I’ve had a load of running injuries recently—right ankle injury followed by left knee and calf/hamstring swelling followed by a left calf tear-like pain. After two months of running something hurting or hobbling on every run, I nearly gave up on running two weeks ago. Quitting running drove me crazy. I suffered bad withdrawal issues, and was in a near constant state of depression. Meditation, Chewie and some small successes at work helped me survive.
After 10 days of rest (with one test run midway), I started running again on Saturday. I love Parkrun, and it was a great reason to test the legs. It wasn’t perfect, but the legs hurt a bit less than before the break. On Sunday’s ten miler, I noticed that the left leg only started hurting on the uphill banked section on the ridge. Monday’s five miler reaffirmed the observation.
My hypothesis was that my old Torin shoes and the banking on uphill section of the mount may have a big hand in the left leg’s recurring problems. So, today I tested the hypothesis by running on the path in Stoke park in the new Torin shoes.
Today’s run was the first one in two months with no injury related pain. The left knee and muscles behind it didn’t hurt at all, even on sections with banking to the right. The tear pain in the left calf hasn’t occurred for last few runs, and stayed away today too. The right ankle has been aching, off and on, where it was injured last year. It was good throughout the run as well. This was a happy, injury-pain free run.
It was not all pain free. Intervals, even at 5K pace, never are. The freezing gusty wind also gave me a mild headache. And hamstrings and quads were aching a bit by the end—indicating probable overuse.
Tomorrow is a rest day so the hamstrings will get some recovery. I just finished a deep foam rolling of the quads. I’m happy that today’s experiment turned out so good; I’m almost looking forward to Thursday’s painful 8 mile tempo run.
Yesterday was the last run of the 5 easy weeks of running. It was a good day for training. The weather was lovely—cold but mostly calm. The boys were having fun—swimming in the river, chasing around the marshes and fields, and polite towards other dogs. I was happy. I ran an easy 10K with a few small hills. It was the first run in a while with no noticeable pain. I was so happy that I spent rest of the day on the sofa, and later devoured a full box of jalebis in the evening.
Today was the start of the next phase—13 hard weeks of training. The plan mileage is jumping from 24 miles last week to 38 miles this week. And the plan is moving from five easy runs a week to a combination of intervals, tempo runs, long runs, and easy runs for a total of six runs a week.
It was not a good start. I woke up in near perfect state, didn’t even feel a tinge walking down the steps. Slowly the pain made itself felt. The muscles in injured left leg started making themselves known during the warm-up and walk to the start. I ran just 4 easy miles, but the leg hurt from start to finish. By the end I could barely maintain the cadence or form.
I have stretched. I have foam rolled. I have iced. And I’m now going to apply a heat pack. All in the hope that tomorrow is better.
Because tomorrow is the first big run. 12x 400m intervals core with a total of nearly 15 Kms. If I survive tomorrow, there is hope I may survive the 13 weeks. If I don’t, then I’ll be glad that I haven’t already booked the acco in Paris.