A couple of weeks ago, I felt a pull in my right calf while out on a run. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but before the run was over it felt as if I had a major muscle cramp. The pain continued the next day, so I used ice, heat, and Motrin to try and calm it down. After a few days, it felt better, so I resumed my running regimen.
I ran a 12 mile pre half-marathon training run on Friday, followed by a 40 mile bike ride on Saturday. Sunday was a rest day, but Monday was to be a 5 miler in honor of the Boston Marathon bombing. I was 1.5 miles into that run when it felt as if I had been shot in the right calf. The pain was intense, and I ended up limping home. I went back to the ice/heat/Motrin routine, but the pain would not completely go away. I decided that since this is becoming a continual issue, I made an appointment to see my doctor.
My doctor diagnosed a torn or ruptured inner calf muscle and prescribed physical therapy and an MRI (just to rule out a major rupture). At PT, I found out that although I stretch, I do not stretch enough and I do not do the necessary stretches to prepare for the day, much less a run. So I was shown how to stretch each muscle group, and I am supposed to do these every morning and evening even if I don’t run that day. On days that I do run, I am to do these stretches before and after the run. That’s a total of 4 stretching routines a day! Much more than I have ever done!
I have only had a couple of PT sessions, and the therapist has cleared me to run, as long as I don’t feel any twinges in the right calf. If I do, I stop. I am to tell the therapist how it went on Monday, and then I have the MRI that evening.
This evening I went on my ‘inaugural’ run since the injury. I took it easy on a relatively flat course, and only went 1.5 miles. The run went well, finishing in 13:04 with an average of 8:43 per mile. It felt so good to be back out there, and I am looking forward to a longer group run tomorrow.
So a friendly word of advice: stretch, stretch, stretch. You will be glad you did!
Live healthy, be happy!