Being injured totally sucks. Just when I start to get my head wrapped around running now that I'm in the 8th month of the year my body takes a proverbial shit on my psyche. I ran a couple 70 mile weeks back in early July, my recovery from each run was very good, no issues whatsoever. Then during an easy 10 mile run, after a day off, my left calf muscle locks up tighter tighter than Scrooge's wallet. It literally came out of nowhere. 4 miles into the run, running easy 7:45 pace on very flat terrain I felt things ever so slightly tightening. I didn't think much of it. I decided to just keep running. I mean who hasn't had an issue creep up during a run, this happens often in some form to everyone and goes away. Well, 2 miles later my calf muscle was locked up solid and I ended up hobbling the last 4 miles to my home. Shit!
This has happened to me before. Right before the White River 50 mile last year a very similar ordeal happened with my other leg. I got some deep tissue massage, did some cross training and I was good to go. This time things are not quite as easy.
I took a couple days off, did some cross training. Still ran 45 miles per week or so, not a ton of miles, but certainly enough to offer some recovery. I thought I was in the clear. 4 days before my 8/6 50K I ran 9.5 miles at Lord Hill park. I ran what I thought was an easy pace, 8:20 miles which is actually pretty decent for that many miles with that much elevation. But again, it felt really easy. No issues with any muscles. I thought I was completely in the clear.
The next day I ran an easy 5 miles. Legs were only so-so. But there was nothing making me raise a flag concerning my calf muscle. The next day was where the problem started to make me take notice. The goal was to run an easy 6 or 7. I ran out to the turnaround, and was feeling decent, saw one of my friends up ahead and decided to catch up to him but he was running faster than I thought. I ended up running a 5:35 mile to catch him, ran with him for a mile and then after my run my calf was fucked. I knew right away things would not be good for the 50K.
That Thursday I slept about 3 hours, went to work, got some more deep tissue massage, went roller blading in the evening. Friday I got a good night sleep.
Raceday comes and I know my calf is not even close to 100%. But I am signed up so I figure I might as well try and see what happens. For the first 6 miles everything is fine. But I slowly start to feel the muscle tightening up. By mile 10 am in agony. I am running on one leg. Downhill isn't so bad, up hill completely sucks. To make a long story short I suffered like a son of a bitch, not fun! I was in 2nd at mile 27 when all that was left was 1 5 mile loop. But I had to throw in the towel. I was so pissed. The RD told me he would give me credit for a marathon finish but I was so disgusted with my time because I could barely even run for the past 10 miles, I just said "Just gimme a DNF." There were actually lots of swear words in the middle of the woods, maybe a minor temper tantrum or two, but no one was around and I was pissed as I really need my running right now.
The rest of the day I couldn't even walk. Literally. I had to use my other leg to push in my emergency break on my truck. WTF! Stupid injuries.
Now I guess I just need to let it heal. I took the Sunday after the race completely off, went out with some friends, had a couple beers and just tried to forget about running (not too mention all the other stupid drama) and relax. I've been cross training like crazy since thought, 1-2 hours each day either on the roller blades or bicycle, a couple more deep tissue massages, and things are starting to feel normal again. This weekend I will be in the back country of Rainier and if my calf locks up I am going to pull a 127 hours trick and saw off my frigging leg.