It’s a little funny; just yesterday I was looking at my tally for miles run in January 2007 and thinking that 35 miles was for me a pretty puny total, and that February needed to up the total a bit. Well, steps have now been taken to make sure the February total is quite different than January’s.
I was at my spinning class tonight, we were almost at the end, and Theresa (our instructor) told everyone to try and pick up the pace a little more for the next 15 seconds. And I was pedaling and thought to myself that I could surely push it a little harder, really knock it out. It was right about then that I felt it. The return of the knot in my left calf muscle that originally plagued me back at the end of May 2006.
It’s my own fault, really. I’d gotten a little slack about stretching my achilles tendons every day (which is what appears to have caused the problem in the first place) and had gotten to the point where I was only stretching them on days that I actually exercised. Not so smart, it seems. The end result is a nasty knot in the center of my back calf muscle, one that’s so incredibly tight that when it happens, everything is over. Period.
So I stopped pedaling instantly, and Theresa came over to see if I was ok. “Cramp?” she asked and I nodded. After a minute or two, I managed to get down off the bike, and hobble over to the big wooden platform that her bike sits on and sit down on it. Except now I was feeling dizzy (a new one). I tried putting my head down in my hands, but that wasn’t helping. And suddenly I had a major fear. I was suddenly feeling like I might throw up. Oh no.
The nearest trash can was about 50 feet away, and that’s when I did something very stupid and was clearly the dizziness talking—I tried to walk over to it. I was almost all the way over there when apparently I suddenly wove to one side and fell over, clocking my head on the corner of the wall as I did so.
Dammit, dammit, dammit.
A second later four or five people were clustered around me, putting a towel under my head, arguing if my arms should be over my head or not, trying to get me to eat something, and so on. And if there’s one thing I really hate when I’m feeling vulnerable, it’s seeing other people see me that way. (There’s something about that look of pity that just gets me.) An employee of the rec center came over with some gauze and ice, which is what it took for me to register that I was actually bleeding from where my head hit the wall. And of course, my calf still hurt like the dickens.
Finally all the commotion settled down, and I was feeling better enough that I could go home. Fortunately I don’t have a stick shift, and Roger followed me home to make sure I made it in one piece, as well as helping me getting my stuff out of the car. Meanwhile, all I could think is that now I’ll be “the guy who fell over” in that class for the rest of eternity. On the plus side, it might have scared off some of the new people and since the class actually filled up today that could only be a good thing, right?
Meanwhile, the plan is (in addition to getting back into daily stretching—a painful lesson to learn) to take several weeks off of running. At this point I’m not planning on doing so until after I get back from an upcoming trip (February 15-20), and even then it might be longer, we’ll see. This also means that I will probably have to scrub one or both of my spring races that I had planned, we’ll see. (As I told Roger, if I tell people now that it’s a possibility then there’s a greater chance that I will do the smart thing down the road. Mentioning something in public helps lock me into a plan of action.)
There must have been an easier way to get my Tuesday and Thursday nights (plus Saturday mornings) free for the next couple of weeks, though.