Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Ill-Timed Muscle Tear?

So, nine days after running/walking nine miles with little effort, Sunday came. I had not trained a lick, fighting off a pretty bad cold. But then Sunday came. It was a beautiful day. My cold was lots better. I was at the beach. It seemed perfect to do a short 1.5 mile run barefoot on the beach, just a little leg stretcher. I had only missed a week of training with the cold. If the 1.5 miles went well, I would do 4 Monday morning, and then get into my regular training schedule again.

I cruised .75 miles down the beach, running the whole way. I turned and walked 2 minutes, then started running again. I was not bothering with intervals, since the distance was so short. With 150 meters to go, it seemed like a good time to pick up the pace, so I increased my speed from maybe a 9 or 10 minute mile to about a 7 minute mile. The stopping point was just ahead. 100 feet. 75 feet. 50 - Oww! What the hell is that? I got a sudden burst of pain in my left calf. I slowed, but ran the remaining 50 feet, then stopped. This is a funny time to have a leg cramp, thought I.

15 minutes later, it was clear that this is no leg cramp. No, I have damaged something. It was too nice a beach day to ice it, so I stayed on the beach, soaking it in the cold ocean often. After a little bit, even walking was painful. Slow walking that is. Every time I pushed off with that left foot, it hurt quite a bit. Going up and especially going down stairs was very painful. I Googled "pulled calf muscles" and the news was not good. If it is mild, I should rest it for two weeks and then take it easy. My race was 41 days away on the date of the injury. I tried walking a bit in the wildlife refuge, probably making about 30 minute mile pace for a mile, stopping often to look at things. I noticed a bruise the size of a fifty-cent piece. Hmmm, so there is some bleeding. That area was very painful to the touch with slight pressure.

Monday came. It was less painful but still so. I could walk a little better, mabye 20 minute mile pace, but didn't do much. I applied ice. I was careful and slow on stairs. Tuesday came. I returned the work and used the elevator. Yes, that is not a typo - I used the elevator! I walked to the bank and people actually paced me! Out walking about town I NEVER get passed walking by anyone. EVER! Man, that was hurtful to my pride! Wednesday came. I called a sports medicine doctor and made an appointment for the morning. Each day the pain is less, but still there, and very stiff. I have done no training since the injury. I walk only to get from point A to point B. I cancelled running with a friend for tonight.

I think it is probably a minor calf muscle tear. My left calf is always a lot stiffer than the right. Maybe it was running barefoot in sand. Maybe it was speeding up at the end in sand. Hard packed sand, but sand all the same. Maybe it was running most of a mile and a half (although I've done that recently with no problems) instead of doing intervals - after not doing much of anything for over a week because of my cold. I don't know, and I guess it doesn't really matter. I just have to see what the doctor says, and get advice on training / running / walking / hiking / pool work / etc. over the next three weeks.

My guess is that my real training schedule is derailed for at least another week. If I am lucky, maybe I can start running late next week and work up to 6-8 miles before heading to Seattle. But until I talk to the doc tomorrow, I am not doing anything at all. It feels really weird because I have basically been inactive for nearly two weeks now.

1 comment:

TNTcoach Ken said...

You old guys, when will you learn? LOL, welcome to the old injured guy club..... Take the time off and you'll be back.