I ambled over to the medicine cabinet and grabbed the Advil. Put it back. Grabbed it again. Put it back for a final time. I need to see what this calf really is going to feel like when I run. Compression sleeves? I held them for a second before throwing them back to the gear bag.
I stepped out the door, getting ready for my first run in two weeks. Now that I finally realize I can be injured to the point of not being able to run, I am feeling a bit tentative. I was almost nervous, stepping out my door and heading up the town hill, worried how the calf was going to feel.
How did I feel? Not great really. But not terrible either, so that is awesome. I will take not terrible anytime.
My pace felt really clunky, heavy, and slow. It was not, however, the hobble step of two weeks ago. The calf hurt, and was restrictive – as if the muscle is shorter than it needs to be, not allowing me to open up my stride as I would like. But it was not commanding my attention, so that is really awesome. I will take that for now.
Things eventually fell into place, my stride lengthening, my pace becoming lighter and more comfortable. But definitely still pretty clunky. The calf is definitely better, just not back to what it was before the injury. I think if I went longer, the run might felt better – I find I am a better runner after I have run 3 miles. But I didn’t want to push the calf too much, realistically I am probably teetering on the edge of getting better and re-injuring it.
In the end, I am calling an easy 3 miles at a 9:10 pace, a success.