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Posts Tagged ‘skiing’

If you’re curious about the run streak I’m referring to in this post, here’s a link back to my blog post about the Runner’s World Run Streak. The euphoria that led to my injury is pretty evident, there. This post describes a darker side to “streaking”.

I ignored a “tweak” in my calf for the last few days of 2013.  Just a nagging little soreness; a little tightness in the upper part of my left calf.  The excitement about maintaining a streak, the accomplishment of having run for over 40 days in a row… they overrode my good sense.  It was surprisingly easy to ignore the little twinge and the soreness I was experiencing, even though I know that Running Rule #1 is: “LISTEN TO YOUR BODY”.

I gave it two days of rest once my run streak was over, thinking that it would be enough to repair any wear and tear from the streak. Then I tackled a Saturday morning training run with a couple of running buddies who are regularly a touch faster than me.  Usually they drop me, but fresh off my rest days, I was really enjoying the quick pace, and kept up with them, chatting about goals, marathon training, early rising, and Boston, until- OUCH! About a mile and a half into the run, I felt my calf pull, tighten, start to burn, and then finally, cramp.

For about the next 400 yards, I jogged on, hoping that it would loosen up, but it was no use.  I had to pull up and do the limp of shame, a mile-and-a-half back to the parking lot.  By the time I got home, I couldn’t walk without a limp.  What’s worse, my run that morning was supposed to be a prelude to an active day. My amazing wife had gotten me a Nordic skiing lesson package for Christmas, and I was really excited about starting my lessons that day.  The way the lesson package works, you do lessons 4 Saturdays in a row, and then your ski rentals and Nordic trails pass are covered for the year.  I was really worried that I could miss a full month of lessons and have to wait until February before I could do the lessons. Much of the skiing season would be over by the time I was ready to use the season pass.  Regardless of the consequences, there was no way I could go skiing with the way my leg felt. Can you tell who felt like a bozo?

After a few ice sessions and a night in a compression sleeve, I still had a bit of a limp. Using compression, rest, and my massage stick, I was improving with each day. By mid-week I was walking normally.  I was able to slide into a Nordic skiing lesson on Thursday that got me back on track to complete my lessons in January. After 4 days of icing and compression, I was able to do the lesson on Thursday, and get back on track with another lesson the following Saturday.  Both ski lessons went really well, and my coordination and balance are improving.  Nordic skiing involves much less pounding than running, and feels much easier on my joints. There’s a lot of Idaho to explore on skis in the future!

Today marks two weeks since my injury.  I got in a two mile run this morning, though it wasn’t completely comfortable. I can still feel some tightness in the hurt calf. Hopefully compression and rolling/massage will loosen it up and I’ll be able to start training seriously for the Les Bois 10k coming up on March 1.

As for “the streak”… I think my streaking days are over.  Despite my efforts to work in low-key, slow 1-mile days, I still got hurt.  If I try a streak next year, it will be more along the lines of a excercise streak, or workout streak, and not focused solely on running.  If I added biking, hiking, skiing, or swimming a few times a week instead of running for 40+ days straight, I’d probably be better off today.

*update 1/21* I’m working in some walk-run training to try and ease back into running, since the 2-mile effort brought back a good deal of soreness.  If it’s not noticeably better in a week, I’m going to have to see a doctor.

Have you ever done a run streak?

What are your favorite winter non-running activities?

Have you found a doctor that understands runners?

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