To Run Or Not To Run

This past Monday I ran a 3 miler and right near the end of the run I began to feel a mild pain on the lower part of the calf muscle on my left leg. I backed off to a slow jog for the last two tenths of a mile, just to get to the house, and wound up with a limp for the rest of the day.

However, the following day (Tuesday) I cautiously climbed out of bed to discover that there was no residual pain at all. I was quite surprised considering the recover time associated with a similar problem many years prior.

By the following day (Wednesday) I went out for a test run to see if things were back to normal. Fifteen seconds after I started into a slow run it was apparent that things were not yet where they needed to be. No sharp pain or anything like that, but a burning sensation that occurred a couple of times told me I wasn’t yet ready to get back at it.

I blogged recently that I thought the injury was caused by a combination of over training and a pair of running shoes that should have been retired long ago. At the time I wasn’t positive, but I was about to discover just how accurate the latter portion of that prediction had been!

Friday was coming up and I had already scheduled the day off. Perhaps I could pick up a new pair of running shoes and ease into a run to see where things stood. In fact, Patty and I had scheduled a doctor’s appointment with our new doctor early in the day, so perhaps I could take the opportunity to get an expert opinion on my plan.

I got a thumbs up from the doctor this morning and went from the doctor’s office to pick up my new pair of Asics Gel-Venture 6’s. I’ve tested several different brands over the years, but I keep coming back to Asics and this pair felt particularly good and comfortable based on a short test jog in the store. After a quick lunch out with my wife, it was back to the house, lace up the shoes, and head out for another test run.

In the first tenth of a mile, my mind was playing tricks on me as I weaved my way over the gravel driveway to the road. The second tenth of a mile was just as confusing as I was unable to determine if my mind was playing tricks on me or if my calf muscle was indeed sending me a warning. The sensations felt odd but were not really associated with any pain. I carried on and wound up getting in a careful two mile run that resulted in about an extra twenty seconds per mile above my average training time.

I’ve got another 5k in nine days and think I will stay with my two mile training runs and use the 5k to once again graduate up to the three mile distance. Perhaps this time I’ll be ready to maintain that training distance. I’m sure my body will tell me and you can be sure I will be listening.

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