I have meaty calves – always have and always will. It can be frustrating at times. For instance, numerous times I have tried on skinny jeans or cigarette pants (knowing they don’t fit my body type because I have substantial hips that go with those meaty calves) and find that the pant legs barely fit over my calves. If I’m lucky, I get the jeans over my calves only to find that they get stuck just below my hips. And stylish zip-up boots…I’m lucky if the zipper makes it half way up my soleus muscle. But, over time, I’ve made peace with my calves. In fact, I’ve grown to appreciate my calves. They allow me to run marathons and they get me through my hilly trail runs.
Last January I strained my left calf muscle and couldn’t run for 4 weeks. Last weekend I tweaked my right calf muscle. It wasn’t nearly as bad as in January, but I did spend last weekend limping around and realizing I had to start taking better care of my calves. Although my calf has been a bit tight throughout the week, it has been getting better and I have been able to run thanks to some extra tender loving calf care that includes ice, foam rolling and lots of stretching.
For today’s long run with Team in Training, I added some extra love: knee-high compression socks. I’ve worn compression socks after long runs and out and about during my calf strain period. I love the snug fit and the feel of extra support. This morning, one of my incredibly knowledgeable TNT coaches encouraged me to try them out on my long run to give my tweaked calves some extra support. I was a bit nervous: Would the snug fit feel too snug while running? Will the socks give me blisters? (I’m quite particular about my running socks.) Well, I had nothing to be so worried about. Not only did I run blister-free, but my calves felt GRRRRRREAT! Really, I had no tightness in my calves during the entire run. I couldn’t believe it. Maybe it was just lucky timing or maybe it was all in my head, but I’m convinced that the compression socks helped my calves. And from here on out, I’m going to be that girl out there doing long runs with a running skirt and haute pink compression socks, though I think I’ll need another pair, perhaps in azure? Oh, and purple. Gotta have the purple.
My heart-adorned calves are still racing to save lives. Find out how you can help wipe out cancer. Check out my website: http://pages.teamintraining.org/los/nikesf11/mbahnson