The last couple of weeks have been a struggle on the jogging front. The ache in my calf comes and goes. My achilles tendon has been grumbling. And my gluteus medius is so tight and painful that sometimes it hurts to walk. The only consolation that I take from this is that the jogging itself feels okay. It's once I stop that everything starts to hurt.
I have no idea what is going on. I had almost three months off from running - surely that should have been enough time for things to heal? I've had moments (no, I've had DAYS, WEEKS even) when I've thought that my body is saying loud and clear that my running days are over. If I can't manage even one mile - and that is all that I'm doing at the moment, still in a jog/walk pattern - without sending my entire left side into a spasm, what am I doing even thinking about training for a marathon. From where I am right now, it all looks pretty impossible.
But fear not, Incredibly Stubborn Woman is not giving up quite yet. Some hope remains. Purely by chance, I discovered that stretching my obliques also eases the pain in my glutes so I'm doing oblique stretches multiple times/day, and it seems to be paying off. I've added heel drops back into my repertoire because this keeps my achilles tendons happy, but this also may be the reason why my calf has been aching a bit more. It'll adjust. I've started wearing the KT tape on my calf again, and it really does help; I might need to try it on my glutes as well.
And then there's Chi Running. The tagline on their website is 'Focus your Mind, Engage your Core, Run like the Wind!' Given that I have a grasshopper mind, no core strength to speak of, and currently walk faster than I can run, this approach seems tailor made for me. Basically, it seems to be about running without muscle stress and tightness, having good, efficient form, and using a mid-foot strike. These things come naturally to some runners, but not to me. I'm not going to give a big explanation here - you can read about it yourselves if you are interested - but I am intrigued enough by it to have bought the book and signed up for a Chi Running workshop in June.
I've also let go of the idea doing a half-marathon in the autumn. I was starting to feel like I needed to push myself faster than my body is able to manage in order to be ready in time, when what I really need to do is go at a sustainable pace and give my body the time that it needs to get properly strong.
More patience. More being sensible. More stretching. A bit more patience. I'll get there.