Posts Tagged ‘calf strain’

I was off 4 days from running because my hip flexor went a little crazy but I was getting it worked on and it was going well.  I went to the track, not to run but  do a few walk through drills, marching instead of skipping, etc. I had a straight knee and when flexed my foot it felt like a bullet tore through my calf. I could not walk, I could not massage it out. I couldn’t do anything but I could circle my foot which was my limited knowledge test that I did not rupture my achilles. There was a team workout out and I almost went to them to see if they had a doc or trainer  because I was stuck 1/2mile from home. But I didn’t. I am also one of those people who refuses to ask directions if lost on the highway.

I was able to slowly walk lightly on my heel and I got home. Unbelievable pain. I had to lay a towel on the floor, kneel on it and use my arms to pull myself across the room. It was hideous. Friday morning I went to see my docs, while doing diagnostic tests my muscle went into a huge contraction state that felt like a vice grip around my entire calf. My chiro was holding my leg, I went white as a ghost and almost vomited from the pain,  you get the picture. She had a grave look on her face, but still she thought there was a minor tear but not serious as the condition of the muscle felt good.  She consulted with the podiatrist in the practice and grew worried that a tear would go into a rupture so she sent me Friday night to the MRI. If there was a tear the podiatrist recommended casting it. I freaked when I heard that and broke down sobbing for the 10th time in two days.

Then I called my Coach Benson. I love this man. His incredible years of experience and phenomenal way of explaining things “brings me right back off the ledge” as he likes to say. Here is the very abbreviated scoop on tears and spasms. Distance runners rarely get achilles/calf tears, sprinters get tears when they are running at high speeds in a fatigued state. There needs to be a high level of lactic acid build up and the sprinter is in an anaerobic state. It is common for distance runners to get a spasms, Charlie horse, due to dehydration and electrolytes being out of balance conversely you can drink way too much water and wash out all your salt. In my case I had begun drinking 2x as much water in the last week, because somehow I thought it would aid in healing my hip, and since I was not running I eating very little, and no salt. To support this water-logged mineral deficient theory I got out of bed Friday night and kneeled onto my towel to pull myself across the floor, sexy right?, and for about 3-4 seconds my other calf went into a mild spasm.

So what does Coach say to do. First take aspirin to thin the blood then take 100% RDA of calcium, magnesium, and potassium and stop drinking so much water. Coach said all those water commercials claiming we need 8-10 glasses of water a day is nuts, we need 8-10 of liquid; liquid is juice, water, tea, watermelon, even coffee and wine. Of course not recommending drinking 8 glasses of wine and coffee as your liquid. Next massage. On a scale from 1-10, 10 being the pain is so bad you will fly off the table and punch the massage therapist, it needs to be an 8. It will hurt very badly but the muscle fibers need to be relaxed. And light stretching. The problem is once this spasm gets out it will feel good to walk but once I start running it could come immediately back, therefore,walking, then light running with walk breaks, daily massage and keep the minerals coming.

So while there is a sigh of relief that my muscle is not torn, though I do not have MRI results to back that up yet either, I am walking a bit today. You might be thinking what a big baby it is only a charlie horse. Well do this. Have a friend stand next to you with a Ruger loaded with hollow point bullets let the person shoot you in the calf. That is what this felt like. Full disclosure,  I have never been shot with anything stronger than a b.b.gun. I may have the most extreme taper for a marathon, no running or a couple of weeks, but hey, I can go to Boston and have a great time running, and who knows maybe I will PR. And if you are wondering what the heck I was doing with a b.b. gun, I grew up in Michigan and in those days it was a common Christmas present for 10 year olds.

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