Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Crossed Fingers, Crossed Toes

Okay, here it is. I hesitate to write about this because every time things seem to be going well, something happens and I end up back at square one. Screw it. Let's see what happens...

I did nine days in the pool rather than the ten I promised. Around day seven I started to have some odd shooting pains in my knees and a fair amount of cramping in my feet and calves. I was starting to see overuse symptoms from pool running! Too much of anything too fast is not good, I guess.

Fortunately, after day six, my calf injury was feeling better. Maybe 80%. By day nine it felt great, so I went for a ten minute warmup followed by a three mile run. By the end of that run, my OPPOSITE calf was burning and hurting just like the one that caused me to start this pool thing in the first place. Needless to say, I was beside myself with anger, fear, anger, anger, sadness, anger, and of course, anger. Then into the pool to stew on my situation for another 30 minutes

I stretched, did some calf raises, and tried to forget about the three miler. The next day I did seven and a pool run with no problems, and the day after that a five mile progression run, again with no problems. Four miles easy the next day, and a ten mile steady run at 6:15 pace the day after that. Still no problems.

So far, what has seemed to work is, of course, the complete rest from impact so the muscle could heal. As important, though, have been brisk walking warmups, stretching, tens and dozens of calf raises, and NO MASSAGING THE DAMN THINGS. I received that last invaluable bit of info from my wife, who insisted that grinding my thumbs into already injured muscles might not be helping. I think she's right. The physio did a lot of that, but it was always followed up by 2ml of dexamethasone pumped directly into the muscles he was beating on. Net result was the calves felt better after that than before.

It's not the same without the drugs.

So, no more deep-tissue massage unless it comes from someone who knows what the hell they are doing and can explain to me why it is going to help. So far, so good this week. I did eight miles easy with strides on Sunday, a five mile tempo (5:35 pace)yesterday, and eleven this morning with a relaxed final mile in 5:50. Total mileage the first week back was 29 in five days, and projected mileage for this week is 50-55. Hopefully by the end of July, I am back to 90-100 weekly until the taper. We'll see.

One day at a time.

6 Comments:

Blogger Mike

Wow, your last visitors were from Japan, the Netherlands and Malaysia? I guess boring old Tucson should be next. I'm so glad to hear you are back on dry land. As I'm suffering trying to run more than 4 miles at 6 minute pace, your tempo run in the 5:30's and your 10 miler at 6:15 sound pretty damn good. Maybe there is something to this "rest" thing after all. Good work, next stop 100+.

6/27/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Fatboy

Good to see you're "back." Might want to give yourself a probationary period before doing anything too fast (no sub-6 10-milers). Good point on the massage. Deep massage breaks up scar tissue, light massage pushes out toxins. Cindy's right, you're probably just aggravating the inflamed tissue. Keep it slow, let the blood flow do it's job, and you'll be happily jamming your fist into your muscles again before you know it.

6/27/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Greg

Glad to hear you're back on track. Don't rush things on your road to recovery.

6/27/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Zeke

I'd say if you're doing strides and 5 mile tempo runs, you can't be too bad off.

I'm no expert, but if it flairs up again, you may want to check with someone that does Active Release Therapy. My calf went from 50% to 95% in 1.5 weeks.

6/27/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Eric

Yes, I seem to have quite the international following. I'd really like it if some of my international friends left comments. Hint hint.

It sounds like you do need some rest, Mike. Six minute pace shouldn't be a slog for you now. I have had plenty of rest in the last ten weeks, and I must say it has been good for me. It will be good for you too.

Fatboy, I'll be taking small steps back to my mileage and speed until I'm satisfied I'm at full strength. I thought I was good to go two other times, and I was wrong. I'm hoping the strength/plyo stuff is the key. So far, so good.

Thanks, Greg. I'm looking forward to those 100 mile weeks you have going.

Zeke, strides and tempos are a good sign, but this thing has been really unpredictable. An easy three miler has been as likely to give me problems as a 23 miler, but I can do a hard 10 and have no problems. It's a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Thanks for the tip on ART. I'll look into that next if I keep having issues.

Thanks for all the comments! It's good to be back...*knocking on wood*

6/27/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Runner Chic

Eric,

Great job on the pool running. That is not also the easiest workout to stick with. Your post got me thinking a bit. I once had a knot like injury in my right calf which I had my husband deep massage every night for over a week. Not the smartest move now that I think about it.

I have posted recent assessment results on my site. Would love some thoughts..

Happy Running!

Robin

6/29/2006 01:47:00 PM  

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