It was an ordinary Saturday morning run. I planned for about 10k, easy pace, good story in my iPod to listen to, free weekend ahead of us. For the first half hour all went well. Despite the rain I was enjoying my run, just me and the road as always on early mornings. Then at about 6k I felt minor pain in my left calf. Still nothing to worry about. At the 7k mark, I realised I was limping. I stopped to check what was going on and the pain grew immediately. It felt like sharp knives being stabbed somewhere at the top end of my Achilles tendon. Hmm. 3k to get home…. turned out to be the longest kilometers in my life :-).
At home, I pretended I was ok but my limping (and panicking) was getting more and more obvious. Hot shower, cold shower, massage, exercise, stretching, homeopathic cream, Google,… you name it, I did it all. My biggest worry was that the pain was coming from the Achilles tendon itself. Is it damaged? Do I need surgery? Remember, this is the leg with fractured knee that was hit by the DVT as well some 4 years ago. I saw the darkest scenarios in my head, weeks and months without running. And of course I started making all kinds of promises with regards to future thorough stretching and taking better care of my legs… if only I can walk/run pain free soon!
Luckily there was V to consult this with as well as Honza (who has access to Lucka’s helpful materials on injuries),…
By the end of the day (after some 3k of additional walking with the kids) the leg was still hurting the same but I knew all about my legs and how they are built and what kind of injuries a runner can expect… I also received tons of advice and I am grateful for that. I stopped panicking and realised that most likely, this is just a soleus muscle issue and what helped to ease the pain was the combination of ‘bidon massage’ and Traumeel.
On Sunday morning, I even decided to apply the one universal medicine: slow run. Not that I normally don’t run slowly – but this time I took special care of my pace, the frequency and length of my steps and my posture. I managed to run some 3.5k almost pain free (wow!) up until a moment when a half wild dog jumped under my feet. That was where I made a sudden step and contracted the soleus in a painful way. It hurt but I already knew how to treat the pain: at home I rolled the bidon over the sore spot and the relieve came almost immediately.
Now on Tuesday I feel like another slow run must be doable – either tonight or tomorrow morning. Wish me luck that my first ‘running injury’ ends up as quickly as it came :-). Oh – and I will definitely start stretching. Definitely.