Thursday, 8 March 2012

Update on my Brokenness

As most of you know, I've been struggling A TON with calf issues since I got back from the Tinker Bell Half at the end of January.  I didn't do anything specific to injure myself, but my doc thinks the combination of weird running (all the stops and starts) coupled with sitting on a plane for many hours pretty much right after the race and then not really recovering enough before running again just caused the muscles in my legs to get out of balance and not be able to do their jobs properly.

He's thinking the issue really isn't my calves/shins at all (which were so painful after my run on Tuesday that it left me wondering if I had a stress fracture) but rather my quads that are a mess.  He said absolutely no stress fracture - if I had one I wouldn't have been able to tolerate 8 miles on Saturday and 4 miles on Tuesday - I'd have been calling someone to pick me up.  He also doesn't feel I've strained the muscles, again, because I'm moving too well and the pain isn't off the charts.  However, the work he did on my quads and the inside of my shins LITERALLY left me crying and practicing Lamaze at my appointment last night.  I kid you not.  I honestly don't remember childbirth being that painful.

Here's your little anatomy lesson (remember I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on TV).  The issue with my quads being very tight is that they are not acting like the "shock absorbers" they are supposed to be, so my calf and shin muscles are trying to pick up the slack.  The problems is that they really aren't designed for that and so they are fatiguing and getting very, very tight as well.  For whatever reason, this is then where I feel the most pain (although there was DEFINITELY pain in my quads last night, too, and rolling them now makes me feel like I'm going to hurl).

Jason's recommendations were as follows:

  1. Roll the bejeezus out of my quads - both with my leg straight and leg bent (if you want to find the 7th circle of hell, try this bent leg move - holy frak it will make you cry).  5 minutes per leg, 5 times a day.  By bending the leg, you are able to hit some of the deeper aspects of the quad.   
  2. I'm also attacking a section of my shin/calf (numbers 8 & 9 in the picture below) with a tennis ball while I point and flex my foot.  I already have bruises here where Jason tortured me yesterday.  calf muscles side-view
  3. He wants me to take a break from the squats and lunges in the NROLFW workouts and just focus on upper body and abs, at least until my quads calm down a bit.  I'm really bummed about this because now I feel like I really won't be getting the full aspect of the program. Plus, even WITH those moves the whole workout is only about 20 minutes.  I don't know if I should add in something else or maybe add a set to the exercises I'm allowed to perform.  Thoughts? 
  4. I'm not to run at all until this weekend (yes, as in 3 days from now).  He wants me walking easy every day thought until then (and if I can find a decent 1-piece at lunch today, I'm going to add in some swimming).  
  5. When I return to running on Saturday, he wants me rolling my quads for a minimum of 3 minutes each BEFORE I run and I've been told to run in long tights no matter what the weather to keep the muscles warm.  It's actually supposed to be really nice on Saturday so I'm worried about overheating.  
  6. I will start using more of an "active recovery" approach after my long runs.  This means instead of taking Sunday off completely, he wants me to do a 15-20 minute (so about a mile) walk and then roll and stretch again.  
I feel better to have a plan and TONS better that he doesn't think I have done any major damage.  He says I'm still good for Knoxville provided I stay on top of the quad issue.  

I won't lie - I'm scared to run on Saturday with as painful as Tuesday was, but I'm going to do it.  I'm not sure if I'll run with my running group (they are doing 8 or 10) or if I'll just head out on my trail in case I need to call it early.

Thanks to all my hookers who lifted me up yesterday when I was feeling so down.  You can't possibly know how much I appreciated it.  MWAH


  1. i'm so glad that you got good news!! :) i believe you poo-pooed me when i suggested dropping the legs, but i agree it does seem like an awfully short workout as it is. i'm not sure what to tell you. :-/

  2. I just cringed at the thought of that mnuch foam rolling.

  3. I think I might try adding the 3rd set and see how I feel. It goes up to that next week anyway.

  4. 5 minutes is a long-ass time. For realz.

  5. Listen to Hottie. He knows his shit. Follow orders and you will run and feel better. You will not PR Knoxville. And you can't PR them all. But you'll run it and be good.

  6. ok so disregard my tweet.My calf issue is different but I do have tight quads and calf (really my right/surgery-leg calf only, the other one is ok). PT didnt think foam roller would help BUT I hadn't thought about a tennis ball so I am gonna try that tonight. Thanks for tip.

    I would say, all that foam rolling can take the place of the squats and lunges...for now. Taking care of your unbrokeness is more important than squats or lunges.

    Do what doc says!! mkay?!?


  7. I am so, so, so happy it's not as serious as you thought it might be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Glad you have a course of action! You will recover and be better than ever! Hugs!


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