Running, Injury, and Awakenings

awakeningsIn Awakenings, a doctor (Robin Williams) finds himself with a ward full of comatose patients; victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years prior. He tries out a possible cure on one of the patients (Robert De Niro) and it works. The patient has a blast, lives life to its fullest, but eventually falls back into a coma after only a short time.

In January, I tore my left calf. The doc gave me PT exercises and my leg got better after 5 weeks. My first run out and the calf tore again. Back to the doc. Back to the PT. Another 5 weeks and bam, the calf tore again! Sweet JMJ. Well, I took it easy. Completed the exercises. And it appeared I was ready to go.

This past week I slipped on my Vibrams and went for a jog with my Akita, Bella. I ran the first mile at a 9:20 pace and walked a tenth of a mile. Ran a half mile at 9:30 and walked another tenth of a mile. I ran the final mile at 9:30 and walked a half a mile cool down. No pain at all. I felt great.

Every other day for the next week and a half I ran the same route using the same approach. On my sixth run I “fell back into a coma.” I was barely a half mile into my run when I felt my left calf twinge. On the next step, I felt it separate and “pop” followed by a shooting pain. Worried it might be my Achilles, I felt around and looked for any sign of deflation. Thankfully, I didn’t see anything of the sort.

I looked at my dog. She looked at me. And we hobbled back home. Well, she jumped up and down, and I hobbled. My awakening had come and gone (and by association so did Bella’s). Now I am back to nursing my calf with RICE and calf raises. Screw you injury.

My goal of running a 10-miler in June is dead. But, my goal of a barefoot marathon in October is alive and well. Say a serenity prayer for me. Lord knows I’m saying plenty for myself.