So back in October I tried to run without my orthotics which I've worn for more than 15 years. I ramped up my run fairly quickly while training for a half marathon in mid October and early November. No problem, because after all, I am an Ironman. I started to get a dull ache in my right calf which turned into a sharp pain. I eased back on the run but it still hurt. Finally I went to the sports doctor and he confirmed a calf tear. Probably caused by running without orthotics.
By January, I was deemed healed and began to run slowly and began to ramp up the frequency (wearing my orthotics of course) but keeping the distance short. I also made sure to work in strength training specifically calf raises to nail the calf muscle. As I felt better, I began to ramp up the speed coming off the bike but still keeping the distance short (5.5 km for about 30 minutes). It felt great to be running at a fast pace. I envisioned getting back to my speed when I was training for the Toronto Marathon two winters ago (I think I ran 13 km in one hour during one workout). Two weeks ago, I had the great idea of 4 runs in a row with strength training on the last day and last week was four days of running followed by heavy workout on my legs.
Well on holiday Monday I wanted to do a 90 bike followed by a 30 minute suffering run after Sunday's long run but while riding, I could feel my calf and when I went to run, my right calf didn't feel right. Normally, I would have pushed through the run thinking that the ache would magically go away. Instead, I shut it down after running half way around the block. The dull ache was back in the same calf but slightly different area.
I made an appointment online to visit my favorite sports doctor in the whole wide world for the next day and yup, another torn calf muscle but in a slightly different spot. No running for another two weeks however water running or elliptical training would be ok. Much like a father would speak to his young son, he gently explained that my body can't the type of training I've been doing. You mean, trying to run a 4:30 min/km brick run several times a week, is NOT a good idea? Uhhh maybe getting a coach might be a good idea after all.
So, I'm back to square one. No running. Again. Water running is out of the question as its boring and tough to fit in. That leaves the elliptical *shudder.* I pride myself on being an all weather runner. Last summer, I ran when it was 45 degrees C with the humidity (113 F) and I've run in -33 degrees C with the windchill (-28 F). Me? Run on an elliptical? There is one small problem.. I don't have access to an elliptical trainer. I could rejoin a gym or as my sports doctor says, "you get hurt so often, go out and buy one."
Ugh what to do?