Pardon the long radio silence, friends. Between long training weeks and recurring injury woes, I just didn’t have the energy or motivation to write my regular updates.
The calf issue that was supposed to resolve quickly became a bigger obstacle than originally expected. A week after completing my first round of physical therapy, my calf started to tighten up again as soon as I started running. I made the classic mistake of consulting Dr. Google, diagnosed myself with compartment syndrome, and convinced myself that there was no way I could finish IMCdA. My coach referred me to another PT who determined that I was suffering from a calf strain. Rehab involved glute and calf-strengthening exercises and running on the Alter-G antigravity treadmill. Over the course of four weeks, I gradually increased the weight bearing, duration, and speed of my runs. Last week, I was cleared to run outside under my full body weight. I can’t afford to get injured again since I only have two months until Ironman, so I’m being very conservative and taking regular walk breaks during my runs. I miss ass-kicking track sessions and long hilly trail runs but I’m happy to be making progress.
Getting ready to run in a bubble
To compensate for my running setbacks, my coach turned the dial on my swim and bike training to 11. Most weeks, my schedule included three 4,000 yard Masters sessions, an open water swim, two weight training sessions and 5-7 bike rides. Unsurprisingly, I’m constantly tired, sore, and hungry!
A tiny sampling of my recent food consumption: veggie noodles, chocolate raspberry chia smoothie, mostly raw ravioli, raw key lime pie, sofritas bowl from Chipotle
As you can see from my previous post, the week didn’t have a great start. Fortunately, my finger woes resolved on their own without the need for medical intervention.
For the past few weeks, running caused my left calf to get unusually tight. Rest, ice, compression, elevation, and copious rolling provided a little relief but the tightness seemed to get progressively worse from week to week. It became apparent that this was more than a little niggle that would work itself out. One of my highest priorities is to survive Ironman training without injury so I went to a physical therapist to get checked out. My mind was blown when I was told that my right ankle was causing the problem with my left calf. My last post mentioned that I sprained my ankle twice in a short period of time. It turns out that limping on it and failing to do the exercises prescribed by my doctor has left my ankle with very little range of motion. As a result, my running gait was altered in a way that forces my left calf to work harder than it should. To get my running back on track, I’m taking a break from speed work and going to PT twice a week. Since I didn’t wait too long to address the issue, it won’t have a significant impact on my Ironman training.