The last four months have been incredibly frustrating, running-wise. I've been having persistent, but never too-serious, pain in my shin, calf, achilles tendon, IT band, etc. I kept thinking I'm just a couple weeks from feeling 100%.... but 100% just never seemed to come. Unless I took a hearty dose of advil or Alleve, but that never seemed right. Finally, I realized I hadn't run without some issue for four freakin' months! So I bit the bullet and actually went to the doctor. I hate going to the doctor!
Anyway, this morning I had an MRI, and this afternoon my doctor called and left a message, with lots of big words ("torn lateral and medial head of the gastrocnemius") describing muscles in my calf, telling me, in simpler terms, I had torn my calf muscle at some point, and as I hadn't stopped running long enough to let it heal, it hadn't healed.
Looking back, it's pretty clear I tore it the week before I tried to run the Javelina 100. I wrote in my training log "five miles... really tight calf!?!" I hurt it on an easy five miler during my taper.... what the??? I must've done something before that. I dunno. Anyway, I managed 30 miles at Javelina before dropping out. I guess that's OK on a torn calf, eh? Since then I've taken a week off here, a couple weeks there, then tried to run again, feeling OK for a week or two, before pushing it a bit, then having a setback.
I was told today I need to take a full 6 weeks off completely from running to let me calf heal. I guess it's OK. I sort've knew I needed to stop to heal, but I knew I was too stubborn to do it, unless a Doctor actually told me I needed to do it. It's been a week since I ran last, so I figure it's only a five week sentence, anyway.
The diagnosis sure explains a lot. My shin splints were due to tight calves... my tight achilles due to tight calves.... duh!
At least I'm still allowed to bike. Thank goodness for that... or I'd go crazy! Especially as springtime is in full swing here in Oregon.
Six weeks isnt' that long I guess. I'll still have four months to get ready for the Cascade Crest 100. I hope I can do that. Bummer I'll have to miss all the "spring classics" here in Oregon - Peterson Ridge (I loved that course last year.... I can't wait untill 2010 now to do the full course!), and of course the Mac 50k. Oh well....