Exercise&FitnessFitness WalkingMarathon TrainingMarathon walkingtraining progressWalking

The 18 miler — To cramp or not to cramp

This past week I’ve been breathing pretty good ,but just like last year when I was training for Portland, I’m plagued
again with these damn calve cramps. Aside from the prednisone ,which I recently weaned off of, I don’t think its so much the amount of walking that’s causing my cramps , but rather the type of walking and the drugs I’m taking.
Lately , I’ve been doing a lot of racewalking , and now that I’m doing it “correctly,” my calves are taking much more of a hit than usual. You see , I have huge calf muscles and when they decide to cramp………..they cramp BIG TIME!

(yeah that’s a robot in my kitchen)

For example, a few nights I awoke with a severe cramp in my left calf . It hurt so bad that I had to scream into my pillow so that I wouldn’t wake up the neighbors. Thankfully, Douglas was there right away, but it took all of his strength just straighten my leg out, and hold it in that position long enough for the spasm to ease up. That cramp was so bad , that my leg still hurts three days later.

So anyway back to the 18 miler …This Thursday I will attempt to walk ( not racewalk) the course I plotted for myself below— probably the hardest training walk Ive ever done, but Oh…so Beautiful!
This course has a bridge crossing, lots and LOTS of hills , and it traverses the entire length of golden Gate Gate park. In fact, the only flat part of the course is the first 5 miles from the Ferry building along the waterfront to the GG Bridge.

Now the make or break part…..Forget any breathing problems that I might encounter, if I have any cramping problems during or after this walk ( assuming that I hydrate properly), I’m going to have to seriously reconsider my place among the potential marathoners in Eugene. In fact , I may have to re-think this whole marathon thing PERIOD ! These muscle cramps are just too debilitating and cause me too much anxiety. It may very well be that I’m predisposed to getting muscle cramps , no matter what I do to prevent them. That’s a scary thought, but not totally unfounded.One of ways of reducing the likelihood of getting of cramps , of course ,would be to walk fewer miles. Ive thought a lot about doing the Eugene half instead of the full, but traveling 500 miles to do a 3 hour walk ( which by the way, I would probably PR), is a rather costly proposition. I’m not sure if I want to invest all this effort and money into a half marathon that I could do locally. NO….I wanna see all of Eugene , Oregon and be part of this Historic event— That was the whole idea to begin with! So, for the time being , it’s either all … or nothing.

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