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Calf Injury, a day later

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Yesterday I was all bummed out about my left calf getting hurt while I ran. Those who were paying attention to detail will have recognized that this was my previously healthy leg, the right one having given me issues most recently. That aspect was particularly frustrating.

So I rested the leg. Among other things, I didn't even think about mowing the lawn yesterday. But the grass still needs mowing, and there's no one else to do it. So about 6 pm, with my handy remote thermometer telling me it's 90 F (32 C) outside my window, I started the routine to mow the lawn this evening. Go down to the basement to get cords for the electric mower. As I reach the main floor with the cords, I realize that I didn't notice my calf on the way down. Hmm. Go down and back up, paying attention.

Today is not a day to run on that calf, but it's much better than it was yesterday. I'd say there was a fair chance I'll be able to run again on Tuesday. *Maybe* I could get away with it tomorrow, but I don't think I'll chance it.

Now to go mow the lawn, which might put me over my 10K steps for the day. Yeah, it's been a pretty sedentary Sunday, mostly working on my work computer. And I need to do more of that after I mow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 5/21/2012 7:51AM

    fingers crossed...

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/20/2012 6:27PM

    ". . .I'd say there was a fair chance I'll be able to run again on Tuesday. *Maybe* I could get away with it tomorrow, but I don't think I'll chance it. . . ."

*Very* wise. I'm pretty sure you'll be better off over the long haul to give the leg a little additional recovery time. Just my 2 cents' worth. (btw: the Canadian mint has quit making pennies, so before long 2 cents won't be worth anything around here)

Anyway, sure glad you got to run a couple of times, and your plan for the Corporate Run is sound, so good luck being able to run it!


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ONEKIDSMOM 5/20/2012 6:11PM

    Listen to your sister... your corporate run is ten days away. It might be a good thing to taper NOW... as in lay up and rest that calf. Better part of valor and be able to participate in the event fully, with no fear.


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A tough blog to write

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today I ran 4.93 miles in 35:04, for a 7:07 pace per mile. The only problem with this was, it was a planned 5.20 mile run.

I started my Saturday by taking the luxury of moving slowly in the morning. Yeah, I was out of bed at 6 with the alarm; but I didn't hustle. I dawdled through breakfast, and went light on the morning exercises in anticipation of running. Got out on the road a bit before 9, and set out to run a very familiar 5.2 mile course.

Right now, 5.2 miles is further than I've been running. Thursday I ran 4.31 miles with a couple of small hills, so I figured stretching the distance to a course with only one minor hill would be okay. I made no attempt to run particularly fast, even on the modest downgrades in the early part of the route. A pace of a a bit over 7 minutes per mile felt sustainable. It felt good. The weather was beautiful, 64 F when I started, with sunshine and intermittent light breeze. I concentrated on paying attention to my legs, and making this sustainable.

Everything felt great. I got to the last downgrade a bit over half a mile from home, and picked up the pace just a little. Got to the corner to my street, and wham! Sharp pain in the left calf.

Well, I've seen that before. Stop running, look at watch, fish out iPod, stop the stopwatch, look back at watch to see how many seconds to subtract. Treat the remainder of the course as the first part of the walking cooldown. Stretch, take care of the legs. When stretching, the left gastrocnemious seemed to be the issue; but the way it hurt to go down stairs felt more like the soleus.

Sigh. As I'd been moving through those last 2 miles, I'd been thinking this would be my longest run for the next two weeks. The plan was to run less than 4 miles next week on Tuesday and Thursday, about 4 on Saturday, and limit myself to a 5K the following Monday before resting up for the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge on May 31. A real training plan, complete with taper!

Well. After being mostly sedentary the rest of the day, with some shopping to walk off whatever stiffness will walk off, the calf doesn't hurt all the time; but it's not in shape to run on, either. Maybe I can try again Tuesday, and maybe I'll need to wait longer.

When things go like this, my natural inclination is to hide from the online scene. It's a lot easier to write about running when the run goes well. But, I guess this is part of life. Sometimes, I have to find out how much is too much the hard way.

Oh, well. At least I can still do pushups and pullups.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRUE-NESS 5/21/2012 10:12AM

    Yikes! Hope you recover quickly.

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MILLERGIRL719 5/20/2012 5:05PM

    I hope it doesn't last long and throw a big wrench into things!

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RG_DFW 5/20/2012 7:57AM

    Ouch, wishing a speedy recovery for you

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ARCHIMEDESII 5/20/2012 7:12AM

    Ouch ! Moby do be really careful with that calf. Have you been doing any sort of stretching ? If not, I'm going to encourage you to keep stretching that calf especially if it's tight. Have you been icing the leg ? Ditto, get some ice packs on that leg and rest it up for a few days. Can you walk on it without any pain or are you feeling some twinges ? I'd rec0mmend laying off any running for a few days just to give the calf sufficient time to heal. If you try to run while it's still weak, you risk making the injury worse.

While that minor hill may have seemed harmless, if your calf was already in a weak state, that might have been the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak. So, baby that leg for the next few days. don't assume the leg is okay if it feels fine tomorrow. one run and you're limping back home. don't I know that.

Do you wear compression socks when you run ? One thing you might consider for future runs is wearing compression socks to protect your calves. They might need a bit of extra support for a short time.

Hope your leg recovers soon. I do feel your pain.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/20/2012 6:19AM

    Ohhhh! So sorry the plan isn't going like clockwork. Sigh.

Back to goal #1: don't get injured.

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KRISZTA11 5/20/2012 5:04AM

    It was tough to read too...
: (
I hope your calf will recover quickly!

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AUNTRENEE 5/19/2012 10:56PM

    That's pretty good on how many minutes you did per mile. A classmate of mine from high school (graduated in 1997) could do that in track. I wish that I could do that. Maybe one of these days when I get a bit more fit I can.

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Back to running regularly?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

With a question mark, because I don't trust it just yet.

Today was a work from home day, which meant I could squeeze more time to run at lunch. I ended up squeezing a bit more time in than I intended.

Temperature at noon was in the low 60s F somewhere; I didn't look when I started, but it was 64 F (18 C) when I remembered to look later. There was a light breeze and sunshine. Good running weather.

I set out on my basic around the neighborhood run, adding two small hills to the known 5K distance. Today I added a different pair of hills than last time, to avoid training to the precise route. It also avoids knowing whether I'm faster or slower than the last time, which helps me not to second guess myself.

Got a bit of a late start, so I didn't warm up. I just figured to run easily at first and speed up when it felt natural to do so. I ended up trying to run a little faster on the downhills, and just trying to run at a sustainable pace on the near level stretches.

When I got near home, it was clear that I would be over 28 minutes and pushing 29. Can't resist that; clicked lap at my driveway to note the time, and ran up the street and back far enough to make 30 minutes for that 6th Spark Point. The total route mapped out to 4.31 miles in 30:10, for a pace right at 7:00 per mile.

Best of all, pretty much everything felt normal. Yeah, the bad foot isn't 100%. Yeah, there was some mild intermittent grumbling from my right ankle. Yeah, I'm still developing good runner's calluses, but the bottoms of my feet felt better than they did after Tuesday's run.

This is progress. Perhaps this weekend I'll try to run a bit further, maybe the known 5.2 mile route. My self-competitive nature wants to go for 10K, but my head says I shouldn't be there yet.

Two weeks from today is the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge. I've paid, and the team captain has ordered shirts. From a motivational perspective, when the captain asked what time I expected I told him 24 minutes if my legs were healthy. Looks like they're healthy, and I don't want to do anything to mess that up in the next two weeks.

And if I'm really going to run 3 times per week, it's time to start eating like a runner again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 5/18/2012 8:18AM

    It's been a long recovery... good luck

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KRISZTA11 5/18/2012 4:08AM

    I'm happy for you!

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WATERMELLEN 5/17/2012 8:50PM

    The "eating like a runner" part sounds appealing!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/17/2012 8:47PM

    emoticon Good luck & run safe!

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Successful Run, Allergies

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The cold I caught last week just didn't seem to go away, till I realized it was cheap heating season. That's the season when neither the heat nor the air conditioning kicks in, and the utility bill is low.

Cheap heating season also coincides with high pollen production. Some years, that doesn't bother me. This year, it did. Once I realized it wasn't just a lingering cold, but seasonal allergies, I dug out my prescription allergy med that I don't take very often. I slept well last night, and was able to function this morning.

The dang allergens were stuffing me up so bad that I couldn't tell when the cold got better.

Today was a work at home day, where the allergens are worse but I can squeeze more time in for a lunch run. I ran the route I had planned last Thursday. The right calf felt fine. The bad right foot muttered a little, but not very badly. It still isn't 100%, and probably won't be for quite a while; but it won't keep me from running while it slowly gets better.

I started out to just run normally. Got beyond where the calf crapped out on Thursday, no problem. Got to where I was wondering about the calf on Saturday, no problem. Tried to pick up the pace a little on the downhill stretches, because a quicker cadence seemed to fit with landing lighter on my feet.

At 74 F (24 C) the sweat flowed more freely than it has while running in cooler weather. I was able to run, but thought a lot about slowing to a walk for cardio reasons. I figured I might be at a 7 minute mile, or might be a bit slower because the weather was warm. I was able to pick up the pace a little on the final stretch to my driveway, but it wasn't what I would truly call a sprint for the finish line.

The run mapped out to 3.86 miles in 26:22, for a 6:50 pace per mile. I think that's faster than I've run without being in a race environment, and it's fast enough to meet my stretch goal of 24 minutes for the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge on May 31.

No running tomorrow, and I'll see if I'm ready to run again on Thursday. Recovery feels a lot better now than it did on Saturday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONEKIDSMOM 5/17/2012 1:08AM

    BTW, I bragged on your times to your nephew, and he's busily intimidating his "officer" with his family's running prowess. LOL... between an uncle with an incredible pace and a mom's picture crossing the finish line of the HM, the dude is predicting running with Jon in the a.m. will kill him. Of course Jon's 13 minute two mile on the APFT doesn't particularly hurt in the bragging contest... now they have to lay it out there IRL. Competitive nature? Family trait?

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KRISZTA11 5/16/2012 5:05AM

    As always, I'm impressed how fast you run!
I also found that faster cadence helps to keeping steps light and easy.
It forces me to run efficiently and avoid unnecessary movements.
Good luck to fighing allergies!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/15/2012 7:31PM

    Woo-hoo! Glad you got the allergens versus cold figured out. Sometimes it is hard to tell. And sometimes we just aren't looking.

First two a day ended with a very warm 15 minute run. I don't run near as fast as you. Sorry. I just don't. And if you were doing my TRI, I'm very glad you aren't a F 55-59! LOL.

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RG_DFW 5/15/2012 5:34PM

    Looks like you're doing great!

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Recovery is slow

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Still have the cold, and took the luxury of moving slowly this morning. Didn't get out to test the leg running till 9. Temperature by then was 65 F, warm enough that if I had to slow to a walk I'd be okay in shorts and a tee shirt.

The leg was fine, at first. 7 or 8 minutes into the run, my right calf began muttering at me. I slowed down. By the time I got to the top of the second small hill, I decided not to try the third. Slowed down some more. The calf kept slowly getting worse. I ended up running to point I could map just after 15 minutes, then walking the rest of the route.

That mapped out to 2.05 miles running in 15:10, for a 7:24 average pace per mile. Since I was running normally at first, I think I might have slowed down to an 8 minute mile before deciding the best part of valor was to walk.

Tomorrow I'll walk, and remember the wise words of my mother: "Growing old is not for sissies." I'll see how Monday goes, but I expect I won't try to run again till Tuesday. Hopefully by then the remains of this cold will be gone, and I can run Tuesday and Thursday next week.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BELSNICKEL 5/12/2012 7:05PM

    What a neat Mom you have.

Comment edited on: 5/12/2012 7:06:02 PM

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PLMITCH 5/12/2012 4:34PM

    I agree with you 110% -- growing old is not for sissies!

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WATERMELLEN 5/12/2012 4:20PM

    . . . not for sissies indeed, but nothing sissy about taking good care of yourself either!!

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HAKAPES 5/12/2012 1:15PM

    I see it important to keep the proper time for healing. I read a lot of warnings from Galloway's book on running - he tells that starting too soon can cause bigger damage. However, since I do exercise regularly, I find it increasingly more challenging no to do exercise. How is it for you?

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/12/2012 12:20PM

    Mother knows best. Growing old is NOT for sissies!

Hope that cold clears up for you soon. Take it easy.

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/12/2012 12:19PM

    You've been very patient with this recovery business! Good on ya for being sensible about it.

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RG_DFW 5/12/2012 11:16AM

    Here's hoping you're back to 100% next week... have a great weekend

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