Two weeks of rest for my calf strain. Check. This past week my left calf has felt just as good as my right calf while walking, going up and down stairs, etc. I was feeling very confident going into this morning’s long run, although still a little sad I couldn’t run the 8 miles with Mike and Matt. I decided I would just do 3 miles.
Matt, Mike and I started out and literally 60 seconds into our run, my left calf started hurting. WHAT!? I rested for 2 weeks! What more could I have done?! Did I just set myself back? Is it something more serious than a calf strain? Will I even be able to do the marathon? Do I need physical therapy? Please don’t let me be in a boot again for 13 weeks!
I pulled myself together. Maybe it was my shoes. I’ve had this pair for quite awhile and they don’t feel as cushioned as they used to. I put on my new Saucony ProGrid Omni in a much cooler color, lime green, to try them out. I also foam rolled some more and google searched combinations of runner, calf strain, calf pain, tendonitis (?), cramping, recovery, etc. I didn’t want to do more harm by trying to run again but the pain wasn’t sharp. I planned to try a slow jog just around the block (while in my head I still wanted to hit my 3 mile goal).
The combination of new shoes and foam rolling helped tremendously! Sure my left calf did not feel as great as my right but should it really? And I was running!! At my slowest pace ever. But still I was in the marathon training pace range and feeling pretty good. I kept setting mini goals and couldn’t believe I hit a mile especially after the thoughts going through my mind 20 minutes earlier. I stayed in the neighborhood, just in case I needed to get home quickly and because it’s pretty flat; I wanted to avoid running up and down hills (e.g. the hill by the Capitol in particular).
I ran a total of 3.2 miles! My compression sleeves for my calves also helped a lot. I really focused on keeping my core tight and not favoring one leg over the other. Back at our condo building, I did P90X Ab Ripper X and stretched out my legs. I plan to do icing and take Advil throughout the day to keep the inflammation down. Tomorrow I’m going to make an appointment with a sports medicine doctor to be sure everything is ok. But I’m not limping and it’s more of a bruised, sore feeling than a sharp pain in my calf. This week calls for 3 short runs back to back on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Right now I am thinking I’ll just do Tuesday and Thursday so not to push my calf and end up regressing. Plan to take this one day at a time. It’s incredibly frustrating to be injured but I have to keep focusing on the positives: cool new sneakers, running 3.2 miles, not limping, making progress!
So how did the boys do on their first long run day? They ran 8 miles together on the mall and towards Georgetown and back. It’s pretty hot out there but 85 degrees with less humidity feels much better than it has been this past week. Mike’s new water bottle took some getting used to – he has to keep it pretty tight to keep it in place. Matt and I opted for our handheld Nathan bottles today. I drank the whole thing in my 3.2 miles though. Glad I got (and Matt’s getting) the hydration belt with 4 bottles!
I have a new favorite post-run snack. Pretzels dipped in Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter – the sweet and salty combo hits the spot!