If you listen to your body, you’ll find that it talks a lot.
Yesterday, my body was not talking. It was screaming four-letter curse words as a massage therapist pressed her fingers into fragile, exhausted and under-appreciated muscles.
Pay attention, my muscles threatened, If you want us to work hard for you, work hard for us.
For the past three weeks I’ve suffered from very atypical charlie horses. At first they would manifest in the mornings. The alarm would go off, I’d stretch and a small cramp would lodge itself in my calf (not an unusual phenomenon for runners). Then the small cramp got bigger and more painful. It seized my hamstring, shot up into my hip flexor, down into the arch of my foot and curled into my toes. Effectively, my entire leg would lock into a rigid string of cramps.
Then the cramps started occurring during the day. At the office. After a workout. Once while I was having dinner at a restaurant. They were intense but hardly something I would consider problematic. I didn’t even think to blog about it.
Then the side stitch from hell reared her ugly head. OK, body, you have my attention now.For 48-hours I couldn’t breathe without feeling like a knife was stuck between my ribs. It was sharp and unpleasant. But just as suddenly as it appeared, the side stitch vanished Friday afternoon. After work I went for a run and pulled out an amazing eight-mile tempo run on the trails at a 7:10 min/mile pace (huzzah!). There was even enough leftover to clock a 6:30 in the last mile (double huzzah!). I felt fantastic.
Despite two days of cramp-free existence, I went to the massage therapist. It only took 5 minutes on the table to realize just how bad things were. She touched by calf. Pain radiated down my leg. My hamstring twinged, my hip flexor started to quiver. My arch curled into a cramp and my toes locked up.
“I didn’t even know that was there.” I gasped as she rolled over a particularly painful region of calf muscle.
So, after an hour of intense massage I was ordered to take it easy today (no running!). I’ll keep my doctors appointment next week just to be safe. If all is well, I’ll be well-rested and ready to go for some very intense Portland Marathon Training. YAY! Maybe a week of rest is exactly what I needed to re-discover my motivation.