................... were the last word the physio said to me this afternoon as I was leaving, which pretty much sums up my chances of completing the marathon on Monday. Although if it was just a matter of crossing my fingers I’d do nothing else for the weekend.
I have run 2.5 miles since my last post - a 0.5 mile test on the treadmill on Friday of last week and a further 2 miles in the park on Sunday. Both runs ended prematurely with the discomfort in my calf intensifying. I went to a physio first on Thursday of last week but all she could find was a tightness on the outside of my calf and along my IT band and apart from showing me a few stretching and strengthening exercises (which I had been doing) told be to “run away”. She was certainly correct with the tightness on the outside of my calf as this was evident any time I used the foam roller. What was frustrating was the fact that no amount of foam rolling hit the spot where I had been feeling the pain leading me to believe that the damage was not close to the surface.
I decided to seek out a new Physio following my less than successful attempts at running and finally got seen on Wednesday evening. Straight away he found the elusive tender spot once I had indicated where the pain had been. Following a bit of manipulation and ultrasound he took out an acupuncture needle but said he was using it for “dry needling” which is essentially inserting the needle into the damaged muscle (about 1” in my case) to provide an escape pathway for the particular enzyme that is causing the muscle to spasm. He explained that when the muscle is damaged it contracts in order to protect itself and therefore bloodflow to the area is reduced and healing is prolonged/prevented. While the needle was inserted (10 minutes) I felt a dull localised pain, which came in waves. I also felt localised soreness for a few hours after, which he said was to be expected. He told me to continue with mild stretching and strengthening exercises but nothing too strenuous.
While I have kept up with swimming and cycling I have not compensated for the lack of running time. My cycling endurance has improved a little over the last two weeks as I knocked 3 minutes off my best time for the 35-mile loop from Ballincollig, Coachford, Carrigadrohid to Macroom returning along the main road via Lissarda (19.4 MPH avg). Having said that a favourable wind can make all the difference.
I did a few open water swims to get used to the wet suit covering about 1 km in Inniscarra lake last Sunday and about 2.3km on my first visit to Sandycove yesterday evening including about 1.7km around the island.
Good luck to all those running on Monday, looks like the sun will shine.
I started running shortly after my 40th birthday to train for the "once in a lifetime marathon" (mid-life crisis and all that) and haven't been able to stop since. This blog charts my progress as I attempt to go farther and faster than I have ever gone before.