Annnnddddd…..I think I’m officially injured. I was in denial for the first part of the week and tried to press on as normal, but by Wednesday there was no denying that something was definitely NOT RIGHT with my left leg. It’s the calf/posterior tib area that’s bugging me and as the week wore on it became increasingly apparent that I needed to listen to my body and give it some TLC and time off. I threw in the towel and called the sports doctor since I’d rather nip it in the bud as early as I could so that I could possibly avoid a long layoff. Ended up getting in with her on Thursday morning. But let’s back up a bit - here’s how the week shook out:
Monday: 10 miles easy (8:26 pace)
Tuesday: 9.85 miles w/8 hill repeats + Body Pump
Wednesday: 8.75 miles easy (8:22 pace) + Core
Thursday: 8 miles recovery (8:31 pace) + Body Pump
Friday: OFF + Core
Saturday: Sweaty spin class (26 miles on the bike)
Sunday: OFF + Body Pump w/heavy weights
Total miles: 36
Monday’s 10-miler - (Still in denial at this point) After plenty of massage/foam rolling Sunday night, the left leg felt much better on Monday, but still not 100%. I'm definitely aware of it at times when I'm running and it feels similar to when I had a slight tear in my calf muscle (on the other leg) many months ago. I decided to wait and see how it felt on Tuesday before doing any hill repeats - if it's still tender I would skip the repeats and just run easy. If this is the same thing I had last time, the process for healing is just to reduce hills/speed until it feels better - or mileage if the reduction of speed/hills doesn't seem to improve it. I'm hoping it's just a tight muscle though (and not a tear) and it'll continue to rapidly improve.
Tuesday’s Hills – (Denial, take two) Leg was still tight and a bit sore on Tuesday but not terrible. Opted to do the hill repeats anyway since that morning was actually 58 GLORIOUS degrees! I did end up cutting the set down from 10 repeats to 8 repeats since the leg wasn't 100%. It actually felt the best on the actual repeats, but I did feel like I was running a bit tentative and kept expecting the leg to hurt. After the hill repeat portion the rest of the run I could feel the leg tightening up a bit - it's the Tibialis Anterior muscle that is tight on my left leg. It seems to be referring pain to another spot on my calf. Decided to try to run very easy Wednesday and if it was painful then I’d take Thursday off and rest it. At this point I was crossing all of my fingers that the massage and stretching I'd been doing would be enough to coax it back into shape! Repeat Splits: (hill is 0.19 mi) 1:16, 1:14, 1:10, 1:11, 1:10, 1:08, 1:06, 1:05 (Splits were much better this week due to the cooler weather!)
Wednesday - (Reality starts to set in) Kept this easy, but unfortunately could feel the leg. Seems to be something around the calf that's causing the tenderness more so that the tight tibialis anterior. Ugh. Since the left calf is sore, I am apparently overcompensating and the right quad is sore from taking the weight. I'm a mess. Made an appointment with the sports doc for Thursday and I'll see what she says. I'd like to nip this in the bud early!
Thursday - Ran early in the morning before seeing the sports doc. I had a double run on the schedule today but figured I’d probably be unable to get to the second part of this since I had a feeling the doctor would tell me to cross-train. Leg felt a bit better today, but it's still tender somewhere deep in my calf. I've been icing and I've taken Aleve and have tried to massage/foam roll. On the run this morning I did most of the miles on the local high school track for some flatter terrain. I saw the sports doc and she diagnosed it as an irritated posterior tibial tendon on the left leg, and a quad with some giant knots on the right leg. No running tomorrow (and therefore no double run for me) and cross-train for a few days. She also did the cold laser in office, and told me to ice later and that I should try to get in to see a massage therapist for some manual work for at least 3 times over the next two weeks. (Yikes - that's expensive!) So I'm going to focus on massaging what I can myself with the foam roller and stick and then try to get in to get a professional massage next week. I'm hoping that I can run a little on Saturday or Sunday if it's feeling better. I'm bummed that it's the first few weeks of training and I'm not able to do the mileage, but it is what it is.
Saturday - Since I couldn't do the 16 miles I had planned for today (thanks, leg!), I opted for a cycle class in the morning. I don't know what it is, but during those classes I am DRIPPING sweat. I don't know if I'm just out of cycling shape or if the other folks in class aren't working as hard but at the end of it I had a puddle of sweat under my bike! Sign of a good workout, I guess! Definitely got my heart rate up, but I sure did miss my long run this morning. I got my post-long-run coffee at Starbucks but felt like I didn’t “earn” it since I didn’t really run. But at that point I needed a little boost since I was kind of down in the dumps from having to miss my long run.
Up Next: Maybe a run or two??
So….not sure how this next week will shake out. I’m going to try to run on Monday and see how it does. I’ve been religiously icing and rolling and elevating and compressing while all the time trying not to stress out about it. Fingers crossed that the calf will corporate enough to perhaps allow me to return to some training this week. But the name of the game is to listen to my body and not push it too much. No sense in making the injury worse! Any happy healing thoughts you could direct my way would be greatly appreciated!!!
That was my training week in review – how was your week?