I was running on the treadmill the other day, when I felt my calf muscle start to tighten up. I stopped, stretched and rubbed it, but it would not loosen. It felt like the muscle wanted to cramp, and was right at that point. I decided to stop running for the day and let it rest.
The next day, I had the same issue. The tightness caused me to change my gait, and I knew that it would lead to more issues if I continued so I stopped. On Saturday morning, I went to a spin class and the leg was great. No pain or tightness at all. That afternoon, I decided to try a short run, and 1.5 miles into the run the tightness returned.
I think that the only way for this to go away is to rest it for a few days. The problem is in order to rest it, I have to give up my pursuit of the 100 day challenge. One of the requirements is to never miss a Monday, and today is Sunday! And since I’m at day 85, it’s hard to let it slip away. I know I can try again, but being so close makes stopping extremely difficult. Imagine seeing the finish line at a marathon, only to stop short and sit down; you could finish, but you don’t.
I have to weigh the options and my goals for the year against the challenge and see which one wins out. On one side, I’m 15 days from completing the challenge, and I could run very short runs to meet that goal. On the other side, I have two half marathons and an 8k race, and a full marathon coming up (one half is less than 30 days away), and if I don’t rest it I risk hurting it more than it is now. If I continue the Challenge, I risk hurting myself worse and then missing out on those races.
As hard as it is to let it go, I’m saying goodbye to the 100 Day Challenge. It’s been fun and taught me a few things about myself: I can find the time to run, no matter my busy schedule; I can be creative in making time to run (one day I ran up and down a hallway); I can stick with something when I set my mind to it; and I can also let something go when it come to the greater good.
Hopefully, three days of rest and a therapeutic massage will help my muscle return to normal. With the Challenge, I logged in over 200 miles, mostly on the treadmill because of weather conditions (it is Iowa, after all). I pushed in runs when I had no time, and even got to run with dear friends whether it be on the treadmill, the indoor track, or outside. It’s been a lot of fun, and I will try it again.
Now it’s time to rest and heal, the Hy Vee Road Races Half Marathon is coming up. I want to PR this one!
Live healthy, be happy.