A.M. Woke up, the calf felt significantly better walking, but still quite a bit of pain. Nevertheless, good enough to run 10 miles on. Was originally planning on running in my old Nike shoes to get more cushioning, but then had a crazy thought - try Five Fingers. Somehow in spite of all logic against it the feedback from my body was that Five Fingers would be a better option. So I put them on.
Was able to run with only minor pain right from the start. As the run progressed, kept adjusting the form to minimize the calf strain. Eventually I figured out how to turn the calf slam into a calf stretch. Amazing! All you do is dorsi-flex the ankle (pull the foot towards yourself to make it look like you are duck) prior to landing, and it does not hurt. You are just getting a pleasant calf stretch from the impact. I kept speeding up from 9:30 pace at the start to 7:00 pace at the finish. My total time for 10.1 was 1:16:58. The calf felt the same when I was done.
Jogged another 0.1 to meet Sarah and jogged with her some more, but will not count is as running mileage since she was going around 15:00 pace. My rough standard for running mileage is sub-12:00 unless recovering after a hard interval.
The quads were only very slightly sore, but so were the gluts and the hamstrings, and I am not sure if it is from the marathon or yesterdays bike ride. So the calf problem perhaps was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to run slower, and not hammer the rest of the body so much. This is actually the first time I came out of DesNews with quads that I can run on the next day without wanting to scream. So I guess now I know the secret, or at least one way to do it. Run race pace for the first 2 miles, a little slower later on, get to the half in 1:13, then gradually taper off to 6:20-6:30 pace in the last 8 miles. I have always wondered if I could avoid soreness by running it slower, now I know.
Recalled a conversation after DesNews. I could barely walk afterwards. As I limped towards Matt's car, I wondered out loud: "How in the world did I manage to run 6:45 pace in the last mile on a calf that now would not even let me walk without a serious limp?!" One runner overhead it and answered: "By the grace of God!"
I contemplated the depth of the answer and agreed with his assessment. Of course, there is a physiological explanation. I was already running at mile 25, my HR was higher, there was more blood flow to the damaged area, the muscle was warm, the endorphines were helping me dull the pain, and being in a mental state of racing helped my brain disregard pain signals as well. But I wonder how often we provide those technical explanations that in essence say something to the effect "it worked because it worked", "the car was moving because its wheels were spinning while in contact with the ground", and in the process having filled our minds with enough non-essential detail and thus satisfied our curiosity, or at least having satiated our ability to receive knowledge, we fail to understand the more profound force behind the event. We acknowledge the creation and its mechanics, but fail to give credit to the Creator. Why? Because He does not reveal Himself unless we have faith. With faith, we gain the ability to see past the fact that the spinning wheels make the car move and are able to recognize that the car is moving because somebody is driving it, and that it will go where the driver wants it to be.
P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:48, 2 with Benjamin in 16:34, Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 12:43.
Five Fingers - 800.55 miles.