Probably becoming a bore, me blogging about injury, but I’m becoming fascinated about some of the issues it raises, especially for a Masters athlete.
Why “especially”? Well, because, at 57, I’m always wondering if this, or the next one, could be the career-ending piece of hurt. Such has been the persistence of my leg problems this year, that I have seriously been wondering this.
I’ve not now raced since the European Masters 200m semifinal indoors in Ghent in March. I’ve not even sprinted hard since then. Each time I have tried, and on one occasion when I simply wasn’t, something has packed up. Treatment by my faithful friends at Southcote has been diligent, but we’ve not bottomed the cause yet. Nothing has been bruising out either, unlike my left calf, which showed all the signs of muscle tears, and is currently fixed and stable.
I’ve missed three league matches, and watched my team struggle for the absence of a sprinter (ie me), I’m likely to miss the upcoming regional championships, and the Worlds in the USA are just over a month away as I write this. Remember, I’m going there as a relay gold medallist from the last Worlds, and a very near individual medallist. The fear that this might be “as good as it ever gets” haunted my slide into clinical depression. These injuries complicate things.
I’ve had a deep pain in my right calf for two weeks. It came on when I was doing little more than walking. Two weeks of ice, massage, rest and compression seemed to have made no difference. Then, I got an excruciating attack of night cramp in that calf. I took some water, and a few grains of salt. Next morning (2 days ago) I woke up to a completely pain-free calf. Totally. No hurt at all. Anywhere. Gentle stretching confirmed something strange had happened.
Later next day at the gym, I began walking on the treadmill. Then ambling, then jogging. Five minutes on, five stretching, five on again, a little faster. Eight reps later, I was striding well. No pain. Next morning, no pain. My iThlete figures confirm a good workout, too. Rest day needed.
I will leave the physiology to others better qualified. My job is now clear. Take it steady, treat this like coming out of winter training and into summer competition, go for 100% quality training, and hope.
Yes, there is always hope.