Saturday morning I was set for my 15 mile long run. I knew I wanted to start off slow so I could avoid what happened during the previous Saturday’s 14 miler where I bonked after mile 11 and then got a blister and ended slow as heck with 13 minute miles. So, my plan for yesterday morning was to start slow and pick up the pace toward the end. As I was running along, I was keeping the pace between 12:40 and 12:55. As I passed the 4 mile mark, I came up with my plan of attack. I would keep the pace I was running to the 5 mile mark then I would pick up the pace to around 12:20 per mile for the next 5 miles and then for the final 5 miles I would pick up the pace even more to around 11:45-11:50 per mile.
Well, that didn’t happen. Why? Because at about mile 4.9 I felt a “pop” in my right calf. I immediately stopped. There was one of those electrical boxes just off the sidewalk, so I sat on that and proceeded to massage the area where I felt the pop. I then started running my thumb up and down on both legs in the same area and determined that there was no bump or bulge to be found. I also determined that the pain was not on my Achilles tendon (thank goodness!!!). As soon as I stopped, I said to myself “well, I’m not running 15 miles today.” Surprisingly, I was not disappointed or upset. I simply stated and accepted it as fact…and unavoidable and unchangeable fact.
After massaging the area for a couple minutes, I determined I needed to start heading home so I could ice it. I knew that if I walked that it would take forever to get home, so I decided (maybe unwisely) to run the rest of the way home. I did a run-limp the whole 2.6 miles home. I was cruising along at a good clip too…right at about 12 minutes per mile. I just wanted to get home. I did a trick I read that the elite runners do and I focused all my attention on the pain. Mainly, I wanted to make sure it didn’t get worse. If it got worse I would HAVE to stop and walk. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
I made it home. I stretched and then got in the shower. After my shower, I started with icing the area. I did 20 minutes with the ice on, 20 with it off and then 20 on again. That didn’t help with the pain at all, so I found my heating pad and wrapped that around my leg and then laid down to take a nap. (I was working overtime on the night shift last night, so I needed to take a nap so I didn’t get tired at work.) I woke up from my nap a few hours later and discovered that the heating pad hadn’t helped with the pain either. I had decided earlier that if it didn’t get better that I would go to urgent care.
So, I went to urgent care and they actually said that since it was a soft tissue injury that they couldn’t really help me. They only had xray and I would possibly need an ultrasound of the muscle/tendon to determine the actual problem. So I left and headed to the ER. I got to the ER and met with the doctor and explained to him what had happened. He felt my leg. Where the pop happened was tender to the touch, but he came to the same conclusion as me. He felt no bump or bulge and said it was most likely just a strain of the calf muscle but said there was a chance that it could be a small tear of the muscle. He did say that there was a good chance it would be fine within a few days to a week but cautioned that it could take 2 or 3 weeks.
So, no running for me for the next few days. *sigh* I would like to say that I’m glad this happened now and not a week before my marathon. I’m hoping to be running my Halloween half marathon this coming Saturday. I don’t even care if I run super slow. I just will feel so blessed if I can run it at all.