Sunday, February 5, 2012
Worst Run of the Year
I awoke to a tight and painful left calf. Since I had no real plans for the day, I figured I could lounge around the house and get in an easy trail run later in the day. The calf would loosen up and fell better. The run probably wouldn't be great, but it would get better after each mile got the muscles warmed up. The plan was sound. Walk, jog, walk more if needed. Enjoy the soft trail. Log easy miles and let the legs loosen and heal. Let the calf "work itself well" after a mile or two. I was wrong.
I started today's run by walking 1/4 mile on the trail. The left calf was tight and it hurt...but not too bad while walking. The sun was out and the air temperature was in the low 40s. Very light breeze. Great day for February! After that first 1/4 mile walk, I started a slow jog. The calf didn't like it. Very tight. Very painful. I tried to alter my gait to protect the calf...but nothing seemed to help. I walked more. Figured it just needed more warming. I was wrong.
After repeated walk/run cycles, I was determined to get a full 1+ mile of jogging on the trails. The calf rebelled. It squealed. It tightened. It hurt. I managed to keep going for a little over a mile, then walked it back to the parking lot. It felt better to walk...still not good, but better. Pretended to do a few stretches at my care...but those didn't really feel right either. I went home.
After showering, eating pizza, cheesy bread, and drinking a beer...I felt better. The calf still hurt, but I felt better. Walking around home, it is sore and tight. I'll try to massage it and "roll it"...but this could be the end of my 74-day running streak. I won't go silently. I'll try to keep going. Breakfast may be Advil and OJ...then an easy jog. Next weekend I'm scheduled to tackle a 28-mile trail fat ass put on by the local running club. I'm thinking a pain-free 7-mile first loop will suffice. We'll see. Today was the worst run of this year...I hope tomorrow is better.
For those that follow this blog, this injury is almost identical to last year's calf strain that ended my running streak at 95-days last February. Hmmm...what's up with my left calf? At least last year it got pulled doing extremely fast speed work on the treadmill. I ran fast and deserved some retribution. I taunted the running gods, and they punished me. Not this year. Fickle gods.