I was so excited about getting out for my long run today. But after about 3 miles of bliss, everything started to go wrong. I've spent the last few hours icing my leg and trying to get rid of a major headache. Details to follow
Length: 05.73 Miles over 1 Hours and 25 Minutes (14:52 pace)
My training plan called for a five mile run today. However, I was feeling really good this morning so decided I would shoot for 6 miles. I ran at the Northshore Trail starting at the Murrell Park guard shack and heading east on the lower loop. I was able to continue along the trail until I almost reached the point where the trail runs along side Sentinel Oak Drive. At this point I came across a small stream that had flooded over the trail.
Flooded portion of lower Northshore Trail between Murrell and Boy Scout.
The flooded portion was wider than I could jump across, and I didn't feel like getting my feet soaked at this point, so I doubled back to Northshore Blvd and headed east on the upper loop.
Everything was going great with my run until about mile 3 when I felt a sharp pain in the lower portion of my left calf muscle. I will cover this more in the next section. But basically, I turned around and limped back to the Jeep. Not how I was hoping to finish my run.
As mentioned, I started experiencing pain in the lower portion of my left calf muscle about 3 miles into the run. I immediately stopped and looked down. I was expecting to see a snake attached to my leg, or a bullet hole or something like that. But nothing. I took a few steps and the pain increased. I'm not sure what happened. I was running on a relatively flat portion of the trail, wasn't jumping over anything or doing anything out of the ordinary. And unlike previous times, I didn't feel it coming. It just happened all of a sudden.
I walked up the trail a little further hoping that it was just a cramp and that I would walk it off. I stopped when I reached the trail head at North Park Drive and tried to gently stretch it for a bit. But nothing helped. So I turned around and started walking back.
North Park Drive trail head.
At some points along the return my leg started to feel a little better, so I jogged slowly. But I walked up the small hills and inclines so as not to put additional strain on my calf muscle.
When I returned home I broke out the ice and I've been working on icing it on and off for the last few hours. At the time I am writing this, I can hardly walk on it.
I realize injuries are part of the game, but I was doing so well. Now I feel like I am taking another step backwards. I'm bummed.
I am still recovering from quitting smoking . With the last few runs my lungs have not bothered me. However, today I was coughing a bit for about the first mile. After that my lungs seemed to clear and didn't bother me for the rest of the run. I've been trying to understand why my lungs bother me more at times and less at other times. The only variable that I can think of is that they bother me more when I run in the higher temperatures. During my last few runs, the temperature has been lower (mid 70's) because of the storms that came through. However, today was in the high 80's when I started my run. That 15 degree difference appears to make a big difference with my lungs.
My mental attitude was great from the time I woke up until I injured my leg at mile 3. I am no longer experiencing any of the symptoms of overtraining . I feel well rested. I am still excited about running and can hardly wait to get out on the trail each day. So from that perspective, I think I am still in good shape.
Learning: I'll Have Nuun of That!
I tried Nuun again on my run today. This time I tried one of the citrus flavors. Once again, I hated the taste. And I can't say that I really benefited from it. If anything, it bothered my stomach a little and I had developed a headache by the end of my run. This is the second time I've tried Nuun and the second negative experience. I know some people swear by the stuff. But it isn't working out for me. I think I will try it one more time and then abandon it if I have another negative experience.
I am going to hold off on publishing a plan for next week. I am more concerned about recovering from my calf injury. I've learned from past experience to make sure I give my leg the time it needs to properly heal before resuming training. So over the next week I will just play it by ear.
For the experienced runners out there, how do you tell when your injury is healed?