Friday, August 15, 2014

Wounded Warrior

I'm running 3 times per week now, always on a treadmill, so the environment is heavily controlled and always the same. The only thing that is changing is what I'm watching on the TV while I try to run.

My calf injury problem is getting worse. My left calf has bothered me repeatedly. A good wrap seemed to stop that. For awhile. But then my unwrapped right calf went out on me. So I wrapped it as well.

And just this week my left calf, even with the wrap, went out on me. I felt it going and jumped off the treadmill immediately, limping over to the stationary bicycle to finish my workout. But come Friday, which is today, it was bothering me so badly that I never got beyond the fast walking stage of my warm-up and even then it was hurting. And yes, it was wrapped.

I've been trying to strengthen both of my problematic calves with toe raises after every run. My calf muscles feel bigger and tighter, but they are apparently no more durable than they were before.

An article I read said that as runners get older all the usual injuries - hamstring, quadriceps, gluteus - become less and less problematic. But the calves start to become the real weakness, the main source of trouble. I can't imagine why this is. And I can't help but think that it isn't the years of running that have caused this, but something else, something I'm doing wrong.

Every day at work I am either tired at some point when I can't afford to be tired or else bored to death. So I drink coffee. I've had a friend who is a professional trainer tell me that she thinks coffee is bad and that I should avoid it. But she didn't say it causes pulled muscles or strained calves specifically. I drink it black. And I try to drink a lot of water throughout the day to make sure I'm not dehydrated.

I've developed a habit of drinking a Coke with my lunch. Sometimes its Orange Crush. I don't sip on this sort of drink all day like some people do. I just have the one drink and when lunch is over and the Coke is gone I don't have any more. But Coke does tend to dehydrate a person.

Far too many of my lunches have involved going out to eat. Restaurant food takes a lot better than my sandwich, but it is very bad for me. I wonder if this alone could be causing this problem?

After every workout I drink a gigantic glass of milk mixed with creatine, whey or casein protein, amino acids and various other GNC-approved runner's cocktail stuff. Then I shower and after that I try to either ice or massage my arches and calves. Lately, with all of the injuries, I've been doing mostly icing.

The more calf raises I do, the more my arches seem to be talking to me in the mornings when I get out of bed. To be fair, this coincides with my calves bothering me and so I'm icing and not doing much massaging or rolling tennis balls under my feet. I returned to the tennis ball tonight after my run. My feet thanked me for it. Then I used The Stick on my calves and they, too, seemed appreciative.

I have another race in about a month. I really need to figure this problem out and get it resolved. I realize that not many people are reading this blog, but any help or advice anyone has to offer is greatly appreciated. Any ideas?


  1. I think it's time you took yourself off to a sports physio mate!!!

    1. AlleyCat, I'm starting to feel like I need a mechanic to rebuild my entire machine. But a sports physio might work, too.

  2. And you're so young! What's going on?