And now for the latest injury update. Monday I got back on my horse, er, treadmill and went for a run. This time I started off slowly and walked steadily faster for the first half mile before breaking into a run. This is how I had been doing it before while training for the Cotton Row. I'd slowly speed up, making sure my body was thoroughly warmed up and then break into a run. After breaking into a slow run I'd continue speeding up until I reached a speed I felt comfortable with. It was when I sped up this process that I injured my formerly healthy right calf.
OK, so I walked faster and faster for the first half mile. Then I started into a slow run. It was SO boring. I admit, I punched the accelerate button on the treadmill more frequently than I had while preparing for the Cotton Row. I would run at a speed for maybe .15 of a mile and then speed up one notch. I reached a speed of around 10 minutes per mile, which is not fast or competitive by anyone's measure who isn't in a wheelchair or on crutches. I held it there, trying to focus on my form and not injuring anything. That didn't last long.
At about the 1.5 mile mark my right calf suddenly felt ... weird. I don't know how to explain it. It felt like it was about to cramp. I quickly jumped off the treadmill. A guy on the elliptical who had been working steadily away when I came in and was still going suddenly shouted at me, "come on, keep it going!" He was kidding, but I really did want to take his advice and jump back on again. I told him I had a calf injury and I was worried about what was going on down there. I stretched a little and then tried getting back on. It still felt weird. And I was worried. It wasn't screaming "I'M HURT, YOU IDIOT" but it was definitely saying something.
I jumped off again. I slowed the speed a bit and tried jogging along. No good. Something was off with my injured calf. It was warning me that it was about to blow again. So I slowed the treadmill to a fast walk speed and tried that. Nope, no go.
I shut off the treadmill and started walking carefully around the gym. I stretched and stretched my calf. Nothing doing. It was warning me to lay off. So I, being stubborn, started doing calf raises. I wasn't leaping and hopping like a moonshadow or anything, but I did them slow and steady. It really didn't seem to hurt anything. After 3 sets I stretched thoroughly and climbed onto the stationary bike. I rapid pedaled 2 miles and then called it quits. I know that 2 miles on a bike isn't much, but I was pretty preoccupied with my calf problem and it wasn't as if we had the Tour de France going on the TV. If we had then I'd have ridden a lot more. That thing is addictive. I was watching it the other night. Several other nights, too, actually. Those guys are drug-abusing performance machines! Anyway, enough about French cyclists on drugs.
The guy on the elliptical was still pumping along when I stretched a final time and headed out the door. At home I guzzled a giant protein shake and showered. That night I iced the crap out of my calf again. Today it feels mostly OK. I'm not limping and it isn't hurting. But I know I won't be running tomorrow. Most likely I'll have to bike it. Maybe I can find the Tour de France on the TV this time.