Monday, March 23, 2009

Losing Faith, Staying Positive

This calf has really got me down! I can't believe how much I am suffering as a result of what seemed to be just a simple calf cramp that hit near the end of my long run a couple of Sundays ago. In fact, I am starting to doubt whether it is a cramp induced thing at all and wonder if I have some serious muscle damage going on. Naturally, my 30k race this coming weekend is in major jeopardy and I would be pressed to walk 3k at this point let alone get through ten times that distance.

I tried my best to stay off my leg all weekend and used a variety of icing and heat, as well as anti-inflammatory creams, to treat this issue. Each morning I'd wake up and cautiously step on my leg to find that the pain was not as bad as the night before, but within minutes the thing would tighten up and I'd be back to hobbling again. It hurts like a Mo-Fo to walk!

With all of that in mind I am keeping positive about the whole situation. After all, this is the risk one "runs" when signing up for races in advance. I also have that physio appointment for Wednesday morning (which was for my plantar fasciitis, but now will involve this problem for sho!) and I lucked into making another massage therapy appointment for right afterward. I am not actually holding out hope that I will be able to run, but stranger things have happened.

Speaking of stranger things I read Bart Yasso's My Life on the Run this weekend. I picked it up at the same time that I grabbed Chi Running. This was a super easy read and pretty entertaining. Bart Yasso has been through a lot of interesting runs throughout his life, and (spoil alert! spoil alert!) to read about his battle with Lyme disease and how it has pretty much ended his running career I count myself lucky because I know this calf issue will eventually get better and I'll be back on the road. Anyway, this was a good short read which I recommend. If it only took me two evenings to finish this book then most will blow through it over lunch given that I am the world's slowest reader.

On the Chi Running front, I have also read that book pretty extensively (can you tell I was on my ass all weekend?) and will give this a good go over the next weeks, months, years. The Chi Running philosophy speaks to me and makes sense on many levels. Specifically, I like that the focus in this technique is on the process and not the result. I think it will require significant concentration to do it right and will likely stop me from reading my Garmin every ten seconds, as I am want to do, thereby preventing me from pushing myself too much and ignoring my body. If one is to learn the Chi Running technique one must be very in tune with one's body, and I am a prime candidate for this much needed lesson. Also, I know a local running store has a guy who holds Chi Running clinics and I might consider taking this approach once I've had a chance to recover and digest the book a bit more. There are many exercises that one has to do before venturing out onto the roads, so I am a long way from the end (if there is an end, that is).

Now, back to healing...

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Blogger nwgdc said...

In the late summer of '07, in training for Chicago and a BQ attempt, I completely broke down from the knees down. I couldn't run more than 2 miles without severe pain in both calves. I read Chi Running and incorporated some of their points (increase cadence, use a positive lean, lift from the hips and don't push from the feet) and I've been injury-free since. It's earned my full endorsement, that's for sure.

March 23, 2009 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger aron said...

hang in there... seems like you are doing everything you can right now. way to stay positive and i hope you heal very fast!!

March 23, 2009 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger FLYERS26 said...

Stay positive, and think big picture. You'll be back to 100% before you know it.
And the Yasso book is a good quick read. He's a great guy if you ever get the chance to meet him. I am lucky enough to have met him twice.

March 23, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I read Bart's book too and it was a really fun read.

Have you tried a compression sleeve or wrap for your calf? It's not a perminant fix, but it might allow you to train until it fully heals.

March 23, 2009 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Marlene said...

I have been meaning to read that book as well! I'm actually doing my first Yasso workout this Thursday with my clinic.

Good luck with the calf. I hope it is nothing too serious.

March 23, 2009 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Blyfinn said...

I really enjoyed Bart's book also. Please hang in there. You did such a good job with the advice that you gave me when I first realized something was wrong. I think I may be a few weeks away from being out on the road again. IT WILL HAPPEN!

March 23, 2009 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Andrew is getting fit said...

I'm going to have to get that book.

March 24, 2009 at 2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are being smart about the injury. I hope your appointment sheds some light on what may be going on. Take it easy. It will get better.

March 24, 2009 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger The Happy Runner said...

I loved My Life on the Run. He just seems like such a great guy!

Sending you positive, healing vibes for the calf...

March 24, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

I am crossing my fingers that you will be able to run ATB! Thanks for signing up for Reese's run, and no donation is small, as the support is tremendous! Thanks again!

March 24, 2009 at 9:43 PM  

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