Cartoon Calves

On Monday morning I was lying in bed with my eyes open, as I often do, waiting for the motivation to finally swing my legs over the edge and rise for the day.  I began replaying the Gasparilla marathon in my head and having a conversation with myself about what I did right and what I did wrong.  Soon, my thoughts drifted to the moment near the 24 mile mark when my calves first started to cramp up.

I was trying to describe the feeling to myself and stumbled over the words until I arrived at this conclusion:

“It felt like my calves looked me in the eyes and said, ‘You’ve been pounding us for the last 3 hours.  To hell with you’.  They tightened so much that they threatened to break their tendony bonds to my bones, tear through my skin, hop the seawall and swim to Mexico where they would find a new host.”

I pictured myself collapsing to the ground of Bayshore Drive as animated versions of my calves awkwardly hopped toward the seawall, casting one final smirk that said “F You!” with their sinewy cartoon mouths before plunging into the sea and making their way to Mexico.

I laughed out loud…for a while and got out of bed.  It’s always good to start the day with a laugh.

If consistency is key, then I’m well on my way back.  I ran all 7 days this week:

Monday: 3 miles treadmill + leg strength training

Tuesday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 3 miles treadmill + upper body strength

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: 3 miles treadmill + core strength training

Saturday: 8 miles (final mile in 7 minutes)

Sunday: 5 miles

Total: 31 miles

Overall, my average pace was probably about 8:30 min/mile.  I felt good on just about every run with the exception of Thursday’s 5 miler.  I was dreading the weekend 8 miler because of that and because I was meeting up with Richie and Steve (who have been pushing faster paces lately).  Unfortunately, Richie injured his calf and Steve ran the other direction, so I never met up with them.  I had a great run anyway.

I’m getting occasional flashes of the kind of outside my body experience that I had for most of the Disney half marathon.  It feels good, but I’m also getting some episodes of utter “suckitude” like Thursday’s painful 5 miler.  I did have a lot of wine on Wednesday night, so I think I can chalk it up to that.

All in all, I’m feeling pretty good.  I’m not quite ready to add speedwork to the mix, but I’m getting there.  Certainly if the temperatures come down, I’ll be ready to fly…maybe even before that.  I’ve got a tentative race on the calendar as well.  I’ll be running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 10K in downtown St. Petersburg during the first weekend of October.  I’ll also probably run the intrasquad 5K with Alice’s cross country team in the next few weeks.


  1. way to set a good example coach/captain! i need to do leg strength training again… but i know that whenever i do, i won’t be able to walk for at least 3-4 days 🙂

  2. Nice to see you back Brian! Is there anyway that you can bottle up the enthusiasm and send it my way? Keel up the good work.

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