May 30, 2016

Pretty soon this calf injury will be just a memory and I won’t be talking about it. Before it does become history, though, I’d like to make the point that this is a very different calf injury to those I had around Christmas and the New Year. Those were minor strains in peripheral muscles low in the calf region, at the bottom of the much larger gastrocnemius. They were caused by running too far at a pace that was probably a little too quick at times. Such an injury is hard to ‘cure’ by doing more of what caused it in the first place.

This latest calf tear, however, was caused by an extreme attempt at acceleration, coupled with a change in direction. I’ve found that it has been possible for the injury to heal while running regularly and, at the same time, gradually increasing the distance and pace. This is because I’m not actually using that muscle very much when I run slowly. It’s obviously a muscle that’s primarily used for sudden acceleration. It was, by the way, the worst calf tear I’ve ever suffered, with lots of swelling and colour changes in my calf as the remnants of the internal bleeding ‘came to the surface’. But now it’s close to healed. I ran 17 km this morning with barely a whimper from the injury.

Here’s a photo with a difference. This is the dog bite I suffered in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Funnily enough, the puncture marks are very close to where my current calf tear is located – just more at the back of the leg, rather than at the side where this bite is.


Dog Bite


On This Day


May 30, 2012

Distance today = 53.28 km; Total distance = 7013.27 km; Location = Pierre, South Dakota – 44 22.231′ N, 100 21.579′ W; Start time = 0908, Finish time = 1648


Some days you expect to be tough, and when they aren’t, it’s a real bonus. Today was a case in point.

The weather forecast was for a cold and rainy day, and it was. Added to that, there were no towns at all along the way – just grassy, treeless prairies. But I felt good despite the weather and terrain, and ran strongly all day.

Because of the lack of “purchasing opportunities”, Carmel brought me out a Big Mac for lunch on the road. Basic but effective.

I reached a couple of milestones today. I passed the 7,000 km mark and I crossed the Missouri River as I ran into Pierre. Pierre is the capital of South Dakota. With a population of just over 13,000, it is the second least populous state capital in the US. From what I can see, however, it looks to be a very nice place, nestled snugly up against the Missouri River, which is about 600 metres wide at this point.

When I reached our motel, I was met by Nick from the Capital Journal, who conducted an interview. I also learned that the Days Inn Motel has provided us with a great rate, and an upgrade to a room with a jacuzzi – I can’t wait to sample it. Thanks Days Inn Pierre.