Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fall is here with New Challenges

Ok, I have been gone for awhile.  It has been a busy summer with a lot going on, and not much running, as I will explain.

After my last run (Fathers Day) , I went on a business trip and had a series of great runs: even did some voluntary speed work.  That weekend though (before July 4), I started feeling bad.  I practically never get sick.  So, I trudged through it but felt different, in a way.   Then I ended up in bed, fever, but also a crazy bad cough.  I went to the doctor, who said nothing major, perhaps a cold, monitor it to make sure it isn't pneumonia. I was having trouble taking a really deep breath, and a cough.  And, doc said DON'T RUN for at least 2 weeks.

About a week later, on vacation in Florida, feeling fine, I went running.  I felt dizzy, short of breath, and my ears would not pop (very strange).  Went to local clinic (before my flight home, I wanted to make sure ears OK), and doc diagnosis: COPD , like asthma, with a smokers cough. Um, no, I don't  think so, given I have never had asthma or smoked, and just two weeks earlier had run 12 miles. The Doc gave me an inhaler (which was a revelation!), some antibiotics, super duper powered cough syrup and said DON'T RUN for at least three more weeks.

About a week later, back at home, feeling fine, I went running.  It was a terrible run, felt like I couldn't breathe and legs felt like cement.  (Sensing a pattern?)  Back to the doctor, who then had chest X Rays done: diagnosis, viral pneumonia.  And DON'T RUN.

Viral pneumonia (also known as walking pneumonia) can be scary, but mine wasn't -- I just couldn't take a really deep breath.  Looking up the symptoms on the Internet, yep, that's it.

So, I listened and waited, this time for real.  I needed to start to train for the NY marathon in November, but I figured I could do it with 12 perfect weeks of training, rather than 16 weeks, and just be real about goals and results.  And I did wait to begin the path and training, with NY Marathon looming like a giant colossus on November 4.

On final vacation of the year in Colorado, had some really great runs.  First real runs of the summer.  The altitude is a butt kicker, but just what I needed to bring back that great running feeling and desire to do it.  I had my training plan set and I was ready to totally suck it up and kick it.

Until Monday, Labor Day.  I had run 12 miles two days earlier (in 90 degree heat and high humidity!) and wanted to run 5.5 hilly miles on Labor day.  In the middle of mile 2, just running along, I suddenly felt a "POP" in my left calf, and I stumbled.  Like oh sh-t, that really hurts! What was that???  I stretched some, tried to run walk/home, hoped it was a cramp and started to worry.

The calf is injured: a Grade II calf strain.  have a large bruise on back of calf, running down in Achilles area.  It hurts to walk on, let alone run.  NY M is out.  Heck, I have to walk first.  Right now I can hobble around, with a slight limp, but realistically I can't push off at all on my foot.  Trying to roll up on top ball of foot hurts, and if I tried to stand on tippy toes, it would produce incredible pain.

This is a humbling injury.  It isn't at all interesting or a battle scar. It hurts to walk, and I know my back is hurting because I have been limping.  It blew up my NY Marathon plans, but that's OK, really (more on that later).  While the calf has gone from "How am I going to get to work or walk?" to "When am I going to walk normally?" it still hurts whenever I move (the bruise has subsided).  This is unlike any injury I have ever had before -- sore joints, muscles, etc., are all just aches and soreness.  This is like a real injury. 

So anyways, that's where I have been.  Other than that, summer went by quickly! And can't wait for fall to begin for real, even if Michigan got creamed by the Tide.


  1. Yikes that sucks buddy! I'm sorry your NYCM plans are shelved and I hope the calf gets better soon. :(

  2. I am so sorry to hear about that kind of injury. Take care of yourself!

  3. Wow--you have had your trials this year! Wishing you speedy recovery from ALL of it so that you are back at what you love soon.

  4. Hopefully you can defer that race! Yes, that's a real injury--nothing vague about it. Take care of yourself.

  5. My old man was diagnosed with that, but late in life (in his 80s). He was a non-smoker too, but smoked when young. I hope you don't have it or that it's a mild case. Even walking was tough (and slow) for him.


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