After the Cotton Row 10k, I noticed some pain in my right calf. It was completely new. Hmmmm. I didn't want to run the 5k, but I did anyway, and it didn't hurt any worse, but I noticed it during the entire 5k. By Monday morning, the pain was completely gone. I was probably just tired, I thought.
Yesterday, I went on a long-ish trail run. There was a time when 20+ miles was a long run. Now, anything over 12 is long for me. Ugh. Anyway, about 8 miles into the run, I noticed that same pain again. Hmmm. I didn't stop because it was bearable. It was nothing major. But it kept getting worse with every step, especially every uphill step. By 11 miles, I had to stop. I walked for a bit, then tried to run again. Ouch. Walked more and then ran again, but couldn't run without a limp.
The problem was that I was a long way from my car. I didn't know how far, but I knew it was FAR. Walking would take way too long. I had to run when I could. Uphill running was completely unbearable. So, I ran (okay, limp-jogged) the downs and flats and walked (okay, limped) the ups. It ended up being just over 3.5 miles back to the car.
I could barely walk the rest of the day. With that, I'm on the couch with ice and advil for a few days. It completely feels like a muscle pain and not ligament, tendon, or bone. But I'm taking at least 5 days off to let that heal up. Maybe during that 5 days I can get some cross training and stretching mixed back in.
I'm guessing that the fairly sudden increase in hills recently has caused this. I'll get back to hills soon, but gradually, like every other week instead of twice per week. One of my less measurable goals this year is to convert uphills from weakness to strength.