I wrote this blog in my head while waiting on a street a corner for 25 minutes in 35 degree weather for my husband to come pick me up because I decided to stop mid-run. My calf was hurting and I knew that I was risking serious injury if I didn't stop right then and there.
Let's back up.
The first hint I had that anything was wrong with my calf was immediately after the Turkey Trot just over three weeks ago. My left shin was achy, and I remember telling my husband that I thought the cause of the shin was a tight calf. I didn't run for two days and then I ran 10 miles pain free. Afterwards, however, I did notice that my calf felt tight.
I started stretching and foam rolling the calf regularly but nothing seemed to make the tightness go away. It didn't hurt, I could just tell it was tighter than it should be. I ran the Memphis Half Marathon with no issues, and then I took five days off because I felt sick/run-down. And then I took things very easy-- only running 4-5 miles every other day because I just wasn't feeling well. It had nothing to do with my calf. You would think with such a light running schedule that it would be nearly impossible to get an injury.
And then on Friday (two days ago) I decided to do the speed work that my coach prescribed. But instead of going to the track, I did it in a somewhat hilly neighborhood with a 15-mph sustained wind. My calf felt tight during the run, but it didn't actually hurt until afterwards. I stretched, iced and then went about my day. Yesterday, however, while walking around I noticed that I could feel my calf. With every step I took, my calf "spoke" to me. Probably a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale, so I wasn't freaking out, but I was worried that I could feel it at all.
This morning, my husband asked me if I was sure my calf was okay for a long run, and I said I thought it was, and that I would stop if it hurt. But deep down I knew he was right and that I shouldn't have attempted it. Considering my calf did not feel 100% to even walk on, the idea of going for a long run was ridiculous. But I really wanted to do it, given that it was definitely time to start training for my the Shamrock marathon.
I started running and immediately "felt" my calf with each stride. I thought maybe it was just tight and needed some time to warm up. But it just got worse and worse until I forced myself to stop after just three miles. My husband offered to run home, get the car and drive me home. I told him that I could just walk, but didn't think I should walk. He's so sweet!!!! (And he knows that I can be miserable to be around when I have an injury.)
I felt horrible for ruining his run, but he told me it wasn't ruined-- his top priority was making sure I didn't get injured. Even though we had run three miles, we were only two miles from home (we had taken a round-about route). So I waited there for 25 minutes with nothing to think about other than how frustrating this was and how stupid I was for attempting a long run when my calf wasn't 100%. I don't even have time to go pool running today because of a family commitment!
I don't know what's wrong with my calf. I doesn't hurt in one particular spot, but rather all around the inside of the leg. I had scheduled an appointment with my sports chiro last week, thinking it was just tight and needed some ART. I see him tomorrow and maybe he will have an idea about what's going on. It's probably a muscle strain of some sort, but how on earth could I have strained a muscle on such little running!!!!
The good news is that the calf is completely pain-free while at rest and I only feel it when I walk on it. I know I did what I needed to do by stopping, but it's frustrating because I already feel like I am behind on my Shamrock training. I just spent two weeks of very little running because I felt sick and now I will probably be out for at least another week, unless my sports chiro can work some kind of magic.