To get a full appreciation of what happened to me last Sunday’s PIM, I tried to look for charts and pictures of specific muscles of the lower leg. Having finished two years of BS Pre-Med before entering the Philippine Military Academy, I had the chance to dissect the different body organ systems of frogs and sharks in our Basic Anatomy & Physiology classes. And with the advent of the Internet, anybody could immediately research on certain topics about the human body. I downloaded and copied the following charts/diagrams of the human lower leg muscles groups from the Internet to give a full description of what happened to me last Sunday’s marathon race.
After a “back-to-back” Subic International Marathon on a Saturday early evening and then a Sunday early morning ADIDAS KOTR Half-Marathon, I felt a “pain” on my upper Gatrocnemius, which is about two inches below the back of my left knee. I had this part of particular muscle to be exposed to “deep-tissue” massage, every other day. After resting my legs for a day, I would do my slow long runs with a slow pace after warm-up and stretching and the pain would be manageable. More massage and rest for my legs for the two weeks in between SIM and PIM but the urge to build-up more mileage was so tempting that I had to do my long runs and a single session of tempo run. In these runs, I would observe that the pain would just disappear the longer I do my runs.
However, during the PIM, at Km 15, the pain at the same spot on my Gastrocnemius started to appear but I still tried to maintain my pace with the hope that it would slowly disappear. At Km 19, the pain on my Gastrocnemius started to spread to my Petronius Longus and later to my Tibialis Anterior. With the diagram/chart above, the Petronius Longus muscle is connected to a tendon that goes all the way to the ball of my foot. This was the reason why I could not force my foot to spring up from the ground and maintain my running pace/form as pain would spread to the whole left leg. There was no way that I could run continously with the unbearable pain on my lower left leg as my foot strike the ground. And the rest is history.
Few hours after finishing the race, I could no longer stand on my two legs without being helped by my staff/assistant! I could hardly walk without somebody supporting me and could not even lift my left leg for a few inches from the ground. It was the most painful experience in my life after a Marathon Race! But being a seasoned runner, I just relaxed and thought of applying the “time-tested” R-I-C-E treatment. I took a cold shower; had my left lower leg massaged lightly; elevated my affected leg with an ice bag placed on the affected muscle while sitted or lying on my back; and rested/slept well during nighttime and daytime! Drank a lot of my Ensure, Milk, Gatorade and Water and Ate a lot of Carbohydrate & Protein Foods! After 36 hours, I could walk without any support or assistant and the muscle soreness slowly disappeared. And the pain was already manageable.
I need more time to rest and recover.