Saturday, July 14, 2012

9 Miles, a sore calf and immediate relief

Coach had us jump up from long runs of 7 miles to one of 9 miles this week. I think he forgot how to count as SURELY there should have been an 8 mile long run in there first. Right?

Either way, I took myself and my sloppy weak (but getting stronger!) form off to a 9.14 mile run around town last night over hill and dale.

For my first time ever, I developed a very tight and painful left calve muscle. It just didn't feel fun. I ran through it gently and assumed it was tight from the hills. You can't run far in MY town without HILLS. My right knee and IT band got pretty darned angry at me as well, but that was expected.

When I got home, I stretched gently. Then I poured a very cold bath, sat down in it and soaked my legs with a towel wrapped around my head and upper body, while shivering the entire time. After, I applied ice packs. Even in bed I rested the sore calve on an ice pack.

This morning it still felt tight (though my angry knee was calming down). It worried me. What if I tore something? Is this from too few electrolytes? Crappy form? Hills? Bad shoes? All the above? Then I remembered a thread in a Facebook page from the Portland Running Chicks about Compression Socks and Sleeves.

Off I went to the Fit Right NW store here in Vancouver. As a note, my calve even bugged me while driving.

The nice sales person nodded in understanding when I explained my issues and agreed, a sleeve might help. He measured my calve at the widest width and then asked me, "White, green, pink or black?". I replied, "Black".

He pulled one out of the box and let me try it on. IMMEDIATELY my muscle seemed to stop spasmming. I can't even begin to explain how or why that happened. Support? Massage? I told the sales man, "Can I keep this on and just pay for it?". I wore it home. And guess discomfort in the drive. None when I got home. Also, it felt even better walking with the sleeve on. Was it cutting off the circulation, thus numbing the pain? LOL Doubtful. I took the sleeve off after several hours and wallah! No more discomfort. It is now 8 hours after I took it off. It is as if my calve never hurt.

Coincidental timing that once he put the sleeve on my leg would feel better? Science? I don't know. But I am very happy with my purchase and plan to use them for after all my long runs. I might even try wearing them ON a run to keep my calves supported during all that impact and fatigue.

Thank you FIT RIGHT!  I am going back to buy a pink pair for my Half Marathon run in October.

(btw: I can't wait to try their cool arm sleeves, and their shorts!)


Distance: 9.14 miles
Total time running: 1 hour 48 minutes and 15 seconds*
Running/Moving Pace: 11:51
Time out: 7:18 PM - 9:27 PM
Temps at start:  77.6*/ 60% humid - direct sunlight first 3.75 miles
Temps at end:  70*/ 78% humid - Twilight ending when I got home.
Climb Data:  194 foot gain - and the last three miles were all uphill.

*I stopped the Garmin at every single stop light and for potty breaks. There was otherwise NO WALKING on this run.


  1. I loved this post, just found your blog. I am certainly going to read more. If I may make a time you do an ice bath, wear also a jacket or sweatshirt and have something hot to drink. Get into the cold bath then put the unopened bag of ice I with you and sit for 15 to 20. I got this advice and it worked like a charm for me:). Happy running and I am very impressed with your progress you posted!

  2. I need this! Just got home from a run and for the first time ever I have really sore calves. I've been running a few times a week for about 6 months and have never had this problem. Hope this helps! Thanks for posting :)