Did I not say that as soon as I post something about feeling awesome, recovering like a badass, and moving on with my running life that things would abruptly stop being awesome and I’d have a set back? Without fail, I tell ya, it happens every single time.
I mentioned in the past two week recaps (Week 4, Week 5) that I felt a teensy tiny twinge in my right calf when I was foam rolling. It was the kind that you rolled onto and thought “Whoa, where the Hell did that come from?” Then you spent your next ten minutes playing with it. You try to roll out each fiber of muscle that might be aching in every single way you can imagine which would make any normal, sane (read: non-runner) person question you. You figure out exactly what you can do to make it hurt a little, make it hurt a lot, and if anything will hurt it besides actively pushing on that stupid sore little spot you didn’t even know existed ten minutes ago. Admit it — you’ve been there, you’ve done that.
Of course, I’m a stubborn runner. Things like this happen as you slowly increase your running, especially after spending over a year barely able to run. It happens. So I continued to run, paying close attention to every single twinge during and after the run, taking all the precautions of ice, ibuprofen, foam rolling, massage with a golf ball, living in compression sleeves, hydrating with all the things (water, beer, wine, liquor…), and even succumbing to an expensive sports massage from a recommended massage therapist for runners. That should do it!
Then I ran about 40 minutes and things started to get a little cranky after about 25 minutes. The next day, I decided to try again. Fifteen minutes was all my right leg wanted to deal with before it started to turn an occasional “hey, be gentle!” reminder into a “hey, I’m sick of this stress!” forceful statement. You win, lower leg muscles, you win. Even walking around after yesterday’s run for ten minutes was a little reminder that I probably should take at least a few days off.
I massaged that S.O.B. like it’s never been massaged before. The entire time I was Googling variations of “how much massage is too much?”. You’d be surprised to know that nothing of substance really came up. I’ll tell you how much massage is too much: What I did Monday night.
I woke up Tuesday to a medial calf issue (though Google also tells me it’s a posterior muscle, which I suppose makes sense given the tendon, but I should have just listened to my personal training anatomy book and went with my gut. /phew, breath). It was sore to the lightest touch and after probing around for a couple seconds, I realized it was swollen and had a weird underlying texture as compared to everything else. Oops.
I considered staying home for some quality time with every single ice temperature item in my freezer, but was convinced to come out to CF Nickel City for some mobility/recovery work. I ended up warming up with the group for some variations of the World’s Greatest Stretch and learned the Turkish Get-Up. CF Chris mentioned (as opposed to PT Chris, even though they both are partnered in with CFNC) that it could be resulting from my sneakers (4mm drop to 0mm), even though the Saucony Mirages irritated my left leg previously. Ultimately, it’s more than likely it’s just my foot and I have to strengthen that. Cool. Between all the strengthening of my hips, glutes, and foot, plus the plyometric/run specific training, maybe I can fit some running in, too! He recommended ice massaging my irritated calf with a Dixie Cup of ice or an ice cube in the meantime and then the next time I run, trying to do so with my Mirages and seeing how that goes.
I have to say, it’s really awesome to cross train at a place where the coaches get it and are more than willing to help to the best of their ability.
I also have to say it’d be really awesome if I could just do what I want to do – run.