So, yesterday I had decided to run up to the golf course for the first time this year. The reason this is even worth mentioning is that the Golf course is a 7 mile round-trip run, that is on the top of a VERY large hill. I was a little nervous about it – as it was my first big hill run post-surgery, as well as being my first big hill run in my Vibram Five Fingers. I headed out slowly, as I fully expected to have to walk a couple of times, and to really be wiped out. I reached the bottom of the hill (that is about 1 and a half miles from my house) and headed on up.
I was pleasantly surprised! While It was certainly harder than running on the flat, that dreaded feeling of my muscles saying “No.” simply never happened. I reached the top without incident, took my picture of the sign and sent it out to my wife/running buddy. I then headed back down the hill, with a nice pause first – to check out the top of a nature trail up next to the golf course. I didn’t actually run on the trail far – at least not this time, but I did want to take a look as I have thought about trying to get some trail running into my workouts. It seemed like it had potential, so I will be returning to do some further exploration.
After that, I headed on down the hill and discovered something. Something that I should have thought of before trying a down hill that was over a mile and a half long.
You can’t run down hill in VFFs the same way you do in running shoes with thick heel padding.
Definitely the perfect time to figure that out… But, I had briefly read up on down-hills in barefoot running, but couldn’t remember if it said to run forward or backwards. – but did recall that it said to take little steps. I just knew that I couldn’t go slamming my heel in to the ground (not that anyone SHOULD). So short little steps and I flew down the hill. I checked after I got home – I went over 10 mph on my way down! Needless to say that was a wee bit faster than I went UP the hill.
I hit the flat (ok, slight down hill, but flat in comparison) after I turned off the road, and felt my left calf was definitely unhappy. It didn’t seem to bad though, so I headed on home to finish my run. It continued to let me know it was unhappy, but I was able to keep running – until I reached a McDonald’s about a mile from my house. My left calf suddenly “snapped” or “popped” or “twanged” and I couldn’t put any real pressure on my calf muscle or flex it in any way. My wonderful wife came and got me.
At home I iced it (15 on.. 15 off.. 15 on.. 15 off.. The icing version of Daniel from the Karate Kid!) and then used the foam roller on it (OUCH!!!!!!!!!) This morning, I was able to walk, and have the leg get next to my other one before it started “pulling.”
Called the Doctor, waiting to hear back. Grr.