Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mule Hill Trail Heart-Break

Friday morning I woke up with a mild headache. I popped some ibuprofen and by the afternoon it was mostly gone. Good news, right? I wish! I think it just went away for a little while to gather more troops for its assault on my brain. My mild headache came back as what I can only describe as an I-want-to-rip-my-head-off migraine by 9:00 pm.

After a very restless night of uncomfortable sleep, I woke up Saturday morning with a pain-free head. The headache left its groggy residue on me, though, and I was worried about doing something to trigger it again.

By mid-morning, I felt more confident that my headache was gone for good. I went outside to test the temperature and discovered a glorious, gorgeous, perfect day! I immediately got ready to run.

I had been planning to do my four-miler on a local trail called "Mule Hill Trail". I had always wanted to try it and this was the day! Beautiful weather, awesome trail, no headache... I was sooo looking forward to this.

I took this picture of Mule Hill in March (that's why it's so green).
The picture was taken as I was running on another trail in the San Deguito River Park.

When I got to the San Deguito River Park which is where the trail starts, I sort of felt like I had to use the "facilities". The problem is, this is the only facility.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know I have a Port 'o Potty Phobia. I decided I would rather find a nice quiet bush somewhere further along the trail if I really needed to. So I made my way to the trail entrance.

As always, I started my run with a brisk walk in order to warm up. I was enjoying the sunshine, the calls of the hawks soaring overhead, and looking forward to starting my run. At one point during my warm-up, there was a small incline. As I walked up it, pain shot through my right calf muscle. This is the same calf muscle that felt like it had a knot in it the other day.

I figured the pain would ease as I continued to warm up my muscles. It did, mostly. Until I started to run. As I took my first running step, the pain shot up my calf again. I stopped to stretch and massage it. I tried running again, and it still hurt. I tried to keep running, hoping it would work itself out. It didn't. It only felt worse. I tried more stretching and more massaging. Nothing helped.

After a couple more attempts, I reluctantly decided to give up. Ugh! I was so disappointed. I felt like crying but there were too many people on the trail. First, a killer headache (which kept me from doing my strength training on Friday) and then a bad calf!

I think only my running blogger friends can understand why I was broken-hearted.

I want to try it again tomorrow (Sunday) but my calf is still giving me trouble. It feels like somebody took the elasticity out of my calf muscle... as if it can only stretch so far before it wants to stop. The pain happens when I need it to stretch beyond its short range.

Any ideas what this could be? I thought it was just a knot before today... now I'm not sure. Any suggestions as to how to fix it?

Ending On Happy Notes
  • I officially got the job at my son's preschool! I start on December 1st and am super excited! :)
  • I made a yummy apple pie tonight
  • I think I've lost weight because my clothes feel a little looser (which means I have to be careful not to eat too much of that pie!)


Anonymous said...
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Our Love On The Run said...

Congrats on getting the job! And you didn't "give up," you did the right thing!! I would give it a few days rest and don't even stretch it out. Just let it be for now. You don't want it to turn into a more serious problem ie achillies. I know its hard to rest but sounds like that's the best medicine in this case!

Patrick said...


That trail looks awesome!!!!

I am so sorry and it's very dissapointing when you get all pumped up for a run and your body gives out.

You did the right thing by stopping though! Pushing it is never good. Take a couple of rest days and you'll be back to normal.

Congrats on the job!

Apple pie.... mmmm.. thanks for putting that in my head-- now thats all I want, crumb top? or standard?

Kelly said...

Congrats on the job! Do you have a foam roller? Try stretching it out with that and see how it goes. Then, maybe take a couple of days off. I hate injuries too, but if it makes you feel better I think I am going to be out of work out world for a few days cuz of the flu...yuck!

Jenn said...

Sounds like a painful weekend! Not sure what the calf pain could be but I would definitely rest it until you can run pain free. Congrats on the job and I would LOVE some apple pie right now!

Lisa said...

I had a calf injury recently. it sucked! Give it time to rest, and then get back to the trail when it's all better. The trail isn't going anywhere...

Mel-2nd Chances said...

I hate portapotties too!! UGH! Congrats on the job! Awesome pics of the trail, hope the calf feels better soon :)

MCM Mama said...

What a beautiful area for running! Sorry your calf had other plans

Congrats on the job! That's awesome!

Michelle said...

Sorry about the calf! Hope it is better soon... I do understand how disappointing it is...

I feel the same way about Port O Potties - I would rather hold it than smell the inside of one of those.

Congrats on the new job!

Meg Runs said...

So sorry Sara! Sounds like you had a stinky day but I like the positives at the end of your post, especially the apple pie! Where is that trail? I have never seen that area...yet!
I hope your calf is feeling better and that you were able to run a bit. I bet if you used "the stick" on that calf it would feel better. Do you have one of those? Stretching helps too! I can relate with your frustration but hang in there and I hope you're better today!!

Aka Alice said...

There are porta-potties and then there are those things at state parks that LOOK like porta-potties, but are never "porta'd" anywhere...EWWWW. I'd look for a bush too.

Bummer about the calf. You were smart to stop, but I completely get the heartbreak part. Stretch, ice, rest. Maybe try to do some light strength training (some squats and lunges). I find that the stronger my legs are, the fewer problems I've been having.

joyRuN said...

Calf problems take a while to resolve - they're aggravating!

Funny about portapots - I've learned to appreciate a well-maintained portapot ;)

Anonymous said...

So sorry about your calf. Wish I had an answer.

Beautiful pictures!!!!