I’ve run a grand total of 29.4 miles since December 16, thanks to this persistent calf injury. It was a vicious cycle–I’d run and it would start to hurt, so I’d rest and it’d feel better, so I’d run and it would hurt again, repeat. And not surprisingly, even with twice-weekly treatment, the injury wasn’t showing any improvement at all. So last week, after I had to bail on yet another training run, my sports doctor nixed all running. Three weeks, zero improvement–obviously ignoring the problem wasn’t making it go away. And if I had any remaining hopes of running the 3M half marathon on January 25, it was now or never.

So I went to core class, I did core exercises at home, but I did not run. Didn’t walk, didn’t cycle, didn’t do anything other than the exercises and stretches I was instructed to do. My son ran a 10K last weekend, but I remained solely a spectator.

This morning, after eleven days’ rest, I was allowed to run one mile. But only if I felt no discomfort whatsoever. The smallest little twinge and it was all over.

It’s been on the cold side (for Austin), rainy and icy and gross the last two weeks or so, but this morning I was greeted by sunny blue skies. I hoped that was a good omen as B and I set out to run the one-mile loop around my neighborhood. He chattered to me about a Minecraft Roman city he’s building for extra credit in his Latin class, and I focused on running a consistent pace and landing each step cleanly. I kept waiting for a relapse, but each passing pain-free step gave me hope that maybe it really was healed. I worried a bit when, at the halfway point, the street rose up a bit of an incline, but it felt fine. Not just pain-free, but… normal.

My watch beeped at one mile, and as promised I slowed to a walk for the remaining .1 to my driveway. I’d pushed my pace a little and was breathing hard–clearly my endurance has suffered–but for the first time in a month, nothing hurt. Hallelujah!

I still don’t know if I can run 3M next weekend, but I’m closer than I was a week ago.


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