Running for Boston
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Calf Strain

Tag: Health, Injuries, Running, Streak
Jul 9th, 2013

I made it to 20 days last Thursday. Thursday evening, my left calf felt twingey, so I decided to rest on Friday. That was probably a good idea. That evening, I decided to take my dogs on the same hilly walk around the block we always take, wearing Vibrams (very common for my walk.) About five minutes into the walk, while going up a hill, I felt a searing pain in my left calf. It’s often described as feeling like someone hit you in the back of the leg with a ball or a bat. It took me about 40 minutes to limp home– a distance of less than a mile.

I spent the weekend resting and icing and compressing and elevating. I have some bruises on the outside of my leg, probably caused by blood pooling, but nothing too bad. It hurts to walk, though, and it hurts when I get up in the morning. At this point I’m still self-treating, since I’m doing all the things a doctor would tell me to do anyway.

It’s possible that ramping up my mileage so quickly contributed to the injury, but I felt great right up until the day that I didn’t. I think a bigger contributor is the cant on the road, the fact that I almost always run on the left, and the hills. Also, my left side is noticeably weaker than my right side.

Obviously, I’m off running for at least a month. I’ll be going to the pool and doing upper body exercises to stay fit in the meantime. When the leg doesn’t hurt any more, I’ll get on my exercise bike. And when I’m ready to run again, I’ll probably spend a few weeks just running a quarter or half mile on a track or the treadmill every other day, only if the leg doesn’t hurt. And I’m going to wear compression socks from now on. I do not want this to happen again.

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