Day 44 – It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I want To

Posted: February 27, 2012 in February
Tags: , , , , ,

My calf was feeling pretty good and showing no ill effects from the weekend’s cycling so I headed over to the track session in Portlaoise eager to get running again. I spoke to our coach about doing some extra specific stretching before we started and after getting a few new ones from her I set off to do a few easy warm up laps before I did them. Half way round the very first lap, after not feeling anything at all from it in the last few days, my calf tightened like a ball again and I was forced to hobble back round to the start line. After a quick word with Denise we decided there was nothing for it but to head for home, massage and roll it out and then get physio as soon as possible.


I was absolutely miserable going home and walked in through the door a truly morose motherfucker. It was my birthday today and I was really looking forward to celebrating it with a good training session, sad and all as that may sound, but instead I was now face down on the couch at home with Brid trying to knead knots out of my calf muscle. As it was my birthday I decided to console myself with cake and wine and spent the next two hours wallowing in self pity (and chocolate).


  1. bgddyjim says:

    I just went through something that sounds, eerily, just like what you’re describing. Is it a Plantaris pull (small muscle, upper middle of calf, pain radiates downward to the Achilles)?

    If so, my Kinesiologist gave me a very active regimine to get back to health and it worked well, I was back to 95% within a week.

    If this is the case with you, let me know and I can give you some tips on how to stretch that bad boy out – specificallly with a change in cycling stroke.

    Either way, I hope you feel better.

    • try366 says:

      That sounds about right Jim. I had another recurrence Monday night during my club time trial and pain was exactly as you described.

      I’d love it if you could give me that program, it certainly couldn’t hurt anyway.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I explained my injury here:

        The stretches I used are posted here:

        Specifically under “ankle and foot”, that first one.

        The change to my cycling for a few days was to minimize the resistance and to drop my heel at the bottom of the stroke (pedals at 6 and 12 o’clock) with a high cadence (80-100 rpm). Dropping the heel at the bottom stretches out the Plantaris and it’s associated tendon. Now, most of my pain was associated with crouching or standing up from a seated position and it wasn’t all that excruciating. In other words, the pull was minor. There was no lump at the top of my calf just below the knee which would indicate a tear. Also, it didn’t feel like a normal pull because the pain radiated so far down my Achilles…it was an odd situation to say the least. My doctor recommended regular icing at 15 minute intervals to relieve the swelling and said that I should absolutely not take any time off. My injury happened on a Thursday night – I went on a short weekend vacation and decided against running until I saw my doctor (not the right thing to do in this rare case). I saw the doctor on Monday, was back on the bike on Tuesday and rode Wednesday and Thursday, then ran Thursday night. It was scary to say the least, my calf was really tight, but it started working itself out after the first mile much to my surprise. I wrote about that experience here:

        I ended up home on Saturday, sick and with a sick kid so I ended up running a 10k (in lieu of my new normal 20k) on Sunday completely pain free except for the first 1/2 mile or so. I made it to 100% yesterday.

        Good luck, I hope this helps.

      • try366 says:

        Thanks a million Jim, much appreciated. I’ll try it out and let you know how it goes.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Looking forward to reading about it. Good luck.

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