Thursday, April 12, 2012

Trying Not To Lose It

I'm trying not to lose it. My calf felt perfect yesterday morning and I was told to go ahead and try running to see if it was indeed better... and it seemed like it was! It was glorious for ~2 miles and then I felt a little twinge... but it wasn't terrible so I kept going but 2 miles later when I got home it was clear that my whole lower calf had tied itself in a knot again. Blah.

So I am coming out of denial and it is occurring to me that this calf thing is going to be more of a long term real chronic issue than I originally anticipated it would be. Now what to do??? My biggest frustration really is that I don't really understand what the real issue is... and that Dr Erik is not my best friend and neighbor who I can pop over and see for free every day (that would be ideal at this point- I'm pretty sure he's my best hope at getting to the bottom of this). Of course I have turned to Dr Google and have come across this idea that maybe my flexor digitorum longus is involved... That makes sense to me for a few reasons... first b/c when the pain comes it is worst when I use my four little toes to grip the ground... and secondly b/c Dr. Erik right away decided that my hips were involved as well and this blog mentions that the two may indeed be connected (though its all connected, right??) So anyway I have incorporated some exercises I found into my new routine of a gazillion PT exercises I've come up with so fix my hips and core and glutes and calves and hamstring, etc.

So then the other question becomes how the heck do I hold on to some of that fitness I built over the winter?? I've come up with a plan of course and it involves #1 trying not to gain any weight and #2 lots of quality time spent on that elliptical machine at the gym. I went today and have to say, afternoon talk show television is ridiculous. Seriously. I don't watch a ton of TV to start with (and never afternoon talk shows) but I saw some today while I was at the gym about those nutso women who are just obsessed with Botox and whatever other surgeries to lift this and that... I just could not relate to that at all. Don't they have anything else to do? Then Anderson Cooper has a talk show (really? I had no idea??) and he had some women on there who are obsessed with these life-like dolls of infants/babies... Creepy. And weird that Anderson Cooper would stoop to hosting a show like that? I thought he was a news guy, no? Anyway, after an hour of intervals on the elliptical machine I had created a little river underneath myself that I wasn't even sure how to clean up? I mean, I get wiping the machine down and all but what do you do about the river underneath it? That floor is gross I'm not using my personal towel but it felt weird to just walk away? And then in the locker room I'm sure I totally offended some people as I was wringing out my socks and shorts into the trash can... ok gross but seriously they were dripping so I didn't want to just throw them in my bag like that? At home after a run I can wring my clothes out into my sink and no one watches so I never really considered this before... Clearly I'm going to have to come up with a better routine to manage my sweat at the gym b/c that river I created today will not be the only one I create over the next few weeks. How do you gym rats do it?

13 comments:

mmmonyka said...

Grrr! That sucks.

I think that you should learn to be a wimp as I have done. Now I am not scared to stop when I feel the slightest twinge even if it is only after few minutes and it does not feel too bad because I have learnt that if I keep going it will be worse. Although on the other hand, maybe I am way too conservative now. But I am at the point when I would be rather conservative and undertrained than injured.

Wringing out socks in a trash can...yes, it is gross. Carry a plastic bag to them into so you do not throw them directly into you bag.

Beth said...

Bummer. :( Hope you heal up quick though!!! And what about water running? Hard to create sweat rivers in the pool. :)

Jessica said...

Hi! I've been reading (lurking!) here for a while, and I wanted to say that I literally feel your pain with the calf issue! Like you, PTs and a massage therapist said it was a hip/low back problem, but nothing made it permanently go away. I'm not a doctor or physical therapist, nor do I have any other qualification to give medical advice, but I took a look at my legs and saw toned, developed quads, hamstrings, calves... and a tiny little shin muscle (there's got to be a more precise name for that. Again, not a doctor!). I hypothesized that I couldn't get the knots and cramps out because I wasn't strong enough to contract that front muscle, so I started using a resistance band to work it and the other small muscles there. Three months later, my calves have never felt better! Now to work on those hips...

I hope you figure out the cause of your calf issues soon!

Rebecca DeWire said...

I feel like I am living proof that it is all connected and that your body can compensate in amazing ways for a long time and then it just implodes. And the crazy part is that sometimes your weakness/mobility issues can even be on the opposite side of your body. Good luck and I hope you can get to the bottom of this.

Rebecca DeWire said...

One other thing I wanted to add, it might be helpful if you make a list of every injury/major twinges you have had over the years (I once remember you mentioning a psoas issue.) It might help you see a pattern. When I did this, it really helped and made me realize my problems actually started years ago.

Teresa said...

Oh no, I hope it gets better FAST!! More swimming?! I am sure you would love more of that. Thinking of you!

tn

Kiet said...

Have you tried Dr. Libby Bergman, PT extraordinaire? Maybe it's time to do a ride and swim block and give the calf a break. Don't stress, your immune system will weaken and you'll get sick, trust me, I know. Hang in there Mama Simmons.

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

I have to say, I thought I actually enjoyed my time on the elliptical and it helped me retain my fitness. I was able to read while on it, listen to podcasts, etc. Really, is not that bad. Once thing I noticed - my calves had a hdd time when I got back to running, they were very tight for the first couple of weeks.


Do you have Lore of Running by Tim Noakes? He talks extensively about calf knots (he gets them too) and treatment. He talks about people having a predisposition to getting knots - he gets them once his mileage hits 90 miles/week, and that there is no clear explanation as to why they happen (hard to accept, I know). He talks about "cross friction" as the only successful treatment, and that one needs several sessions to see a result. Good luck!

Betsy said...

I love google medicine and self diagnosing! And coming up with alternate names for body parts :) Hope the calf heals up.

Jackie said...

I tried posting this before but I never saw my comment....I have had the calf thing before and I cannot wear flip flops. They over-work my calf and foot/toe muscles in a bad way. Please try going without your flip flops for a while and see how you feel. Best of luck and speedy recovery to you!

Angela and David said...

I don't want to pile more advice onto what everyone else has said but for me it was real time off while diligently doing the routine prescribed by my PT.

idropboys said...

I don't own a TV but an now an addict with my elliptical time...but I am a CNN junkie- althought this AM I did find Law and Order to keep me enteratained....2 bottles and 4 small towels later I finished. And yes thd lady next to me was staring at the rivers of water...

Donna said...

I have huge issues with my feet / calves - atrophy in my feet muscles, shortened tendons / soleus, tight tight achilles. One thing that brings instant relief - in addition to using the TP Therapy stuff on my feet and calves - is the toe stretch. Your link is 100% correct. Good luck sorting it out - and stretch your toes!