Well, if finally happened. I've been feeling it for about 2 months now, but thought it was just in my head because of THIS. Some of it probably was in my head, but its real now. Yesterday I was convinced it was really real. My long run this season so far was 1 hour, 12 minute which amounted to 9.5 miles. That was two weeks ago. Felt nothing then. Why? Last week I made it thru a 5k with no issues, then later that day an 8.5 mile run. No problems then...why? However, over the last couple of months, during shorter, slower runs, I'd feel a twinge, a tightness, or a pulling sensation in my left calf. But on during runs around a 7 minute pace or slightly faster tempo runs--or during the 5k--there were no problems. Once in a while it would feel like I just did too much, or like when you haven't done them in a while or the first time you do calf raises and your calves are sore or tight then next day. That's what I would feel. Not pain in the sense of something wrong, but pain from doing something. Good pain, I guess. I convinced myself that was what it was because it usually occurred during slower, recovery type runs. I thought it was due to day-after-hard-run pain. Sometimes it was, sometimes is wasn't I guess. Did it have to do with how form is slightly different at a faster pace??? Who knows.
So this passed week I ran for an hour on both Tuesday and Thursday, then did a bike, run, bike, run, bike, run brick on Saturday. The run sections were only 1 mile each at 8 minutes, 6:27, & 6:13. NO PROBLEMS. Then yesterday, out on a run that was supposed to be 1 hr 30 minutes, somewhere between mile 2 and 3 I started to feel a gradual achiness, tightness in my left calf. This time it was a little different. It felt odd, but I thought it was just a cramp or something that needed to work itself out. I stopped a couple of times to assess it, stretch a little, massage it to see if that aggravated it, but nothing really made it worse or better. By mile 5 it was coming and going. Mile 6 I got a couple of sharp, electric type jolts that went up and down my leg. Time to stop running. I was about 2 blocks from home so I walked it. Cashed in my chips and called it a night. I got 47 minutes (6.33 miles). I was counting on 12 or so in the 1.5 hours I had to put in, but oh well, better safe than sorry.
Is it a pull, a strain, a cramp, a tear...? I was a bit low on the fluids to start the run. I hadn't been drinking much all day--we were really busy for most of the day so the run didn't start till after 5. That would possible explain it as a cramp. However, it hurt for the rest of the night after massaging and icing and hurts right now as I sit and type with ice on it. A tear? Doesn't really hurt any worse with pressure on it/pushing my thumb right into it, but the shooting electric type pain points that direction. A strain or a pull--has to be, right, right?
Now what? I am going to ice it and lay off it for a few days. TGIARRW. That's Thank-God-Its-A-REST/RECOVERY-Week. I was going to register for the Fetzer 20k (April 9), but maybe this is a sign--something warning me not to do it (based on the host of issues I got last year there, but that was due to my own stupidity of not doing any intervals to that point then running 12 miles at race pace).
Have to look forward to the more important races of the season, which are all just build ups, or benchmarkers for IMWI.