Wednesday, February 20, 2013

...More Serious Than I Thought

After more than two weeks away from running, I decided to head out last evening and see how everything felt. I had a plan: wear my new IT Band strap, walk for a few minutes before I started running and keep it short.

By the time I was done walking, the wind had chilled me pretty good so I was glad to get moving. At first, everything felt okay, but not great. From a cardio standpoint, I felt really good. No racing heart, no burning lungs. It was nice to see that my time riding on the trainer for hours and hours had paid off.

After about a mile, the bike path that is usually part of nearly any run I do has an uphill and that was the first time I felt the distinct pain in my right calf. Well, not the very first time, but the first in a while. As I encountered inclines from that point, the pain became more and more pronounced.

The last mile had to be run-walked out of fear that I might actually hurt myself so bad that it would require a trip to the ER.

Oddly, the pain went away within seconds of walking. I think I have it figured out why. Running is different from walking in that for short periods of time, both feet are off the ground. You are effectively launching yourself off your back foot before the front strikes. Essential in completing this motion is the recruitment of calf muscles. When at least one foot is always in contact with the ground, this recruitment is lessened.

Whatever has happened back there, it's clearly going to take some time to heal. So what does that mean? The following:

  • The Horsetooth Half Marathon is officially off the race schedule. That sucks, but I don't want to pay an entry fee for a race I'm not 100% confident I can even start, let alone finish.
  • Running is suspended through, at least, the end of March.
  • As a result, my ability to run the Colorado Marathon on May 5 is very much in question. There is always the possibility that I'll heal up sooner than expected and even some experts who claim long runs of under 20 miles prior to a full marathon are possible. If it gets to that---a big IF I might add--I;ll re-asses. Perhaps I'll be able to pull it off. But I'd say the odds are less than 50/50.
  • I have my annual physical next week so I'll check in with my doctor to see if he has any other solutions and confirm that I can still ride the bike. Doing that has not caused me any new pain--not during nor after workouts. 
  • Missing the race and eating the entry fee both suck. But then again, the purpose of this is to be ready for triathlon season. So far, the earliest race for which I am registered is not until mid-June. I'm guessing I can be ready by then.
In the ultimate irony, my brother has more or less the same injury which you can read about here. No we're not twins and when he stubs his toe, I don't feel it. But clearly we both ran into similar problems as we attempted to train for longer distances.

There's more to come. I'll follow up soon.

Thanks for reading.

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