“Uh-Oh! I Did It Again”

Two days after the 2nd Quezon City International Marathon, I went to Camp Aguinaldo to have my recovery run. I planned to have one loop of the 7K-loop course with a slow pace. However, after running for about 5 kilometers, I slowly increased my pace up to the finish line. But my workout changed when I felt my 7K run was not enough. So, I decided to continue my run with a goal to finish 10K for the day.

As I was about to reach the 8.5K mark, on a slight downhill course, something just “popped” on my left calf muscle and I was in pain. I suddenly stopped my run and limped all the way to where my car was parked.

I was injured on the early morning of December 7, 2010. As I was walking to my car, I tried to analyze what could be my injury. The pain could be felt all the way to my middle portion of my left foot; there were also pains on my left calf muscle, left knee (front & side), and behind the knee. I tried to calm myself and blame it to my “warrior” attitude.

I immediately applied R-I-C-E (Rest, Ice, Compression, & Elevation) for the next days and got satisfaction from walking although my legs were still hurting. My trip to Taiwan forced me to rest and recover…and build-up some fats! I surrendered and accepted the fact that my running season for the year 2010 is done!

After 12 days, I tried to do some slow jogging but there was still pain but I slowly pinpointed what was wrong with my left lower leg. With all those “cross friction” sessions almost every day after my arrival from Taipei, I was able to eliminate and fix some of the leg muscles that became stiff and hard. The pain on the side, front, and behind my left knee disappeared and I could walk without any pain. However, it appeared that my injury in last year’s Pasig River Marathon had occurred again! It is a case of a “muscle tear” on the muscle of the left side of my lower leg but it spread to a bigger area and it affected my calf muscle! (Note: Reading Tim Noakes’ “Lore of Running” provided me a lot of information to find out what was really the problem with my left lower leg!)

Lately, I was back again to the Laguna Hot Spring doing those calisthenics/jogging with legs submerged in water and lots of “cross frictions” with hot spring water. Those minimum 4-hour stay with my legs submerged in hot water made my legs feel better and more relaxed. My ritual and cure for my injury last year is being repeated but with a faster period of recovery.

Those “forced” recovery days made me eat a lot of food (except those that would trigger my gout!) in Taiwan and during the Holidays and I feel I was able to gain some weight. I guess, I will be needing those added weight for my next training! In addition, Ensure Plus, MILO, “yellow ginger” ale, and lots of water had been my daily source of hydration and drinks for the past days.

After 22 days, the pain is already gone and I am still resting my torn muscle. I hope I will be ready for my next running workout on New Year’s Day!

On hindsight, age is already catching up on me.  My mind/brain is no longer synchronized with my muscles, cartilages, and bones! The brain is still strong but the body is already getting weaker! But the fight must go on for more running adventures until I finally fade away…

Lessons Learned:

1)  Running injuries keep on repeatedly occurring on the same place if you are not careful with your workouts.

2)  Immediately stop running once there is “sharp” pain in any part of your body, most especially the legs and joints. Forcing oneself to run with an injury would result to a longer time of cure and recovery. My last year’s injury forced me to rest for a maximum of 7 weeks!

3)  At an older age, 40 and above, there is a need to supplement one’s training by doing weight/strength training (gym workouts) or cross-training activities like swimming, cycling, and other muscle-stretching activities.

4)  You need to force yourself on a recovery mode (no running) after an ultramarathon or marathon event which could last up to one month. This could be my personal “rule of thumb” because of my age. Eating good foods and drinking healthy drinks promote faster recovery for the body, with or without any injury.

5)  It was a big, big mistake to be running a marathon race a week after finishing a 50K ultramarathon event (with much intensity & level of difficulty).

6)  My weak calf muscle might not be ready yet for a New Balance MT 101 “minimalist” trail shoe in a marathon road race! It was a crazy way to test a minimalist trail shoe!

7)  If injured, think and do R-I-C-E with some visits at the curative waters of Laguna Hot Spring!

Happy New Year To Everybody!!!


11 thoughts on ““Uh-Oh! I Did It Again”

  1. Basically, time healed your injury. The rate of healing is a combination of several factors such as but not limited to sleep, eating the right food, and time. Our body just like nature has its own unique way of fixing things up. Injury is simply our body’s extreme way of telling us something is wrong with our running. I have had my share as well. (Boy, do I sound like a doctor 🙂

    It took me at least 1 1/2 years to adjust to minimalist shoes from clunky, stiff or over-cushioned shoes. That was 3 years ago. It was worth it. I will never get back to wearing my old shoes. There must be reasons why the MT101 is called trail shoes. Without enough adaptation, wearing that minimalist pair on the road might have contributed to your injury. My two cents.

    I know you will get back to running in no time at all what with your “warrior” attitude. Get well soon.


    1. kingofpots

      atty jon, you are right..time heals everything! but the healing time is too slow on me because of my age. hopefully, everything will be okey in the coming weeks. see you soon!


  2. jetpaiso

    thanks sir jovie! i always look forward to your sharing of lessons learned, which i really apply. A blessed Christmas to you and your family! Cheers to 2011!


  3. i2runner

    Sir Jovie, I can feel your pain. I hope you get well soon. I can’t imagine reading your blog without you running. Unfortunately, to get stronger we really need to walk the thin line of injury and optimal training. Happy New Year to you and your family! See you soon!


    1. kingofpots

      i am just being “hard-headed” and forced myself to where my limit was. george sheehan is right when he said that “running is an experiment of one”. we always push hard to be better!


  4. jazzrunner

    BR– maybe just another bleep on your storied running career. You still have many more years in you with new grounds to cover. Nice title to your post, btw!:-)


  5. After my own experiments with my running the last two years I am a big believer in #3. I believe it applies to any age. For a long time I was a low mileage runner (70k+ a week) but my running was supplemented with the swim and bike training that I was doing for triathlons. I was also doing some strength training because of reoccurring problems with my IT Band. I did a lot of leg and core exercises with the running and triathlon training. The last two years I experimented with just focusing on running, gradually eliminating other activities and raising my overall weekly mileage. This year I was hitting 140-150+ km a week sometimes 160 km with long runs of 50km+ on Saturdays and 20-29km+ on Sundays. The lack of cross training especially strength training made me weaker. I was already feeling beat up and tired by October, restricting myself to shorter training runs and shorter races helped me with a decent showing for my last race.

    You probably have already thought of it – some strength training on that calf muscle to help rehabilitate it.

    I spent the last 8 days with family in Southern, California about 1 hour south of LA towards San Diego. Pinoy food, I love it, it’s in my blood and I crave it if I don’t have it in a long time but a steady diet of it makes me heavy – I love my pork. So I hear you about the build up of “fats”. It will be January soon anyway, almost time to start the 2011 season!


  6. kingofpots

    thanks, rick for sharing your experience. it is indeed helpful to do some strength & cross training if you want to be a consistent long distance runner. my injury is a “blessing in disguise” for me to slow down and end the 2010 season. slowly, i will be following a program for my calves. ah, the food..yes, pinoy food/cuisine is great! happy new year!


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