Monday, February 21, 2011

Calf Injured?

My left knee has bothered me ever since the 28 mile Riddle Run at the end of January.  There was a lot of pain during the second half of that run, but with frequent walk breaks in the last 8-12 miles, I managed to finish feeling OK. The next few days it was painful, but manageable as it steadily felt a bit better each day.  After about 2 weeks, it was not really hurting, just felt a bit "off."  I guess 28 miles on uneven snowy and icy trails will do that to you...especially when you haven't done long runs in a couple of months.  Live and learn.

Once the knee was feeling better, I decided to test out my maximum heart rate on the treadmill.  I managed to push my heart to 191 beats per minute! Not too bad.  My whole body felt pretty darn tired after that test.  My left knee was a bit more achy than usual and my feet and calves were sore from the fast running and pounding.  I don't think my running form was perfect at top speed.  I was limping around the rest of the day...mostly sore feet and calves.  My knee may have hurt too, but it was overshadowed by the new foot and calf pains.  I don't think it was the wisest thing to test out my maximum heart rate this early in the season.  Live and learn.

Over the next few days, the balls of my feet recovered quickly, but my left calf still felt tight and sore.  I took it easy all week leading up to the Kennekuk 28-mile Fat Ass run this past weekend.  Lots of short, easy runs.  My left calf never got worse, but it didn't get much better either.  When it came time for the Fat Ass on the Lake Mingo trail, I knew I wouldn't do the whole thing.  I figured 2 loops (about 14 miles) would be good.  The trail was mostly clear of snow and ice except for a few areas.  Still, the ground was fairly hard and uneven for the first early loop.  I was done after just 7.1 miles.  The slope of the trail, with constant ups and downs, twists and turns, beat my calf up.  After a few beers the calf felt much better, but the damage was already  done.  Later in the day it was tighter and more sore than usual.  I must have strained a muscle during the previous week's maximum heart rate test and aggravated it during the Lake Mingo trail run. My wife has been massaging the calf--it feels good for a couple of hours, then the soreness returns.  I'll run easy each day this week and see how things turn out.  No running "around the world" with Tony Mangan this week.

Hopefully the calf will be fine by March 12 and the Land Between the Lakes race.

7 comments:

jar said...

Bummer!!...Mettler Center has great therapy for tight muscles and/or slight stain...but they need a referral from your doctor..or maybe a massage....sounds like slight calf strain

jeff

Chris said...

I agree. The strain should heal on its own if I don't push the pace or do too much hill work. Nice and easy all week.

David said...

My personal experience with several calf strains is that you should take a week off. When you come back, skip the hills and speed for a couple weeks, and walk as soon as you feel tightness when running. Calf strains are insidious in the way they let you push too far before letting you know you shouldn't have done whatever you just did.

David said...

...and yes, I'm suggesting you derail your running streak. You'll live.

Chris said...

David,

Derail the running streak? That's crazy talk! I'll take it easy all week (2 mile flat jogs) and not do any speed work or hills for at least a month.

S said...

I can't offer advice, but I just wanted to say that I'm new to your blog and looking forward to being a follower! :)

Chris said...

Thanks for reading my blog. Hope you enjoy some of my posts.