As y'all probably remember, at the end of the w6r3 podcast, Laura proclaims that we are "officially" runners. I fondly recall passing that milestone back in late September!
I think I actually became an "official" running this evening. Why? Because I sustained my first injury whilst running.
After doing "Speed" and "Stamina" in alternation for the past three runs, I embarked on my first timed 5K in a week and a half. Last time was an Oxford Parkrun, where I set a new PB at 28:36. Of course, I left home today hoping to beat that record.
About ten minutes in, my right calf started to hurt. Hurt quite a bit, in fact. Right in the back of the calf muscle, there was a very prominent "ouch" factor. I slowed down and considered aborting the run. I've not yet failed a run, however, so I was reluctant to do so. As it turns out, the pain eased -- and eventually subsided -- with the slower pace. So on I went! Wahoo!
In the last five minutes, I started to speed up again. After all, I had been pain-free for awhile... and the finish line was nearly upon me! Bad move -- the "ouch" came back. I slowed down, but was determined to complete the run. Couldn't really call it off this close to the end, now could I?
The good news is that I crossed my finish line in 28:49 -- not quite a personal best... but only thirteen seconds longer than my current PB. Whilst doing my five minute cool-down limp, I popped into a running shop. Yes, there just happens to be one on my route. The bad news is that, after hearing my description, they think I have a small muscle tear. I am writing this blog while icing my leg and elevating it.
My best guess is that I was pushing just a wee bit too hard; going just a wee bit too fast for myself. If I achieved my second best time ever -- only 13 seconds behind my best -- despite a deliberate prolonged slow-down period mid-run, then I must have been pushing pretty hard the rest of the time.
I'm told that this isn't serious and will heal on its own. Here's hoping this goes away quickly. Tomorrow is the usual rest day, of course... but I'd like to get out there again on Thursday. Friday at the absolute latest. Hopefully, my right leg will cooperate with this plan.
Any of you fellow grads have muscle tear experience? How bad was it? How long did it take to heal?