I was out for a jog with my friend Nicole, when all of a sudden I felt a twinge in my calf. And when I say twinge, I mean a big yank – hard enough to make me stop. We were on a quick after-work jog, running a course I must have run at least 20 times in the past 3 or 4 months. Nothing new about it. Except for the pain in my leg.
I hobbled the two kilometres back to the office fighting back my disappointment. It was just 10 days from the ASB Auckland Marathon, and even though I was not entered in the full marathon – or even the half marathon! – I was looking forward to being part of the 10km event. This year the quarter marathon course includes crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge so the places filled up months ago. Now if it was just any old 10km, I’d be ‘whatever’, there are no shortage of 10km fun runs when I am fighting fit. But this is a huge event with thousands of runners… crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge! Not something you can do every day, so I was feeling very anxious about not being able to take part in it.
I’m not a big runner as I have blogged about before. But this year I’d joined a weekly Run Club (mainly for wintery after-dark jogs) and started attending lunchtime yoga to stretch out my complaining muscles. I’d been running regularly according to my Nike watch, even though I’d developed a neuroma thing in my foot which feels like walking with a marble in your shoe. Ouch. I’d done everything right – no overtraining, plenty of stretching through yoga, and good shoes fitted for my stride. So getting an injury was pretty unexpected, especially so close to the event date. Google told me later on it was probably a grade 2 calf muscle tear.
It’s funny the things you miss.
At night, I used to lie in bed and feel my legs gently aching after a good run. But this week, there’s been no aching part from in one calf muscle. It’s a bit like after you’ve had a baby – you miss not feeling that wriggling in your tummy and catch yourself wistfully rubbing your belly.
I go for hours without snacking on anything. My appetite has dropped off now I’m not burning any energy. Instead I’ve been filling my time with baking in the kitchen – and piled on a few unexpected kilos as a result!
Washing used be a nightly task to keep on top of the sweaty exercise gear piling up in the laundry. This week I haven’t done a single load.
However the overwhelming feeling is frustration. I know I’m not the Silver Ferns captain or anything, but I feel pretty powerless to do much while I wait for my body to slowly repair. There is no fast track to fixing yourself. I’m still very cautiously optimistic about taking part in the Quarter Marathon but I’ll be leaving that decision to later in the week. Every day I improve a bit more, it’s just a matter of how much – when I’m up against the ticking clock counting down to the event. I don’t want to re-injure myself just for the sake of the quarter marathon, but I’d be horribly disappointed to miss out.