Sigh. The worst thing for a runner is an injury you can’t run through.
My right calf has been making itself known for the the last few weeks. At first, I thought it was tight and spent some extra time with the foam roller.
During the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, it felt fine, hardly a squeak from it. The next week, the tightness returned, but it was tolerable. The pain would ease after a mile or two, and I was able to do my workouts.
The next week, the pain stretched to two or three miles. I took days off, extra stretching, icing, ibuprofen, even sprung for a chiropractic adjustment and a massage. Surprisingly, the massage therapist didn’t comment on how tight I was. The next run always hurt.
I took two more days off, then tried a gradual progression: 3 miles, 2 of which hurt. 5 miles, 2 of which hurt. 8, 1.5 hurt. I thought I was making progress. 11 miles, 1 hurt. 4 miles, they all hurt.
I gave in and called the doctor, suspecting that this calf strain might be something more, something like the dreaded ‘stress fracture.’ The x-rays did not show anything, but the doctor suggested a week off.
Mentally a week off is hard to accept, especially with the Bayshore Marathon coming up in two and a half weeks. The thought of losing the physical gains I’ve made is terrifying. I’ve been cycling to keep my conditioning, but it isn’t the same, and the bike seat is… uncomfortable.
My mind treads through the options:
By next week, my leg might feel better (It was only a strain, YAY!) and I can run the race. I’d have to adjust my goals, but that’s okay.
It doesn’t feel better, but it’s not as bad. Do I run or not? I don’t want to reinsure it or make it worse.
It feels the same. No race. I don’t want anything more than a stress fracture. What are the treatment options? Physical therapy? A boot? How will I drive?
The other frustrating part is that it only hurts going down steps and when I run, so it is very difficult to judge whether it is improving.
I could really use a run to deal with all these scenarios.