Running has sidelined me a few times, from IT band pain, to shin splints, and most recently this year some foot pain and hip flexor issues. The entire year I ran in my Mizuno Wave Elixir 7’s, though, was the least amount of pain. That was last summer up until this past October. Of course they are discontinued and I am running in the closest thing I could find to them, the Wave Precision 13’s. From day 1 of running in these, I can tell they aren’t good for me for long distances. I can feel myself overpronating for most of the run, but it does make me heel strike less. I haven’t ran more than 7-8 miles in them in the last 2 months and in the last few weeks I have barely been running at all with teaching my cycle classes and being sick before that. Yesterday when I ran in the morning, I knew I was teaching a cycle class that night as well so I took it really easy. My left foot felt “off” but nothing I’m not used to. I stopped multiple times to stretch, like I always do, and nothing bothered me all day.
I get to my cycle class last night to teach and felt really excited. I had a great new playlist and was happy to be out of my 1st job early to go and do what I love! I personally hate taking cycle classes where the teacher is off the bike for most of the class, unless they announce why. If they have an injury or perhaps it’s their 4th class of the day, I totally understand. But it’s extra hard to stay motivated during a class where the teacher is just chillin’, ya know? I like to keep the same intensity as the rest of the class, or sometimes even MORE intense so they see what they should be working at. Maybe I pushed too hard? Maybe my form became sloppy even though I check in with myself every few minutes to make sure it’s not? Maybe I really was not hydrated enough or lacked potassium/electrolytes? Whatever it was, it killed me during the last 30 seconds of the class, in the middle of our last intense sprint on a hill where I was struck with the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my left calf. I’ve had those charlie horse type pains in my calf before many times, and it usually happens when I’m dead asleep and it wakes you up abruptly. After a few seconds of massaging and walking it off, it’s totally fine except for a bit of soreness. Not this. This was much worse and I was mortified that it was happening in front of 15 people that I was instructing!
I basically grabbed my calf in horror, tried not to cry and channeled the pain into screaming at the class to push harder for those last few seconds. The front row noticed I was obviously in pain and asked but I just somehow made a funny face and managed to say I was okay so I wouldn’t freak anyone out. I lead them through the cool-down without being able to do the stretches myself and then hobbled back upstairs in pain. I was so happy the class, again, loved my playlist and said they worked really hard so that took my mind off the pain for a minute! It was extremely hard to get home since every subway station has 100 flights of stairs and I have to take 3 trains to get home from the gym. Lovely.
Once I got home I foam rolled in agony and iced, plus kept my leg elevated and just rested on the couch. John had plans to go out already so I made him go even though he wanted to stay home and take care of me! I had a cry fest for awhile because if I can’t run by Saturday morning, I will not qualify for the marathon next year that I have worked so hard to qualify for.
It is still painful today and very tight, but walking is slightly less painful so I am staying as hopeful as I can. I have iced it on and off, keep stretching it every few minutes, and will foam roll again tonight. Plus I ate multiple bananas and am trying to stay extra hydrated as calf issues can be caused by dehydration and lack of potassium! And for once in my life (I am usually a camel with water) I didn’t drink a lot of water yesterday throughout the day. I would love to say that’s all it is but I have a feeling it is not. Sigh.
Please send some positive vibes to me and my calf. Even if I am able to walk the race on Saturday, I am totally fine with that. It’s a 15K, aka 9.3 miles, so that’s a whole lot of fast walking I’ll have to do.
Have you ever had a calf cramp or strain?