I have to vent.
You may have noticed in my profile that I'm a long-distance runner. I run the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon or Half-Marathon every year. I have also run the 26.2-mile distance in other states as well. Here's a picture around Mile 7 from this year's race in February.
But the biggest race (in terms of number of runners and the excitement generated) I run each year is the Crescent City Classic, a 10K race in New Orleans. At its peak it had nearly 30,000 runners, but post-Katrina it's about 17,500.
The only race I have run with more runners was the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, which had about 29,000 entrants.
I've never made the top 500 finishers in the CCC, which would get my name in the newspaper and win a free race poster. My best finish was last year when I came in 628th.
But since I went vegan in May 2008, all of my race times have improved. I don't think that's coincidental at all.
I very nearly set a PR (personal record) in a 5K race in November while qualifying for a forward spot in the CCC. It would have been a PR if I hadn't run into a truck - yes, a parked truck. Don't ask.
The Half-Marathon in the picture above was the second fastest Half-Marathon I ever ran, second only to the first half of my fastest full Marathon ever, which was a decade earlier. In short, I've been cooking since going vegan.
With the Crescent City Classic just three weeks away, I reinjured both strained calves today that had semi-healed, but lingered for awhile now.
It all started about six weeks ago with my attempt to refine my running form biomechanically. Without knowing what I was doing I strained my calves. Since I realized what I did wrong, I have corrected my form and taken it easy with more rest days, massages, etc. The soreness never went away completely, but I was managing.
Unfortunately, I should have just shut it down and let it totally heal. I have had to cut my last two runs short because of extremely sharp pains - first in my left calf three days ago (followed by a couple of off days to let it rest), and then in my right calf today.
I'm hoping that if I have to give it two weeks rest, I can heal enough to let me get a couple of training runs in before the race. Even then I certainly won't be at my best.
I know - if I can't do it there's always next year. But it's so frustrating.