Back to earth with a crash : my Mogwai must have eaten after midnight

After recently writing that my chiropractor had signed me off as no longer needing her treatment for my back and SI, my positive mood was shattered last night when my physio confirmed what I had been dreading denying knew all along – my calf problem is more than just a niggle and I am to DO. NO. RUNNING. Seems my Mogwai has turned into a Gremlin anyway…

Someone must have eaten after midnight...

Someone must have eaten after midnight…

It’s only for three weeks at this stage, but “Boo!” all the same! There goes my plan of starting marathon training in two weeks, there goes the idea of running my age for my birthday the weekend after next, gone is my chance to run along Las Ramblas and the Barcelona beach this weekend while I’m holidaying with the parents!


Ok, that’s enough whining and being a Negative Nigel. Time to suck it up and live by the advice I give other people all the time:
It’s an injury. Runners get injured all the time. Runners recover from injuries all the time. I should have got this sorted ages ago instead of trying to run through it. Doing the ‘no running’ time now will reward me with more fruitful running in the future.


But in the meantime I feel like this…

Onwards : the diagnosis

My physio thinks my calf issue is an overuse injury, related to a weak gluteus medius on my right side and associated reduced range of motion in my hip. This is causing two things:

  • A hip which ‘collapses’ on the right side, preventing my gluteus Maximus and hamstring from developing full power, requiring more propulsion from my calf.
  • Supination on my right side, meaning insufficient pronation on foot strike and through my contact phase, loading most of my weight on the outside of my foot, overloading the outside of an already overloaded muscle.

Upwards : the treatment

Thankfully the issue with my calf is only muscular (not yet turned into a tendonopathy) so the three weeks off running is about achieving the swiftest recovery possible with aggressive treatment.

Which means pain. Lots of it. Trigger point therapy (find the knot in the muscle and PRESS until the spasm stops and the muscle relaxes), dry needling (acupuncture needles into the knots which are then manipulated to release) and deep tissue massage to stretch out the tissue after the knots have released. Then at home I need to do foam rolling on the area, along with golf ball massage and, if I can stand it, trigger point massage using my knuckles.

I also need to do a bio-mechanical assessment to ascertain in what manner the weak glute medius is affecting my gait, particularly my hip and back movement, to see where my form needs tweaking. However, this can only done when I can actually run at speed so likely to be in about a week.

Tell you what, I’m glad I went on my preemptive 30 day Hip flexor and Glute challenge. I do need to add in more exercises that focus on my glute medius, but I feel like I’ve got a bit of a head start on dealing with my glute weakness and imbalance.


Silver linings : finding the brighter side

Now, because I always try to find the silver lining to all situations, no running for three weeks means some good things. I can enjoy the ‘silly season’ without doing painful ‘hangover runs’ (think TinyRunner’s last post). It also means extra time in bed on Tues/Wed/Thurs mornings (we’ll see what my body thinks of pre-dawn runs come January) so for now I’m going to enjoy the lie-ins.
And, no long runs on Saturdays and associated recovery (stuffing my face and napping) period will instead give me time to do things like Christmas shopping and other stuff. Which is a very good thing because I think my girlfriend seriously worries that I’m going to go for a long run instead of buying her that handbag she wants. Let’s face it, what will all the running, the blogging and the Facebook page, her worry is not unfounded – it could have happened 😉

Happy running everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the run up to Christmas and are enjoying the ‘silly season’!


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About getgoing-getrunning

Hi, I’m Bernie and I’m a just guy who writes about the things which get me going and get me running, even though my running is never going to result in me standing on a podium!

Posted on December 5, 2013, in Blog, Injury Recovery and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Wow that’s a bummer. But if ever there’s a season you can use the extra time and relaxation it’s now!

  2. Wow that’s a bummer. But if ever there’s a season you can use the extra time and relaxation it’s now!

  3. Good job looking at the bright side…and since Barcelona is probably my favorite city in the world, I am glad that you will now have extra time to stroll Las Ramblas and take in all the tapas you can stand. Good luck with the aggressive plan…like John Mellencamp said, “make it hurt so good!” 🙂

    • Haha. Thanks. I will channel the ‘cougar’ when doing my painful golf ball massage.
      Another bright side I discovered this morning – Your case is much easier to pack if you don’t have running gear in it. It’s been a long time since I didn’t pack running gear into my carry-on and it turns out not having an extra pair of trainers, running gear, cap and watch leaves much more room. For bringing back iberico ham…

  4. All I can say is try to enjoy the rest – hard for runners to do. But from all I’ve read, after several week rest most people come back much stronger. Good luck Bernie!!!

  5. Sorry to hear this Bernie. Wishing you a speedy recovery and happy handbag shopping, may the queues be short 🙂

  6. Oh that’s a shame… injuries just suck! I love your attitude though – tackle the recovery and focus on the bright side. Can you cross train at all – it usually helps me hugely to do some other physical activity when I have to cut back my running for some reason. Happy foam rolling! 😉

    • Thanks for the comment. I’ve been instructed to stay off the calf entirely, so rules out bike and even elliptical. I can use the rower and go swimming, but being honest I’ve done nothing cardio due to sheer laziness! I have been doing strength and core work, and have been keeping up my weekly yoga sessions. And foam rolling. The dreaded foam rolling 😉

      • Foam rolling makes you tougher! You know, there are psychological studies that show that pain is more tolerable when we swear (out loud). I use that strategy a lot while foam rolling, perhaps it helps you too! 😉

      • Haha! I had learnt that one the hard way. Now however I have ‘proof’ for my girlfriend that my swearing while rolling are both good things. One makes the other more effective, leading to a faster recovery (or in reality, more running) 😉

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