Well, maybe I over did it this past weekend. I ran the Milliken Earth Run 5K and felt great. I had my best time in a 5K ever. Sunday I got up and ran about 10 miles. I did not run fast I just ran at a nice easy pace not trying to overdo it. Later that day a friend called me and we played racquetball for over an hour. I was really beat by then. I did not do anything Monday in order to rest my legs up. My legs were definitely feeling a little overworked all day Monday. Today (Tuesday) all felt well. I decided to go for a short run in the Vibrams. I forgot my foot pod cadence sensor so I was kind of bummed that I could not measure my cadence. My plan was to jog about 2 miles then hit the track and try a couple of laps at high speed, then jog the mile back to work. The day is beautiful for running!
I started off at probably an 8 minute pace and all felt good. I was running in the grass (@ .6 miles out) and I felt a small very minimal pain in my left calf. I have never had any problem with my left calf so I thought nothing of it. The only tears I have ever had have always been my right calf. As I continued running the pain actually went away, possibly because I started on a mild down hill. However, as soon as I started going up hill I transitioned to the road and within five steps I had a vise grip type pain in my left calf. These tears are very frustrating because they give no warning. I was running perfectly fine one second and literally the next second I can’t run. Needless to say, I stopped immediately. I tried to stretch it some because it actually felt like a cramp (unfortunately I read later that trying to stretch the calf after a tear is a bad idea). I walked back to work. While walking I can barely feel the tear. It just feels a little tight with not much pain. Running is out of the question though.
The obvious question is did the Vibrams cause it? I say no. I had no problems after the Milliken 5K. I ran the 10 miles and did racquetball in my standard running shoes. After my last calf tear I was very diligent in doing seated and standing calf raises, and also doing straight and bent leg calf stretches. I had backed off some in the past few weeks because everything had been feeling good. I am just going to have to get back into the habit of really working on my calves again. They seem to be my weakest link lately. In the past two years I have had 3 tears. I am icing it now in hopes that I stopped running in time to reduce the severity of the tear. It is good timing because I am going on vacation next week and maybe I need to spend more time with the family then running. Sometimes on vacation I am tempted to do some long runs.
Biking here I come!