Not sure what has been up with my calf muscles since I've come back from the Cairngorms but they have not been happy bunnies.
A short get back into it run last Thursday was enjoyable, I expected possibly a little bit of soreness but my calves were very stiff on the Friday. I ended up doing some lunchtime hill reps on the bike on Friday due to car faff and working from home meant I had access to some hills.
The reps were about 1.4 miles long but not massively steep, more of a gradual climb interspersed with steeper bits. It wasn't ideal but I didn't have time to really get anywhere properly steep so decided to make sure I worked hard all the way up and resist the temptation to take it easy on the easier bits and push on over the top of the steepish sections.
I have to say, at least mentally, proper steep is easier, its just "get to the top". Making myself push where I wanted to back off was hard. They took about seven minutes each and I got slightly quicker each one but there is lots of room for improvement. I only had time to get three in before heading back home. Since I found them so difficult I should probably do them again.
A lot of stretching afterwards and I thought my calves would be fine, nope. Saturday I woke up and could barely put my heels on the floor. My calves and achilles were just solid, from my heels to just below the back of my knees. I wasn't 100% sure if it was the running or the hill reps but the pattern of tightness was slightly different on each leg which made me suspect running, my foot strike is slightly different on each leg. Maybe something to do with doing lots of walking as opposed to running?
An easy day of fubbing about on the shopping bike due to no car and an easy afternoon ride on the MTB did nothing to help but at least my calves didn't hurt when pedalling. It was too sore to stretch or bear the foam roller. They didn't hurt like that after the marathon so I rested on the Sunday completely.
They felt much better on the Monday, I could walk properly so decided to celebrate by going out for a run. I got less than quarter of a mile before my calves felt solid again, a bit of stretching and I decided to carry on taking it easy for a couple of miles to loosen them up.
They did loosen up a bit eventually but I was having to stretch them a lot at road crossings, or at the top of inclines, I should have taken the hint and cut it short but I carried on and did over 7 miles. I was hobbling for the rest of the night and the next morning so it was a bit of a stupid thing to do.
An easy spin out on the road bike on the flat on Tuesday, a fantastic dry trails and spring temperature night ride on Wednesday (so glad I made myself go) and a fantastic session at the Velodrome last night and I think, touch wood, things are heading back towards normal.