So a couple weeks ago when my mom was here I was telling her how relieved I have been this year to have been able to train so consistently without even a hint of the calf issues that have plagued me in the past. It has been over a year since I had any niggles in my calf and I've run easy, hard, long, uphill, downhill, in sand, etc and no problems at all. Phew!
Then last week, out of the blue, on an easy 8 miler, my calf started getting tight in an ugly familiar way... WTF? I was jogging like 9+' pace... but the feeling was too familiar and I knew better than to try to run through it... it was the kind of escalating tightness that causes a strain or a tear if you try to run through it (been there done that... twice). So I stopped. Mid run. Tried to massage it a bit but it was pretty pissed off already and had tightened up into a stubborn knot and would.not.release.
<Insert nasty swear word here>
I walked home feeling confident that I had not torn anything and just needed to do some eccentric calf dips and trigger point massage and as soon as it released I'd be fine and back to normal. But for whatever reason when my soleus triggers, the whole damn calf triggers so I just had bumpy knots all throughout the whole calf... lateral side gastroc, medial side gastroc, soleus, posterior tibialis... pick a point, any point, and it was a mangled pissed off angry knot. Amazing how fast and out of the blue that can happen.
So I've attacked this problem with the same focus I attack training.... if there is a professional to be seen about something like this I have seen him... I've tried massage, trigger point, acupuncture, rolfing, ART, ultra-sound, graston. Some of that was just ridiculously painful... My ART guy yesterday was actually encouraging me to just go ahead and drop some F-bombs... He was getting into part of my quad and just sort of felt it and muttered "Oh this is gonna suck" and he was not kidding. I think ultimately my calf problem is not a calf problem per say but a hip instability problem that is manifesting itself as a calf problem... so now I find myself setting off on a course to first alleviate the acute problem (calf) and then go after the root problem (hips). In good news I've got some awesome professionals here on my side who know what the hell they're doing so while I'm confident I'll eventually get this fixed, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated to be dealing with this again. Especially since I can't look back on my training and define a real cause to this... In the past when these calf issues have come up I could look back with my 20/20 hindsight vision and see that the track w/o followed by the tempo w/o followed by those hill sprints followed by another tempo run all in one week (or something ridiculous like that) was the cause... this time I don't feel like I could look back and see anything glaring so that frustrates me.
At this point it is definitely better but not runnable quite yet... so I'm off on yet another bike ride... At least it's a beautiful sunny day!