Total running time of 60:00
TLDR: mild tempo lasting about 18 minutes.
Full Version: My right calf started acting up on Thursday about 2/3 of the way through the run. It is a problem that I have dealt with for years, but this was the first time it has acted up since I started running again back in late May. The general problem is that the soleus becomes too tight and it causes a knot to develop in the muscle near the attachment with the tibia. This knot then causes uneven pulling of the muscle on the bone leading to pain (and a stress fracture back in 2007). As long as I massage things out for a few days after it tightens up it tends to go away without any major issues developing.
So, on Friday I ran super slow as a precaution, still running for the full 60 minutes that I had planned. I noticed that the calf hurt more when running downhill and essentially did not hurt at all when running uphill. I kept massaging with the plan to scrap a hard workout for today unless there was a drastic improvement over the next 24 hours. I decided to keep today's run on as flat of terrain as possible in order to avoid any steep downhill, so I started my run off by heading South down Main Street. This meant that I was running downhill, but nothing so egregiously steep as to agravate the calf.
I made it to my estimated mile mark in 8:00, and slowly sped up even though I was still trying to be really careful with the calf. I continued heading South down into Highland, crossing Timp Highway. I noted when I passed an approximate 3.5 mile marker from running the same route last fall as this was the first time that I have made it past that mark as I am running more mileage now than I was back then. I was feeling antsy as I continued to run. I wanted to run a speed workout, and it felt like every muscle in my body (except one) wanted to as well. So, after turning around at 31:01 I started a very mild speed workout as I headed back up the gradual incline towards home.
In order to be careful with the calf I focused on speeding up gradually and staying relaxed as I headed back towards Timp Highway. Eventually it felt like I got moving at a decent speed (maybe close to 6:00 pace or a little faster?), but at no point did it feel like I was running "hard", and my calf felt good throughout. Once I crossed Timp Highway again I slowed down again, but shortly thereafter another runner on the opposite side of the road started to pass by me. I still felt good so I sped up again in order to stay in front of the other runner. This time I felt like I was working a little harder, but my calf felt good and did not hurt at all so I kept going. I slowed back down again for good once I made it a little ways past the round about on Main Street, and then finished the run by running home and adding a bit extra in order to hit 60:00.
First half of the run: 31:01, second half (before adding extra): 27:20ish.
Speed work strech going out: 22:34, coming back: 19:20 (didn't run hard for about 20-30 sec in the middle, plus the first 1:00-2:00 after turning around).