So yesterday I went out running with Nalani. Ha ha! What's new? That's like the story of my life... 5 mornings a week running and/or swimming with Nalani these days... but I digress. Yesterday we set out on an 8.5 mile loop... first 5 miles easy and then pick it up for about 3 miles to an effort at a pre-determined threshold heart rate.
Everything was fine until a few minutes into the 3 mile section when I turned a corner and ARGH stepped on my foot wrong or something because I felt a very sharp and sudden pain in my left calf. I hoped (briefly) that it would resolve itself with a few more running steps, but that was a delusional expectation.
OUCH. I sent Nalani on ahead and told her I'd be fine... stopped to stretch and walk a bit but this pain wasn't going away. I walked, tried to jog, walked some more... and realized that I still had at least 3 miles to go to get home. If I jogged it in, I would be doing significant more damage to my calf muscle. If I walked (limped) it in, I was going to be out here for at least another hour and that would make Scott late for work.
What to do? What to do?
Jogging it in was not an option. I have no interest in sustaining any long term injury because of stubbornly persisting on running through pain. I was in luck though because this last stretch of road is has a good amount of traffic at 7:30AM and typically it's faster to run than to drive through this section. SO, when I saw a flat bed truck stopped ahead of me with two women inside the cab with the windows down, I asked the question...
Can I hitch a ride up the hill to Haiku Rd?
They looked at me like I was nuts. I quickly explained that I'd just tweeked my calf and couldn't run and just needed to get home. With the first little nod from the driver I hopped in the back, too excited about this ride home to notice that both women were smoking.
So there I was, massaging my calf in the back of this pick-up truck going 5 mph, try not to sit on any of the cigarette butts that were everywhere, and breathing in the second hand smoke from these women who were holding their cigarettes out their open windows. Nice. But it wasn't like I could complain or anything and ask them to put it out. They were doing me a huge favor.
Or were they? Which is worse? Running 3 extra miles on a ripped calf muscle or breathing in second hand smoke for 20 minutes as you hitch a ride home??
Anyway, only one other time in my 15+ years of running have I felt an acute injury bad enough to need a ride home. It was disappointing for sure, especially when I got home and googled 'strained calf muscle' and read about the 2+ weeks minimum recovery time. GRRRRR. I spent the rest of the day yesterday doing everything the computer said to do... iced it multiple times, wore my (bright pink!) compression socks all day, took ibuprofen (which I very rarely take). The good news is that by last night, just 12 hours after I'd first hurt it, it was already feeling a lot better. And this morning, it just feels like a sore calf muscle. So it must not have actually ripped or anything- just a minor strain. Phew!
So I'll take a couple more days off running and then I think I'll be back at 100%. Crisis averted.