You would think after having suffered through shin splints, trochanteric bursitis in my hip, IT band syndrome, two serious ankle sprains and plantar fasciitis at various points in the last 4 1/2 years as a runner, I’d be well equipped for how to handle another set back – this time a calf strain in my right leg. You’d have guessed wrong, though.
It’s been 14 days since that fateful day up Rocky Canyon road where I slipped on black ice and strained my calf. I finished up the 22 mile run (limping for the final 11 miles) and haven’t been the same since. The first few days, I iced it and stayed off it, and actually enjoyed a little break in my training. I had my hair done, I baked goodies for my kids and cleaned my house. 48 hours later, though, my patience and ideas for how to spend my free time ran out and I tried running on the leg. I made it 3 miles – at an average pace of 8:09, and felt fine — while running — but within an hour of ending the test run, I was limping again, but this time worse. I’d aggravated the condition.
I’ve done yoga four times during recovery and each time made it slightly worse. Turns out downward dog is a bit too much for a strained calf to handle while those muscle fibers are repairing themselves. I saw my chiropractor and he again said, “You’ve suffered a setback!” Dang it! I tried slow walking — twice — just 3 miles each time — and each time made it worse.
So, here I am on day 14 doing absolutely nothing but waiting for this injury to heal. I have a 100 miler on the schedule in less than 4 weeks. I’m not feeling hopeful about that. The worst part is before the injury, I was in the best shape of my life! I ran a PR marathon about a month ago in 3:47! My training has gone well all winter long. I was gearing up to really tear it up this spring! To run another 100 miler and then try to qualify for Boston at the Great Potato Marathon in May.
Now, I’m getting soft, losing fitness and I’ve gained 3 lbs. I’m an emotional eater and not a particularly healthy eater in general (this surprises people sometimes since I lost 80 lbs and have kept it off for over 3 years – they assume I’m a shining example of what to do right – but the truth is — all the mega miles and smaller portion sizes are what got my weight back down to a healthy one – not healthful eating.) So, here I sit, feeling kind of frustrated since I’ve not been given the green light to do any other activities but rest. Running is my therapy, I like to say – and without that constant dose of endorphins and physical release I am more cranky than usual.
How do you handle injury? Have you suffered a calf strain and been able to safely cross-train through it? Are you injured right now and feeling a little frustrated yourself? I think this is the point, where it should occur to me that each and every one of those injuries I suffered in the past felt like they would go on forever while I had them – and yet each time, I did eventually heal up and get back to training and kicking butt — and this time will likely be no different! The same goes for you – if you’re right where I’m at, shoot me a message and we’ll try and remind one another that this is temporary. It is always darkest before the dawn, tomorrow is a new day, everything’s going to be alright….. RIGHT?! 😉