I was really looking forward to last weekend. The calf was behaving reasonably well and my 3 milers were all going OK. Each one a little better than the previous one in fact. A few of the days I even forgot to stretch it beforehand and it was still OK. My plan was to go 5 on Saturday.
At this point I remind myself that 5 miles when I'm not in very good shape is likely to wipe me out for the rest of the day. The would no doubt be a nap sometime Saturday afternoon. Not a bad thing, really.
Waking up Friday morning I felt a little something just to the left of center in my back. Weird. But fine, another 3 miles coming up. Except, just a few dozen yards down the street it suddenly increased intensity. It quickly became painful, then really painful, then hurt so badly I had to stop, gasping for breath, unable to tell whether leaning forward or arching back made it any less painful.
Mrs. Dave was a work, so as soon as I could hobble home I texted and asked her what a slipped/ruptured spinal disk felt like. Did some googling while I waited for her to reply, and kept trying to find a position that didn't result in excruciating pain. Several agonizing minutes later, she recommended ibuprofen and ice (duh!) and see if things got better in an hour or two.
Which it did, to a small degree. Enough to get me through the work day at least. Hardly comfortable. Throughout the day, I changed my diagnosis (thank you, Dr. Dave) from slipped disk to a simple muscle spasm.
Of course, since my life is running I spent much time wondering if I could come back from having back surgery and run another marathon. Was I going to be in a wheelchair? Several months laid up in bed? The usual questions a normal person asks themselves, right?
So, no 5 miler on Saturday. Between the ice and ibuprofen and laying on a racquetball, though, I was able to move about and run a few errands with Mrs. Dave. Not actual running, but the figurative, moving around without dying sort of activity. No way there'd be any actual running that day, much less 5 miles.
Switched to heat on Sunday. Oh so slowly, the trouble spot seemed to loosen up. I could still feel it, but the pain had dropped from an 8 to a 2 most of the time. At that point I started to think about running again on Monday. Nice and easy, nice and slow. Ready to pull the plug in an instant if it seized up again.
Monday. 4 miles. 9:40, 8:53, 8:43, 8:28. They have a POP behind the Catholic church's softball field. Why have I never noticed this before? Really came in handy that day I can tell you. Couple of twinges from the calf like it wanted to tighten up, but no disaster. The back was OK.
Tuesday. 4 miles. 9:21, 8:54, 8:58, 8:42. Humidity has been rising the last couple of days, making the same run seem longer and harder. Much preferable to having a back spasm or a calf strain, so I'm not complaining.
Wednesday. 4 miles. 9:21, 8:50, 8:43, 8:28. Extra soupy this morning. Rain was forecast for last night and all this morning, but it didn't come. Radar shows it going to the south through Toledo. Maybe later.
Anyway, looks like the back disaster has been averted. 6 miles Saturday.