Here's the deal: Been training for a race (5k) on the 13th, ran a test race a 3 weeks ago, and over-did it a bit. Long story short, got caught up in the race atmosphere and ran about a minute quicker than I had anticipated. That week, I also got new running sneakers: Saucony Pro-Grid Guide 5 with an 8mm offset, where-as my last sneakers were 12mm. The combination seemed to put added strain upon my calves, as they had been tight for about a week or so. Back off on some of my milage, as well as my hill work, and began swapping sneakers back and forth: one night with the new ones, the next night with my old ones. That seemed to help immensely, as even if my calves started out tight they would loosen up quickly, and there was no residual tightness, at least not the next day. Then on Saturday I bent down at work to pick something up, and my left calf popped as I stood back up. I took the weekend off to see how it would respond, as well as Monday, as I could still feel just a tinge of pain. Everything felt great today, so I figured a reasonably easy run on the treadmill rather than road-work would be a good way to test it out. I gradually increased both my incline and speed over the first 15 minutes, and things still felt fine, until about minute 16, when I could just start to feel some tightness. However, after about a minute, it loosened back up and so I continued. At minute 20 (about 2.8 miles), I increased my speed once again, and after only 30 seconds, my calf tightened up into a little steel ball to the point where I started to limp. At that point, I shut it down and began my cool-down and stretching. The pain is still there (just below the main ball of the calf muscle on the back of the leg), so my question is: am I screwed? Do I need to shut it down completely until its healed, or will some proper stretching/massage/ice/etc. get me to this Sunday? Complicating things is I had planned on being able to run a PR (pretty sure that's gonna be out the window), but I also have a buddy who is running the race, his first. If worse came to worst, I could always run it with him, or would that be even too much for my calf? I was looking to break the 20:00 barrier, while my buddy is looking at the 35+ minute mark.
Anything in the way of any help, suggestions, guidance, ANYTHING will be immensely appreciated. Thanks a bunch in advance.