Things didn't exactly go as planned this weekend. The stair climbing challenge I started at work made my calves really tight. As soon as I knew I was running the relay, I stopped doing any additional stairs. I also used my roller and stick to try to work out my calves. Apparently this was not enough.
I had leg #12, which was the last leg of the second van. This put me out to run at about 8pm, after being in the car since 7AM. As the runner before me was running his leg, I got out a few times to cheer him on as well as stretch and warm up. When we got to the hand off point, I was ready to go. I headed out feeling fresh and was probably running slightly faster then I should be on the first mile. I took a short walk break after each of the first two miles to give my muscles a chance to loosen up from the tension of running. As I made a turn and passed my team, I picked up the pace for a short while. Not too far past the SUV, I felt a familiar feeling in my calf. In the last 18 months I had previously torn my calf in the same spot twice. I didn't feel the same popping sensation I did the previous two times, so I initially thought it might just be a know. I tried to rub my calf and stretch it out, but had no luck. Another member of my team jumped out and finished up my last 2.5 miles while I tried to figure out if I had another dreaded calf strain. I was unable to run any of my other legs, so my team members filled in. I still had a great time and made some new friends. I hope to do a marathon with this group early next year.
Today (6 days later) my calf still aches a little. I had no pain by Tuesday, but one trip up my stairs at home going a little quicker then I should have and the pain was back. I am icing it and using my stick on a daily basis. I an hopeful that this will be a quick recovery. Once I feel no pain at all, I can begin to rehab it.
I am going to use a protocol I found on Running Times's website to hopefully recover stronger. I am going to see the massage therapist at my chiropractor's office tonight to see about getting some ART treatments. I have also ordered a cheap TENS/EMS unit to hopefully help stimulate the healing process. I have had a few friends use these before and they felt it helped.
My plan for the Monster Dash in two weeks is to do the 10K instead of the half. Depending how I feel, this may be all walking, or I may include some running.
Since this injury happened, I have been doing as much research into the net causes of this, and how to prevent it in the future. The last few years have been plagued with injury and burnout. A light bulb went off when I read a fellow bloggers recent post. I have lost my aerobic base I once had. I used to be able to run 10 milers every Saturday with no issues at all. Not so in the last few years.
I began reading "The big Book of Endurance Training and Racing" by Phil Maffetone, which was recommended to this blogger. I am about 100 pages into this book and it seems to make much sense. I need to focus on building volume/frequency while keeping my HR in a aerobic range. Based on the formulas in the book, this will equate to about a 130-140 BPM range. Part of my problem is that every time I have come back from injury, I start building back slowly, but as soon as I start feeling better, I start picking up the pace, and this is how I end up injured..I am doing everything I can to prevent this in the future