Hi. I'm Mei. It rhymes with "way" which explains the title of this blog. (I consider myself very clever)
Sometimes I feel like I am out of step with the whole idea of dating and voluntarily giving up free time and space to be with someone. Other times, I think it is really just that I haven’t met that someone that I would be willing to do that for.
I vastly underestimated how painful physio would be today.
Elizabeth, the Queen by Alison Weir.
(I somehow feel supremely satisfied knowing that he was kicked into a moat.)
Of course, on the downside of things, I was wearing a pair of running shorts which I do not normally wear on long runs (I’ve either always trained in winter, I am certainly not wearing shorts, or worn capris).
I didn’t realize these shorts were just short enough that my bare thighs would rub together, which causes chaffing when you run that kind of distance. And they did. Like to the point of some blood. On my way home, I terrified a little tourist girl.
Sorry, little tourist girl. Sorry thighs.
Calf compression sleeves: run #1
As I work up to the longer distances in half marathon training I find that my body starts to revolt. I tend to get injured. Non-runners may suggest that it’s a sign that I shouldn’t be running that far, and they may be right, but I’m not willing to cede that yet. Having chronic pain has, for me, created a mindset where just because it hurts doesn’t mean I have to stop.
It’s the mindset that sometimes gets me up in the morning but it’s also the mindset that had me running on an injured Achilles’ tendon until I could barely walk. So, you know, upsides, downsides.
Anyway, my injury pattern tends to focus on my lower left leg,. Since I have increased sensitivity to pain there as well as less flexibility with increased tension this isn’t shocking. Mostly I hurt my Achilles, though last week it was the outside of my shin.
There is a bit of conflicting evidence on compression and the benefits of running, and a few thoughts on how or why it might help. One is that compression increases blood flow, the other is that it decreases muscle vibration. The increase in blood flow may help with flushing out the by products of exercise thereby decreasing muscle fatigue and lactic acid build up. The decrease in muscle vibration can help decrease muscle pain and irritation, essentially cutting down on the effect of each foot strike has on your calf muscles.
For me, small changes often have big impacts. When I started to learn to foot strike more softly, it decreased my foot and muscle pain. When I switched to forefoot striking, it helped my back. So, I thought even if the science of compression helping decrease muscle fatigue was shaky, the idea of decreasing muscle vibration wasn’t so bad. Plus, compression helps with swelling, so there’s that.
I put on the compression sleeves and I immediately felt an improvement in my left calf, which always hurts. An excellent start. Throughout the run, though the sleeves were a little hot, I found that I was feeling less twinges and pains in my calf and I didn’t need to stop and stretch like I sometimes do, particularly at this distance (14k). Post run, I felt like even though I was fatigued, I wasn’t as sore as I usually am (which isn’t to say I wasn’t sore at all, but there was an improvement). Right now, about 5 hours post race, I feel more tired than sore. So, so far, major improvement. I’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow and Tuesday as well as after hill running on Wednesday to get an idea on whether or not it is working, but so far, I am optimistic.