Sunday, June 28, 2009

Injured Again, It Sucks!

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.


  1. Nette told me about your injury. Sorry to hear that you got injured again!

    You really can't take any chances with this. I know you have to get mileage in but it's much more important to rest instead of risking a more severe injury.


  2. Hi Bong. Jay is correct in what he says. Making sure that the calf is okay is the number one thing right now. Icing it, possibly massaging are important.

    This may sound strange but what helped me when I had a calf strain a few years ago was adding more bananas to my diet. For some reason, I have never had any problems with the calf since.

    Anyway, take care of yourself and I'll check in periodically to see how things are.

  3. Sorry to hear about your injury Bong. Rest it easy and ask for an expert's advice. I have experienced calf pains mostly after my drill programs, and they are non-bothering. I could relate regarding what you feel and I hope it will be over sooner.

    BTW, I like the story regarding the slimy snail.

  4. Hi Bong. I'm not a doctor but I'm an expert in getting injured. hahahaha. I know exactly how you feel including the frustration of setbacks from these injuries. Hang-in there. R.I.C.E. nga muna.

    What really helped me with my hamstring problems was getting an expert in deep tissue massage to work on a whole lot of boring stretching.

  5. Thanks Jason. Just when I was enjoying the warm up run with your clinic group on Sundays and our long runs with Nette, this happened again. I believe you, have to make sure to rest it, maybe brisk walk or do the stationary bike in the meantime.

    Hey Wayne, thanks, I am eating a banana right now as am typing this :). I know it's going to work because it worked for you before.

  6. How many miles do you have on your shoes? Most shoes have a finite life of around 400 miles or so. I know I get a lot less (around 300 miles) out of each pair. I usually know when it's time for a new pair when I start feeling little pains wher I normally don't feel them (calves, shins, knee, hips).

    Good luck! Rest and get better....

  7. Hi Vener. Thanks, it's a good idea to see a sports injury specialist like you say. Can't afford to not continue with my training for the marathon in September. I read your post about MJ. What a musical genius he was.

    Thanks Jamike. Just like you I'm also an expert on getting injured quite often,LOL. Have to go back to my massage therapist to work on my calf. The thing with me is I just can't be idle. If it doesn't hurt I'll be on my stationary bike or brisk walking. I wonder if I should even do these activities or just completely stay inactive till the injury heals.

  8. Oh no - I just posted about my new left calf strain injury too :( I know exactly how you feel - this is the 3rd calf strain for me.

    I hope we both recover quickly

  9. Rest is the best medicine Bong. Also, see what other things you can do to keep in shape and motivated. Yes running is a big part, but so is cross training, including weight training. My calf has bugged me a few times, and stretching differently than I am used to has helped as well. Just think of this time off as a well deserved rest for your legs. You will be back at it in no time, but also there is no rush. Your body will know when it is ready to get back at it, and will let you know. Get well soon Bong.

  10. Hi Sharon. Thanks. I'm sorry to hear you're also nursing a left calf strain injury. That's exactly the same injury I have. It's the first time for me and I need somebody like you who dealt with this injury before to give me some tips as to how to treat it. Take care and may both of us recover quickly from this setback so we can resume our marathon training again.

    Thanks very much Techgui. I think it'll really be foolish of me not to rest. I am also doing some walking and actually tried the stationary bike, which activities I could do without the accompanying pain. I should heed your advise to do more weight training, I only do light weights. Stretching, I'm already doing in addition to icing and massage. I feel fortunate to get good suggestions from more knowledgeable runners like yourself.

  11. Hi Bong,
    I myself are having trouble with my injury. I am experiencin pain in my right knee (more of an ITBS). I have been on and off my training and now i decided to really get some rest..

    Most likely by now you are well, i happen to get across your blog and saw this article. Enjoy running and be safe.