After Ironman Mont Tremblant, I was itching to do another race as that was the only race I did in 2012. I thought about doing Muksoka 70.3 but I was still tired from Ironman. Others suggested to do a half marathon. Nice and easy. I chose to run the Scotia Bank Half Marathon in mid October and the Angus Glen Half Marathon in the first week of November. Piece of cake, after all, I am an Ironman.
For about 15 years, I've been wearing orthotics. My body is not built to run. I have flat feet and bow legged. I have numerous running injuries each year. The orthotics offer my body control and stability. Lately, there has been the movement in running circles of barefoot running. I cringe at that thought and would never dream of running barefoot. However, along the same vein, a local running store has convinced my brother that he should run without orthotics and many of his numerous running injuries are caused by orthotics. He has had some success but his mileage is not that far, but like a dumb ass I figured if he could run without them, so could I. After all, I am an Ironman and he's not.
I started training for the half marathons and ditched the orthotics. My long runs started around 10 km and got up to 20 km. On my second last long run, I started getting pain in my right calf. It would start slowly as a dull ache and then get worse. Usually at that point, I'd be the furthest point away from home (ie 10 km). I had a long walk/shuffle home. I took it easy and cut back the mileage but decided to bail from the Scotia Bank Half and aim for the Angus Glen. No dice. The pain didn't go away and if anything, it started hurting sooner. I bailed from the Angus Glen Half as well.
At that point, work got extremely busy and training dropped to two Master swims per week and the odd long bike outside but no running. In fact, I went about five weeks without running. After meeting with Derek on Friday, I did a short run with no problem but Monday I felt the familiar pain so I walked home (again I was the furthest point away from home). Yesterday I went to my sports doctor and he confirmed that I had a calf tear. A small one that was only 0.5 centimeters (less than a 1/4 of an inch) but it would take 5-6 weeks to heal fully. Beautiful. And he said it given my body, it was probably caused by running with out orthotics. He figured it would take years for my body to build enough strength to run without them.
Why am I so dumb?