I’ve definitely jacked up my calf. I am less than thrilled.
For the last month and half, my left calf has been bothering me. It’s been really tight and I didn’t pay much mind to it. I figured it would work itself out naturally. WRONG! On my ill-fated run in Indy (yes, I’m going to keep linking to this!) the last mile and half, my calf was screaming. This is the reason I turned around – when I would attempt to run, it felt like my calf muscle was trying to break free from my leg. It actually scared me a bit.
Unfortunately, because I was in a hurry when I got back, I didn’t stretch at all. I did a decent job of cooling down as I walked to Baskin and Robbins that evening and walking to the restaurant for dinner. However, the knot in my calf was displeased with me in the subsequent days.
Saturday, I headed out for a run and within the first few steps my calf was bothering me. I hadn’t even gone a mile before I had to stop and stretch. I proceeded to do this at each stoplight and it did help a bit. I also noticed engaging my quads really helped. Hmmm… perhaps I’ve been relying too much on my calves as my source of power while running?
My purely unscientific theory is running on the treadmill this whole winter has changed my stride a bit and I’m not using my bigger leg muscles much. So, I picked up my knees and did my best to put my quads to work. The good: I was running at a quicker pace. The better: it made my calf feel better. The not so good: WOW! It was exhausting! Haha, these muscles certainly are not as strong – I see some squats and wall sits in my future!
It could also be time to retire my Brooks. I’ve been wearing them since Oct? Early Nov? This includes all of the training for Dopey so they may be ready for greener pastures. I do have my Hokas but I’m still on the fence as to whether or not these are MY shoes. I keep going back for my Brooks when leaving for a run so I think this probably means something.
I foam rolled, stretched, iced, compressed and rested on Sunday. I had plans to run but I realized this was a dumb idea. I took Monday off as well and iced away. Tuesday was a mentally taxing day at work and I had extra coffee and work stress coursing through my veins. Part of me was screaming, “THE COUCH! THE COUCH WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER!” Then there was another part that was whispering, “what about a run?” Somehow, the whispering part of me won out and I hit the streets. I concentrated on lifting my knees and landing as close to midfoot as I could.
Ta-da! My calf felt much better during the run. I also wore some compression socks and stretched 3 or 4 times at stop lights. I wore newer shoes and spent some quality time working the knot out when I got home. Funny enough, I had the energy to run 5 miles or more but I didn’t want to push it too much. I think I ran somewhere between 4 and 4.5. I originally thought I would only be able to run 3 so this made me happy! A side note, picking my knees up is proving I’ve been shuffling about during my runs! Just need to keep adjusting my form… and taking care of this little whiny calf!