Aug 20, 2014

Continued incremental improvement with my calf – I just have to be patient. Injuries like this can be quite depressing if you don’t know what’s going on. Here’s my understanding of the topic.

Muscle tears, particularly to the calves, respond by creating new fibres to replace those that are torn. It would be nice if these were perfectly and neatly laid down. But the physiological process is not perfect. New fibres are somewhat randomly laid down, many in the correct orientation, but lots aren’t.

The collection of these new muscle fibres – some attached the right places, some not – is essentially scar tissue. The problem is, the new fibres that are attached in the wrong places inhibit motion. When you use these, they are likely to break apart quite easily. Ultimately they need to be absorbed back into the body in some way, usually by being physically broken down through activity.

This means that exercise can cause pain, as the “bad” fibres are snapped. It’s very easy to confuse this pain with the pain of the initial injury, thinking the injury is not healing. The difference is subtle and requires experience in order to differentiate between the two. If unsure, consult a physiotherapist.

Anyhow, as mentioned, that’s how I understand the issue. In my case, I’m noticing quite a bit of exactly this. Massaging away the bad fibres and stretching helps a lot, but I’m still feeling effect of these fibres tugging and snapping during any use of the region – running walking, stretching, massaging.

But I am noticing improvements on a daily basis, albeit small. However, often what happens is that one day you wake up and it feels much better. Then, a little later, as you start to up the intensity of your exercise, another tier of bad fibres in engaged, resulting in more of the same pain. This can appear to be a relapse, but just needs to be worked through – carefully, of course. The whole rehabilitation process can take quite a long time.


On This Day


Aug 20, 2012

There was no post on this day – the day I arrived back in the US. I began running again the next day.

Aug 20, 2013

Distance today = 54.22 km; Total distance = 25,099.31 km; Location = Brisbane Ranges – 37 45.714’ S, 144 16.036′ E; Start time = 0828, Finish time = 1701


The weather improved a bit today, although it was very cold at times. Despite the rain threatening for much of the day, I essentially remained dry.

Jeff ran the first 16 km with me, through forests on dirt roads. We hardly saw a car. The hills and dirt, however, ensured it was slow going.

The rest of the day was quite hilly, through lovely countryside on very quiet roads. I was greeted at one stage by three goats, five sheep, a black calf, and an alpaca, all of which coexisted in a small field. They ran up to the fence to meet me as I ran by them. It was cute to see how they were all good friends.

Carmel has now arrived back, and Michael has headed back to Melbourne. He has done an amazing job, and I couldn’t have continued without him.

Finally, I was quite disturbed by the news of the murdered Australian in the US, shot by bored youths as he jogged along the highway. This could so easily have been me, given the amount of time I spent running on US roads last year. I guess I was lucky, “dodging a bullet”, so to speak. I feel much safer running in Australia, where we have very strong gun control laws.