run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh, my achin calves...

This is just getting annoying. Just about every time I run lately, both of my calf muscles begin to ache and throb. The pain progresses to the point that they feel so freakin tight that they just might snap. And while I'm all about some tight and toned calf muscles, they feel abnormally solid to the touch. My usual reaction is to stop and try to stretch them out on a curb or something, but they are so tight that doing so causes extreme discomfort and agony for a few moments. I wish I were exaggerating. I can only stretch them after allowing them to loosen up by walking it out. That's all good, but when I start running again, the tortuous cycle repeats itself. The good news is that this problem only lasts for the first 2-3 miles. After that, I guess they are warmed and loosened up enough.

During my 3 mile easy run last night, I acquired another pain on my right, inner calf. This strained spot (I guess it's a strain...) is on top of the overall calf pain. So now I have an injury on top of excruciating pain. Spectacular. I'm guessing that this was caused by trying to stretch it out during the run when it was so tight. When I got home, I did some good thorough stretching and iced it. This was in addition to icing my eye where Greg elbowed me. No, no...it wasn't intentional!! It was actually sorta, kinda my fault since it was a startled reaction to my tickling. Fortunately, I do not have a black eye today.

So anyway, back to the problem at hand...This morning, I decided to do my lower body pilates DVD before my run for some pre-run stretching and warming-up and it did seem to make a bit of a difference. My calves still both hurt all over and I still felt the strained area flaring up, but it subsided more quickly than usual.

What do you guys think? Have you ever experienced this? And is icing the right thing to do? Right now, it isn't stopping me from my running, but I'm afraid it will lead to a more serious injury that will. Please help!

8 comments:

Joe said...

Sometimes my calves get pretty tight, but on days that I can tell they're going to (I can feel them when I'm doing some pre-run light stretching), I try to walk a bit first (it extends the workout a bit if you try to walk for 15 or 20 minutes before you start to run), then stretch them really well, then run. That usually helps.

The bouts of tight calves I've had seems to come and go, but for me it never turns into something more serious. Regular stretching (i.e. every day, even non-running days) seems to make a difference when I get into one of these spans of tightness.

Rhonda said...

I have had this problem from time to time and have found that if I massage my calves and feet after every run it really, really helps. I do it consistently now and it is part of my workout routine that I never let myself skip or I regret it...even better, ask your man to do it for you! But seriously, try it, it's the only way I can continue to run, I swear.

Dana said...

Well the only calf pain I've had has been in relation to my light stress fracture(the calf was knotting up due to break in the shin).

Of course I still ran on it(like a dummy-but-a- training-for-my-1st-10k dummy). Icing didn't help me but a little massage ball roller did. It allowed me to really dig in & loosen the muscle. Even though my leg is healed I still use for about 30 secs before my run & maybe for a minute after depending how hard I hammered it.

Hate to say this but you might,just might want run this by a sports doc. Just preventative,so things don't get worse.

Joe said...

i just got back from my run, and, somewhat predictably, my legs were tight today. i place the blame squarely on your shoulders, april!

[insert image of joe shaking his fist at april here]

Kel said...

I haven't had this problem, but I would think that walking to warm up the calves and stretching really good should help.
~K

Amy said...

Well, luckily others have answered your question, because you know I never do any stretching.

Kareer Woman said...

Stretching isn't my thing, I'm glad everyone else answered your question, good luck to you though :)

angie said...

Do you have a foam roller? That may help roll out any tightness that is in the muscles.