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My soleus doesn't like me very much...

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My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:04 am

...and I don't like it either.

Felt a little twinge on my medial left soleus while turning left up an off-kilter incline on Monday.  No biggie, just a couple miles from home, feels like a little tightness.  Later in the day, feels like shin splints/muscle tightness at work.  2-3/10 discomfort that responds to stretching.

Ran Tuesday... tight but not painful.  Maybe 2/10.  

Wed morning, feels fine.  Go out for 10mi (dummy).  1-2/10 discomfort until mile 8 when it's just a constant dull ache and feels like I'm actually doing damage to it.  Well, okay.

So now I'm resting (and scrapping this weekend's 20) because I have a marathon - as a training run for a 50k - in 2 weeks.  

Reading conflicting info on stretching/icing/massage.  Any tips?
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:58 am

Have you rolled it?  I bet if you do, you will find a knot there somewhere - focus on that to kneed it out.  Lightly stretch.  Also roll the front of your shin which should hurt like hell, but this will help too.  I also will go up and down my calves/ankles/ and the front (perioniel tendon?) with my hand/fingers massaging and looking for knots.  I dig in when I find those hot spots.

One other thing - are you shoes older an worn down?
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:01 pm

Mom - Rolled it Mon and Tues.  I've been doing some deep massage on it and haven't found a knot so much as a larger area that's just tight (but not balled up like a knot would be).  

Shoes are new (less than 200mi) and I'm rotating 3 pairs.  I switched from a 11mm to 8mm drop back over Christmas and have felt my calves a bit more ever since, but I doubt it'd take 2mo for an issue to arise.
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:24 pm

No it can indeed take up to 2 months for an issue to arise especially with a switch in drop and in shoes.  Shoot, I wear a pair of 4mm shoes in the gym a lot and then wonder why my calves hurt later in the day - still.   I get these kind of niggles as I increase mileage.  Keep doing what you are doing - maybe apply a little moist heat to loosen it up.  I think you can continue to run with these precautions and stretching.


Last edited by Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:59 pm

Phooey.  Alright.  Gonna remain conservative about diving back into the training plan.  Fortunately next week is a cutback anyway.
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:51 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Phooey.  Alright.  Gonna remain conservative about diving back into the training plan.  Fortunately next week is a cutback anyway.

Good - one day at a time Grasshopper - one day at a time.
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  nkrichards on Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:12 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:
@Mike MacLellan wrote:Phooey.  Alright.  Gonna remain conservative about diving back into the training plan.  Fortunately next week is a cutback anyway.

Good - one day at a time Grasshopper - one day at a time.

+1  Educational conversation...
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:27 pm

Update - we are on day 3 of enforced rest.  I am going nuts, but I'm also appreciating the fact that I was able to just be hungover and not have to run it off today What a Face

Stairs no longer hurt at all.  The area is slightly tender to the touch (think shin splints) due to lots of deep massage with a golf ball.  But zero pain or discomfort at all doing any kind of walking or normal daily activity.  

We're gonna go for 6mi on a hard packed dirt/gravel path (C&O tow path, Mom!) tomorrow but shut it down at the first sign of discomfort.
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Mark B on Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:30 pm

You doing any eccentric heel drops? That might help.

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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  KBFitz on Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:52 am

Hope your run on the towpath went well this morning. It's a gorgeous morning, though somewhat brisk. Go slow when altering a fundamental metric like heel drop. We put a great deal of stress on our lower leg and foot that develops into a fine tuned machine. It takes time to respond to such a fundamental change. Four days of enforced rest might do the trick. But take more if you need it. Patience pays off in the end. Of course, in the end we're all dead.
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:34 pm

Kevin - Very Marla Singer (Fight Club) of you, and I appreciate the dark chuckle.

Update - 2 days, 6mi each, zeeeeeeero discomfort or pain.  I'm still pretty cautious and I'm sure I've adjusted my form a little bit to try to reduce any strain on the calf.  But for real, it's like it didn't happen.  It's kind of unnerving how quickly it disappeared.
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  nkrichards on Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:32 am

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Kevin - Very Marla Singer (Fight Club) of you, and I appreciate the dark chuckle.

Update - 2 days, 6mi each, zeeeeeeero discomfort or pain.  I'm still pretty cautious and I'm sure I've adjusted my form a little bit to try to reduce any strain on the calf.  But for real, it's like it didn't happen.  It's kind of unnerving how quickly it disappeared.

Good news Mike.

I enjoyed Kevin's humor as well.
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Tim C on Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:16 pm

Good to hear, Mike.  Stay cautious...
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:34 am

Shitty update...  because I don't have enough words available on the blog for it there.

Soleus has been mostly calm since my 3-day rehab on it last month.  As per Wendy Miller's advice, I took a golf ball to it 4x a day and massaged it to the point of ouch then let it rest.  

During my peak week and beginning of taper, it was a little tight and sore but managed.  Last Wed was a scheduled tempo run (fine).  Last Fri became a tempo run because I was a bit fired up from my day (oops).  Last Sun was one of those "you really shouldn't run hills today, just take it easy, you're in taper" that turned into a slog.  Soleus (inner) discomfort wrapped around to peroneus brevis (outer) and longus.  

So here we are.  9 days til race day, haven't run since a shut-down trial on Monday, and the leg fails the hop test during toe-off.  Impact is fine.  It's the flexion of the foot that seems to be straining the muscle.  Walking can at times produce a 2-3 on the pain scale.  Running is an immediate 5-6.  I've finally isolated the area with the golf ball (deep, back of fibula) about 2-3" above ankle and aggressive massage does seem to temporarily relieve the pain.  

Wat do.
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:27 pm

Keep doing what you are doing - maybe even try applying some moist, wet heat i.e. a hot washcloth or heating pad.  That often helps me with a tense muscle.  Also make sure to roll and use that golf ball on other areas such as your hamstrings and glutes - we are one kinetic chain and often I find that my calf might hurt but the real culprit is my tight glute medius on the complete opposite side.  Now I'm not sure when the run is, but I can tell you that my training for Boston went swimmingly well until about a week out when everything, and I mean everything, was so tight that I was shocked I could actually run after I got off the plane on Friday afternoon.  My lower back was sore and tight and I actually went an bought Icy Hot patches which I applied to loosen everything up.  Lo and behold, I woke up Monday morning and all was fine, nothing hurt for 26.2 miles, and nothing hurts now - days later.
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Re: My soleus doesn't like me very much...

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:01 pm

Mom - I'm hoping this is one of those things that will magically clear up on race day (4/29).  I've resigned myself to very likely not going for a podium spot (as was the plan until last week) and just running it.  Have too many exciting summer plans (read: 20+ mountains) to blow on this race.  

Re: kinetic chain... yeah, this is the 4th or 5th left-side injury I've had.  Only ever had one on the right.  I think I have some kind of imbalance going on, but of course, seeing a Sports Physio about it would be too easy, so I haven't done that.  

Fingers crossed.
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