The Calf

I’ve alluded to the calf injury multiple times. Here’s the deets.
Short story:
I overtrained for the Richmond half marathon. According to the doctor I injured my soleus muscle. I did PT. It’s still not better.

Long story:
As the ultimate frisbee season was wrapping up last fall, my friend and I decided we wanted to have something to train for. Why not run the half marathon in November!?! Notice the lack of let’s run a 5k or 10k. Oh no. #imnotthatsmartreason472.
So the last tournament was the first weekend in October and after that I focused on the half. There were 6 weeks before the half so I modified a training plan and started increasing my mileage. Things were going really well. I headed out on thur nov 4th for a longer run. 6 slow miles. It was drizzly and gross outside but I didn’t let it deter me. The race was in 9 days and I was getting concerned I hadn’t been running enough longer distances.
I found some new trails on the run and I remember being really excited about running on them despite the puddles and sometimes rocky surfaces. At the end of the run my right calf really started to hurt. Likkkke really really bad. I stopped and stretched. It didn’t help. It had also gone from drizzling to pouring. I tried a jog and sharp pains where shooting through what felt like my Achilles and calf. I walked/ jogged slowly back to my car and got in, muttering a number of choice words.
I got home, iced, elevated and stayed off it. I tried to go on a jog a few days later. 2 minutes before it started to hurt, 4 minutes in and I had to stop because it was so painful. You know how some there are pain and injuries you can push through? Not even an option. I kissed the half goodbye and started getting pretty concerned. Even a week later, walking was painful. Standing for long periods of time was painful. I ended up going to the doctor exactly 4 weeks after the injury. The doctor diagnosed me with a soleus injury, prescribed PT and said not to worry, I would be running again.
I went to PT which started off pretty well. He had me do very basic exercises to start and I made sure to do them at home. After about 3 weeks, the Achilles pain had subsided greatly but the side of the calf pain had actually increased. Like serious ouch. The therapist said it was a trigger point, or essentially my muscles rebelling against me. He didn’t seem that concerned. I went through 3 more sessions and was told to start on the home program because there really wasn’t anything else they could do for me when i came in. He made sure to emphasize that I should not ‘Ramp it up’ too quickly, and I should be able to get back to running.
It’s almost a year later. I still can’t run. There’d were a few things I wish I had addressed when they bothered me at the time.
1. The visit with the doctor was very quick. He saw me 45 minutes after my appointment time, spent maybe 5 minutes talking to me before walking me up to the front desk to set me up with PT. I recently got a copy of my records from that place and his notes on my visit are horrendous.
2. My PT therapist was generally pretty good. He was attentive for my initial few visits and gave encouraging feedback as well as emphasizing that I may not be able to run for at least a few weeks. However, when I began mentioning the pain on the outside of my calf he seemed generally dismissive of it, then treated it with strain-counterstrain technique. I wish I had been more vocal about how concerned I was regarding this pain. At my last visit he discharged me with the knowledge that I still couldn’t run for more than 2 min at a time and told me I should be fine as long as I didn’t ‘ramp things up too quickly’. Oh and after initially thinking I would be able to do a 5k in march or April, he said I probably wouldn’t be able to do that.

No shit Sherlock.

So here I am, a year later with nagging calf pain that won’t go away even though I haven’t even done a walk/ run in 2 months and prior to that had been doing them once or twice a week. W.T.F.
I have the stick (for self massage but have you tried to twist your body to roll the side of your calf with the stick while keeping the muscle relaxed? It’s tough.). I ice. I stretch. I have done countless negatives and other very funny looking PT exercises. I recently invested in a foam roller. Now I’ve only had it since last Thursday so it’s been just over a week, but I can’t tell a difference really. Which is disappointing.

So there you have it. The calf saga. Now you’d think I’d get myself to another doctor pronto, but since I hurt my shoulder in may it has taken priority. Girl can only handle one set of medical bills at a time and having a fully functioning pain free shoulder is more important to me. And my work. And yoga. As soon as I get it resolved I’ll be getting on this calf issue.

And don’t even mention bipartite sesamoid bones.

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