Today is the start of our 6th week of the 18 week training program of my marathon clinic. I woke up early to join my training run partners, Nette and Sandra for a 16k LSD run at 7:00 am.
In our last Sunday's run, I stopped running after only 3 ks due to pain in my left calf muscle. I checked on the net what this injury was all about and found out that it was a calf muscle strain, an injury that can take from a week to 4 weeks to heal depending on the severity of the injury. I then applied RICE (rest,icing, compression, elevation), a treatment method I read on the internet for a week, which I think worked. I was still limping Monday and Tuesday but by Wednesday I was walking good, by Thursday and Friday brisk walked (with no pain at all) and yesterday the slow run/walk routine for around 30 minutes, again with no pain.
I got to our meeting place at around 6:55 am excited and looking forward to getting some much needed mileage. Sandra and Nette arrived almost at the same time around 7:00. I noticed that we were all wearing bright colored shirts, Sandra in red singlet, Nette in yellow green and myself in red, all set and attired for the day's hot temperature. Everybody was wearing a hydration belt with enough water/gatorade for the long run. I myself had 2 packets of gels in my pouch just in case.
We decided to hit the trails instead of the roads as they were both concerned about my leg. They said it would be better for my leg to run on softer surface, which was well and good for me. We set out on our way around 5 after 7, the day was warm, around 20 degrees Celsius, cloudy, no wind, just a perfect day to do a long run.
We brisk walked to the entrance of the trail for maybe 100 meters, and after synchronizing our Garmins, we went off on a slow run towards and into this beautiful trail. This trail has lots of trees, vegetation, wild flowering plants, wooden bridges, ponds, birds (I even saw one unique small bird colored orange, the first time I ever saw one, have to find out what bird it is). I always tell myself to bring a camera and take pictures but I always forget. I know that I should before the summer season is over. I have to take pictures of this trail next time and share them to everybody who loves to run in trails before it gets cold again and the beauty of the place disappears for some months during the colder season.
Oh, and I also observed a few little slimy snails creeping on the dry sandy/pebbly pathway from some wet vegetation on one side trying to cross to the other side. A thought entered my mind, these are very like many of my Pinoy countrymates who try to migrate to other countries to look for greener pastures when sometimes our country could offer the same or better oppurtunities for them.
Like all other long runs with my two lady runner friends, I was having an enjoyable time just talking about running and life in general in this lazy beatiful morning, and I felt great with no pain the first kilometer. Nette even asked me how I was doing and I said I felt fine, the leg was holding well.
At exactly 1.57 ks into our run, I just suddenly felt another shooting pain in the same area of my left calf muscle and I had to stop and tell the girls. I asked them to go on with their run while I stopped, massaged and stretched the left calf muscle. I reinjured it again and it sucks! I walked back to my car and drove home feeling low and dejected.
Right now, I am icing the left leg again and contemplating on what to do next. It seems that whenever I am making progress in my running, feeling stronger, more confident, aiming for longer distances, and knowing that my best is just around the corner, something like this happens. I am so frustrated I do not know what to do.