Calf Injury -- Now what?

  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Jun 21, 2010 7:04 AM GMT
    This was going to be the year I became a runner. Over winter i worked up to running as much as 5 miles on the treadmill at the gym and was looking forward to running in a 10K, 10-mile, and more with my sights set on a half marathon next year.

    I shocked myself with how well i did in the 10K, and actually did pretty well in the 10-miler, running 4 miles before i had to stop and do the walk/jog thing. Still, i finished only about 15 minutes behind a friend who's been running for more than a year.

    The only pain i really had after the 10-mile was in my ankles. Took a few days to recover, not working out at all, then went to take a jog outside and did not last one block because i had this pain in the back of my legs that felt like someone had hit me with a baseball bat.

    So i tried to take it easy again, but a couple days later i ran to catch a bus and a few steps into my sprint, it felt like someone had reached into my left calf and ripped it apart. The pain was awful afterward, so i went to the doctor. he had me take an x-ray, which he told me in advance wouldn't show anything because he thought it was a pull or strain of a muscle. And he was right, the x-ray showed nothing. The doc put me on anti-inflammatories and recommended ice packs and laying off it for a long time. He said if it still bothers me after another week he might order an mri -- uggh.

    Has anyone else had an injury like this? Any idea of what it is? How long it might take until i can run again and what sort of cardio i can do to keep getting into shape until i can run again? (and here i was hoping to do a half marathon in spring 2011... )
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 21, 2010 2:31 PM GMT
    Pretty typical, nothing to worry about.

    Try ice massage for 20 minutes, three times a day. Keep it elevated and don't stretch it too aggressively for another week or so. Rest! Running on it too soon will screw you up.
  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Jun 21, 2010 3:43 PM GMT
    thanks for the reassurance, gloppy.
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    Jun 21, 2010 7:24 PM GMT
    By the way, this has been the best treatment for me:
  • Abc123456

    Posts: 336

    Jun 21, 2010 7:31 PM GMT
    buy a piglet ;)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 22, 2010 5:16 AM GMT
    Yea, unfortunately you're going to have to rest it...

    If you run landing on your heel (which most people do), it puts a lot of strain on pretty much the entire lower leg especially since you're a bigger guy. That's why you need to make sure to keep your calves ankles and feet nice and loose by way of stretch and massage.

    If you want temporary pain relief, I really like freeze it...similar to biofreeze.

    Good luck. A week off shouldn't make that much of a difference in your level of fitness. You'll be a little behind, but not too bad.
  • Atriathlete

    Posts: 70

    Jun 25, 2010 8:03 PM GMT
    Also, you may need to build your mileage back up slowly. Don't go immediately back to the mileage you were doing. Good substitutes for running are: water running (boring as hell, but you can keep yourself in excellent running shape doing it while coming off an injury), or the elliptical machine if it doesn't bother your calf.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 26, 2010 8:30 PM GMT
    What's a piglet, other than a raspy-voiced swine-child?

    Edited to say "Ah. Now I get it."