Based on this run, and how I felt over the last few days, I have a new plan for healing my calf. Last week I was on the right track, but the weekend threw me off and basically "re-injured" my calf. I think it was a combination of not warming up (or cooling down) plus doing more miles than I was ready to complete with the injured left calf. All last week I was doing very short runs with long warm-up and cool-down periods. On the weekend, without warming up, I went out and did a 5-mile trail run on Saturday and an intended 5-mile trail run on Sunday. Sunday's run was cut short to 3 miles because of calf pain. At least I was smart enough not to try and limp through that last 2 miles. What did I learn from this weekend's poor runs? Here are my lessons for running while injured:
- Warm-up thoroughly before the actual run
- Cool-down thoroughly after the run
- Go easy during the run and try to keep the running surface smooth and level
- Avoid extreme temperatures (cold, snow, ice, etc)
- Continue a stretching, massage, ice, heat, elevation, compression routine even a few days after the injury seems healed
NOTE: Today marked 82 continuous days of running (at least one uninterrupted mile each day). The streak is on life-support, but it's still going. I'll reach my planned 100 days on March 2. I could take a few days off to heal up before the marathon...or continue the streak indefinitely!