POP, Goes The…..

Calf Muscle.

I’m just going to jump right into this one (not literally though)…I’m injured. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the injured list and boy am I thankful for all those uninjured months. Sometimes it takes an injury to really appreciate what your body will allow you to do. I’ll back it up a bit and share what happened.

I was playing soccer a week ago (yeah, another soccer injury) and we were about 45 minutes into the game and I stepped with my left leg and felt and heard a POP in my left calf with instant pain. I hobbled off the field and everyone thought I got a charlie-horse. You know, those painful cramps in your calf muscle that EVERYONE dreads. And they are even worse when pregnant (talking from experience years back…not pregnant now). No, it wasn’t a charlie-horse. So, I sat on the bench the furthest away from my team’s bench because I couldn’t even walk. Eventually, I got some ice on it and was chauffeured off to the hospital by a team mate (and her family). So thankful for nice people out there.

I arrived at the hospital after 11 pm as it was a 10 pm soccer game and waited for hours. It wasn’t life threatening, so you gotta wait your turn, right. Eventually I saw the ER doctor who said I tore my left calf muscle. I can’t say I was a happy camper at that time but that was my new reality. The worst part – I couldn’t drive my car which is a standard for 4 weeks. And yeah, no running/soccer/yoga for 6-8 while it recovers with physio.

Note – this was Thursday night of Easter weekend…..so nothing is open. Certainly, not my physio guy. I took a cab home because I couldn’t drive my car and my husband was home with our girls….sleeping. No need to wake kids up at 4 am to go pick Mom up at the hospital. I crawled into bed, waking my husband and told him that we’d have to put off our planned weekend run together for a while.

Since I couldn’t drive, my husband has had to run around for me: picking up my car, crutches, groceries (which isn’t unusual) etc. Friday and Saturday were a bit of a right off and I became one with my crutches. Sunday rolled around and we had Easter dinner with my family in the city which was great.

It’s been a challenging few days as I can’t drive myself to work or for work meetings. Nor, can I get the girls from the sitters or to their soccer practices etc. I kinda feel helpless in the family department. And, 3 out of 4 of us are sick with a head cold in our house. We all just kinda feel like shit.

Enter good news: I got into physio Tuesday morning and my amazing neighbour drove me there and I cabbed it back. After a second physio session on Thursday (a friend drove me there AND back!), my physiotherapist determined I have a grade 2 sprain which is WAY better then a torn muscle. Agreed! I’m walking with the aid of crutches now and can ditch them by Monday! As for driving my car….it might be a while off.

I know all you runners are thinking…..it’s time to give up playing soccer as you get too injured playing it. I’ve actually had a few people tell me that to my face. (Which is really frustrating). Sure, I can get injured playing soccer, running or heck – cycling on the road or walking down the trail – but I’m not about to give them up because I get injured everyone once in a while.

So no….I don’t regret playing the sport I love the most. I am disappointed that this injury has other plans for me right now. And, that it won’t allow me to be a pace bunny at Bluenose this year (I was the 1:20 -10k bunny). This injury has definitely given me a greater appreciation for when I’m healthy and strong to not be lazy and waste my time doing nothing.

Life’s too short to not enjoy playing soccer, running in a race, hiking a trail or trying to break my fear of riding next to cars on the main road in town.

Has anyone ever told you to stop playing the sport you love the most?

Anyone else on the injured list right now?

What’s your favourite non-weight bearing workout to do at home?

Hamstring Update and Crow Pose Again

Alright, THIS is the post I’ve been waiting months…no, waiting 8 months to write! I’m officially all done with physiotherapy on my hamstring!!!!

No more Acadia Sports Therapy Clinic for me!

No more Acadia Sports Therapy Clinic for me!

On Tuesday, I met with Chris one last time. After some tests, heat/currents and CUPPING {just for good old times}, he said I was done! 🙂 Happy, happy, happy, I was! This was the longest I’ve ever been on the injured list even with all the years of playing competitive soccer and other sports. 6 months in pain and 8 months trying to get better.

Now it’s all about maintenance of strong muscles, training for half marathons and cross training. I’m planning on doing daily PT exercises but alternating every other day between the three {bridge, hamstring curls with a band and bird/dog}. Yesterday, I decided to go to yoga at lunch since my work schedule wasn’t too busy.  The class was “Hatha Renewal” which really didn’t mean much to me so I had to look up the description:

“Hatha yoga incorporates pranayama (breath), asana (body) and dhyana (mind). Cultivate balance mid-week in this gentle, meditation-in-motion hatha practice. Expand awareness with fluidity and grace by exploring the breath and the mind to experience the body. While suitable for beginners, this is an hour to enjoy for all levels of experience”. My Yoga Space Website.

I forgot to bring other footwear so I was force to do the walk of shame – during lunch time & farmer’s market day – across the street from my office. *head down*


The instructor was a lady named Joy who was actually my prenatal class nurse from when I was pregnant with Lilly (5.5 years ago); she has since retired from nursing. It’s been fun to see her at some glasses but really nice to actually take a class from her. I wasn’t too sure what I was going to get out of the class {really, I never am} but I just needed to stretch and feel good. And that was delivered!

I really enjoyed the class and even attempted crow pose again for the first time in months! She gave me one little tip {look forward} and that changed the pose for me and I held it. I also fell onto my elbow and have mat burn but it was so worth it! Looks like I’ll be getting back to practicing the crow pose more often!

And……..I ran last night too! My legs were heavy at the beginning of last night’s 8k run. I have been pushing the speed on the treadmill lately and my body is loving it! However, even though I am running in our cool basement it’s still warm running. My little green fan was a life saver last night!

Aug 12 run

My happy hamstring is done with cupping! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yogis – do you go to the same class or change it up?

Ever go to a class you’ve never been to before?

How often do you do double workout days?

Injury Running Recovery: Cupping – The Good, Bad and Ugly

Good lord who ever invented cupping as a treatment for injuries is a crazy and amazing all at once! Yesterday, I had a physio appointment for my hamstring…it’s been three weeks since I’ve seen Chris – my physiotherapist. Our hang out sessions are getting further and further apart 🙂

At the start of my appointment, Chris asked how I was doing and I said really good. I explained my running over the last three weeks and he was really happy to hear where I am with my pain level.

The Bad: Each visit Chris test my hamstrings and glutes, really yesterday was no different. On the third attempt to test my hamstring I got a MAJOR cramp in my hamstring and I thought I was going to cry. I immediately grab my hamstring and starting laughing/crying…not pretty. He massaged it out a bit but I was in a lot of pain.

After a little heat and electrical currents (not sure what that’s called), my cramped hamstring was a little happier but still pissed off and sore. We did a few more easy treatments of massing the hamstring and then came the UGLY.

The Ugly: We went back to cupping and I was super scared this time as I knew what to expect PLUS, I had a cramped up hamstring. He took it easy on me at first and then ramped it up. My IT Band and hamstring area is extremely sore as well just because of every day running that I’m now doing. He wasn’t too concerned.

I may have sworn a few times and said a few other words one does when in pain from cupping. Oh, when he does cupping, he puts the “cup” on and then massages my whole hamstring from one end to the other. Yeah, painful! By the end of it my arms and legs were starting to sweat as I was in that much pain!

The Good: I was told to hydrate really well for the rest of the day to help with the cramped muscle and he gave me a specific stretch to do.

I’m still good to keep training for my half marathons this fall and able to do more intense cross training like T25, Jillian Michael’s etc. He is happy with my progress and I have to do my PT exercises 3 times a week – no problem boss!

I managed a 7k run on THE BEAST a.k.a. treadmill, last night. It started off a little rough but I managed to shake off the soreness in my leg. It went by pretty fast and I was covered in sweat so I sat on our deck for a bit to cool off. #summerlove 

7k treadmill run

7k treadmill run

So the good is that I’m getting stronger and the pain is very minimal. I have to work a little more on my glutes but I’m getting there. My flexibility is better on my “injured” leg then my non-injured leg – go figure! I go back in a month’s time.

Today I’m hoping to run 5k at lunch as Lilly has soccer tonight and I’m taking tomorrow off as it’s a rest day. Really, I’m getting a little older tomorrow and happy to take a rest day and maybe drink some wine and other bad food too 🙂

Have you ever had cupping done? Did you cry, swear, yell – or do all three?

How often do you get cramps or charlie-horses in your legs?

My last “injury running recovery” post.

Injury Running Recovery: Minimal Pain & Moving Forward

It’s been two weeks since I saw my Physiotherapist and I’ve managed to have very minimal pain! That’s a BIG win in this long road to recovery. I’ve been running almost every other day, fitting in my PT exercises and planking {1:55 today}.

My PT exercises haven’t changed from day one. I have four of them that I do and they take me a half an hour to complete!!!!! Crazy, eh! Though they haven’t changed, they have been modified over the last 5 weeks. My first physiotherapist gave me way to many exercises to do rather than just focus on a few – she also focused only on my hamstring.

Chris is more focused on this injury and giving me exercises that will help me get stronger and are more focused towards strengthening my running muscles; if that makes any sense. What I mean by that: each exercise he has me doing, is directly related to running or the motions of running. He’s also assessed my whole body and identified that my glutes and lower abs were weak, so we have been working on those too.

don't be pushed rwe

Current Pain level: is anywhere between 1 – 4 out of 10 and usually sets in about 24 hours after a run but not every run. One run out of four/five it tends to hurt. I usually ice it and the pain goes away. Apparently this is normal and good.

I had a physio appointment this morning and I was really looking forward to it. My hamstring is getting stronger *yeah* but my glutes are still not there.

New adaptations to exercises: I only have to change one exercise to put the stress on my glutes a little more. Single leg bridging! So I will do:

  • Bridging (10 normal, 5 single leg and 10 normal) 25 in total
  • Bird/Dog x 10 / each leg/arm
  • Hamstring swing/curl with a band (not sure what it’s called). It’s all about controlling the eccentric movement (controlling the movement) x 20 – three times (hope I said that all right)
  • Lunges x 20 each leg – twice (This has been adapted from a lunge lean forward to a stepping lunge).

As I’m getting my treatment done by Chris this morning he says to me “we’ve done cupping before, right?” and I respond with “no”. He suggests we try it as I am game for anything! Just before putting the cup on he says “it could hurt but we can stop when/if you want to”. I say…”okay, go for it”.

He puts the cup on and rubs it from one end of my hamstring to the other and back again a few times. Well…it hurt but I figured I could handle it. He does it a second time and I start to say a few words – none of them were swear words {Mom you’d be proud}.

I couldn’t stop “laughing” as he was doing the treatment. It was that “laugh” that you are hurting so much but don’t want to cry in a roomful of physio patients kind of laugh. Each time, it hurt even more. Honestly, after that I can’t remember if he did it once or twice more but it HURT SO MUCH! Not once did he say “wanna stop”….BUT he did encourage me and told me I was doing great!

And you know what? That’s what you want in a GOOD physiotherapist or coach. Someone who is knowledgeable, sensible but can push your limits because they know you can handle it and you will be better off for it.

Afterwards, it felt SO GREAT!

Current Plan: So what now, you ask? I asked the same question too, to Chris. I can increase my volume (distance) but not my speed. I’m super happy about that because I’m keen to run longer but my body isn’t ready to run faster yet.

I asked if I can start Half Marathon training next week and he said “yes”!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’m just a little excited and extremely happy! Next week will officially be 12 weeks before my 3rd half marathon and 17 weeks before my 4th half marathon!

Though I’m not 100% yet, I am FINALLY on my way! I can’t wait to run tonight, I feel like a kid standing outside a candy shop just waiting for the doors to open. I have to get through my work day and night with the girls so I can jump on my treadmill tonight and get running!

If you’ve missed other recent posts about my recovery, check them out: Injury Running Recovery – Low and Slow Running Recovery – So Far So Good

Have you ever had cupping done before?

Ever cried at a physiotherapy appointment?

Anyone starting to train for a race? (5k, 10k, ½ or Full?)