November 28, 2010

Another Dull Week

Week of Nov 22 ~ 28

No running this week, just went to the gym twice. I'll give the calf another week and then try to run.

Went to the Tsukuba Marathon today (an hour+ north of Tokyo) to give out flyers for the LA Marathon, which I am the Japan representative for - promoting it to Japanese runners. I was entered in this race, but of course didn't run.
Well, I picked the right race, at least. It was a perfect day - cool, sunny, no wind, 9:00am start...and a flat course. Too bad. Maybe I'll try it again next year.

November 22, 2010

Hot Brick Therapy

Week of Nov. 15 ~ 21

No progress, my calf is still sore when I try to run. I ran 4k on Saturday and 6k on Sunday, with 2 walk breaks in each run. Started Sunday with a slight pain and it got worse as I went along. Was going slow, naturally. It was not a sharp pain, which would have caused me to stop, just a dull pain. Anyway, it looks like at least 2 or 3 more weeks of rest will be required.

Unless...the hot brick therapy works. This technique was told to me by a guy at the American School who works in the athletic office and was a serious soccer player. He has had various muscle tears and told me his surefire cure. You take an ordinary brick and put it in the microwave for 4 minutes (it doesn't explode). You then wrap a towel around it (one layer is what I use) and put it against the afflicted area. in my case, resting my leg on it. For 30 minutes twice a day, before bed and in the morning. Do this for 8 days and the muscle tear will be healed. He says.
Sounds like definitely worth a try, so I went out and stole a brick. Thought I would have to buy one, but passing a house on the street in back of my house, I spotted a brick on a side walkway. It didn't look like anyone was using it, so I went in and grabbed it, stuck it under my jacket and walked back to my house. After I'm finished with it, I'll return it. Which will freak them out more than when it disappeared, if they noticed.

Anyway, the brick should be hot, but not too hot, obviously. You don't burn your leg, you just heat it up. I suppose this promotes enhanced blood flow to the afflicted area. If it gets too hot, I just move my leg off for a few seconds. The heat lasts nicely for about 30 minutes. No progress yet, after 4 days, but I probably should not have run 2 days.I'll keep it up this week and let you know.
Also plan to get more serious about physio and also some acupuncture.

Since I can't run, I enjoy reading about your running, so keep those blogs up to date. Later....

November 15, 2010

Torn Calf Muscles — Common!

Week of Nov. 8 ~ 14

The torn calf muscle is still not healed. Tested it on Wednesday night at the track - ran an 800, then a 1000, then on the first lap of a 1600 it started to hurt so I stopped. Had been running easy, about 5min/k pace. Oh well, maybe next week. Or more likely two weeks from now. And have to run even easier.

Walked for 1:20 two days and went to the gym three times to spend some time on the bike, treadmill (walking up incline), and elliptical machine, just so I don't get too fat. I am putting on weight!

I found a blog with an entry on a torn calf muscle, to which people had left comments. About 300 people over the past two years! It turns out that torn calf muscles are not at all uncommon. It can happen to anyone, for a huge variety of reasons (or seemingly no reason at all). Often to beginners or weekend warriors, but also to pro rugby players, experienced hikers, etc. Actually, most people get it worse than I did. Many experience a "pop" sound, clearly audible, and a feeling like someone threw a rock at the back of their leg. They actually turn around to see who threw a rock at them. Then they fall down. That's a grade one tear - puts you on crutches. Mine seems to be grade two, not so serious, but still requires 4, 6, 8 weeks to heal. You're supposed to stretch the calf a lot, do light walking, get some physio...well, I'm doing those.

At first I didn't mind resting a while. But after a month it gets to be a drag. If you're a runner and you're not running...what are you? A blogger, I guess. Talk to you next week!

November 8, 2010

More of the Same

Week of Nov. 1 ~ 7

"The same" being, basically, nothing.
Following the advice of my expert commenters, I did not try to run or even jog the club 10k race, instead helping out with the timekeeping.
I had tried to run a bit on Thursday. Got to 23 minutes, 300m from home, when the calf started to get a bit sore. That was enough to tell me to rest for another week.
I did manage to do some walking and stationary biking on four days.

I also decided to throw in the towel on the Tsukuba Marathon on Nov. 28th. I won't be able to race it, and 42km is too far for a training run, so there is no reason to do it. Plus, even if the calf is better, I would risk re-injuring it.

I'll put all my eggs in the LA Marathon basket, next March 20th. If I can start training on Nov. 28th, that would give me 14 weeks.

By the way, I said last week that web articles on muscle tears say to expect 2 to 4 weeks of recovery. I found more that say 5 to 8 weeks. Since it's been 4 weeks, I guess 5 to 8 is not so unreasonable. Don't tear a muscle!
Three years ago I came back too soon from a half marathon and strained a hamstring. We never learn! At least, I don't, it seems.

Hope all of you fellow bloggers stay healthy....