It happened a couple of months ago, I ran on a treadmill for 30 minutes, then stopped when I felt a cramp in my right calf. I flew back to Sweden a day later, and the next football training session I stepped in to block the ball and it went. I was hoping to shake it off, but no. The tendon was torn (as I was to find out).
I could stand, but not walk. Anything where my ankle joint would push me forward was agony... Luckily i could still cycle. But I was out of action and I didn't know how long for.
Thankfully it was 3 weeks, so I was told by my Physio. I went to a sports rehab clinic in Gothenburg, the same clinic that serves all the local sports teams, so I knew I they knew what they were doing.
They started me on a very simple routine of ankle stretches that would straighten the muscle fibers as they healed, which seemed to go well.. I was being a good patient, following to the book. A week later and healing was going faster than expected (yes, of course I prayed for it), and it was going well.
They upped my excercises and even put me on a gentle running routine the week after. Slow starting interval jogging, very light... However, the term had started, I had longer hours in the office so I could put in the running.
The 'ghosts' of being injured had started to haunt me. You know, feeling down, missing the endorphins rush from the higher heart rate, not eating as much fruit, eating more ice cream, routine changes and it gets harder to keep up. And to add to it, stress levels have been rising and I haven't had that release I normally get from running.
Then I went for a run, finally having a morning to myself... And 3km in, I'm back to the beginning. I had pushed myself to far too soon. The tear had come back, exactly the same. I cannot begin to describe the frustration I felt at that moment. Adding to the fact we had friends visiting who wanted to go to the local theme park, so I couldn't even rest it up.
So the last 3 weeks have probably been the laziest weeks I've had in a long time in terms of exercise. I rested the first week from cycling even, to really rest my leg. Yesterday was the first time I went to the gym in 3 weeks, and today I ran 4.6km, slowly, in intervals, in very controlled circumstances (my wife was with me and reminded me often that I was still injured-that's pretty intense controlled circumstances).
But it was ok. My calf is feeling a little sore, but I think that it good as I have pushed it to its limit, so I can now rest, let that repair and go again.
Injury can be a real pain, and I think it took my mentality with it. I have accomplished a lot this year with fitness and weight loss, and I think I had let that become too much apart of who I was. Just as much as I had let being overweight for the majority of my life become my identity for the first 20 years of my life. It took a while to get that out of my system. Who I am is not what I do, who I am is not how far I run, how much weight I lose. I need to rest my identity in something so much more certain, then I can enjoy the fitness I have without being afraid of losing it.
Today I set up my training scheme for the marathon. I start on December 23rd, but I still need to get into shape before then. Then I will have 16 weeks to train properly. I have a target of under 4 hours. Maybe wishful thinking, but with the right discipline, the right diet, and enough support, I am sure I can crack that time. I am half-way to reaching my target amount, please join in by sponsoring me for this really important cause. The link is here. http://bit.ly/1kLC0ZU