I ran today - no, really, it's a big deal!
Searing pain when through my left calf, and it got really tight. At the end of the night, I hobbled back to my car, trying to walk off what I thought was the worst charley horse of my life.
The next day, I felt around my calf muscle, figured it was just tight and sore from being cramped, and took a few days off exercising.
When I got back into walking and running, my calf would get really sore really quickly. But I just assumed that this was, again, residual stuff from the charley horse.
Except that it never really went away. Finally, a full year later (because I'm a male - this is how we operate), I got tired of my calf cramping my style (geddit?) and inhibiting my speed and distance of my walking, hiking and running, and I went to my physiotherapist.
The conversation basically went like this:
HIM (feeling down my calf muscle): "Hmmm.. you have a vein of scar tissue there. You know you tore your calf, right? Pretty significantly, too."
ME: "Umm... no."
HIM: "How did you not know you tore your calf?"
ME: "I thought it was just a charley horse."
HIM: "Wasn't it really painful?"
ME: "Sure, but I'd never torn a muscle before. How am I supposed to know? It's not like there was any bruising."
So, I started physiotherapy for a torn-and-kind-of-healed calf muscle, and then I'd be fine, and then I'd reinjure it by pushing myself too hard, and then I'd go back to physiotherapy and it would get better, and then I'd do something stupid and reinjure it again, and this cycle continued for a while.
In the end, I figured I would be living the rest of my life with an almost always sore calf and that I'd never be able to run again.
Since joining the YMCA in January, and being far more diligent in actually doing my physiotherapy stretches to keep my calf feeling more normal, I've been slowly upping my walking speed to try to be able to burn more than, like, 1 calorie per hour. And also to prevent myself from being lapped on the track by snails.
Last week, I tentatively tried jogging. Or some kind of "not-quite-walking-but-no-person-in-the-world-would-call-it-jogging-more-like-shuffling." Then I tried running half a lap and walking half a lap. Then a full lap. Then two laps.
And then this morning - kilometre 3 in the image above - I ran a full kilometre non-stop.
My calf did not completely separate from my leg. My achilles tendon did not explode.
It felt great.
I've run 10 KM several times in my life. I've walked more than 40 KM in a day on vacation.
I've never been happier with a single kilometre in my life.