times, even lightly, was pure agony. I decided not to do the eighteen, nor even to run at all today even though the rain stopped. (Above: The Stick. Hey you, it's my right calf that hurts.)
I couldn't walk up the stairs but I was wrestling with guilt about not augmenting last weekend's fifteen mile run with eighteen today. I feel like a such a slug. Are runners insane or merely strange?