Toeing the Line

So far, my weekend has been some of this:


Strength Training



Living the High Life











Making a Training Plan

Making a Training Plan

And a whole lot of this:


Photo bomb courtesy of Wilbur

I’ve been icing both legs as much as possible this weekend. Basically, if I’ve been sitting I’ve also been icing.

I still can’t put my finger on what the problem with my calves is, but I think I have it narrowed down to something between my toes and Achilles tendon that is aggravating the calf muscles. It’s hard to describe how it feels…almost like a constant Charlie Horse or knots in both muscles. It starts in my Achilles and works its way up the calf muscle.

As long as I run in the morning, I have no pain while running and the extreme tightness doesn’t set into until later in the day.  I’m trying to stay consistent with my icing and stretching after a run, but I only have so much time in the morning to run, shower, dress, eat and get to work. This is some progress, at least, but I’d still like to get to the root cause.

Some of the things I’ve considered:

My running shoes: unlikely as I’ve been running in this make/model (Brooks Adrenaline) for almost a year now, and really don’t experience the pain while I am running, and never had this problem during marathon training last year.

Not enough potassium in my diet: this could definitely be a factor. I’m really making an effort to eat potassium rich foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, orange juice, etc, and I’m also taking a magnesium supplement to ensure I’m getting enough of that.  This does seem to be helping.

My every day shoes. I think this is playing a huge part in my struggles. I am very mindful to wear the best running shoes I can find, but my everyday/work shoes? Not so much.  I wear flats to work nearly every day, since I really try to avoid wearing heels, but they don’t provide a lot of support to my feet and high arches. I need to start looking for shoes that provide support and cushioning that I can wear to work. And, because I am cheap and hate to throw away good (and cute) shoes, I’m going to shop around for some inserts for my existing shoes.  I tried a pair  of Clark’s, even though they were kind of fugly, but the fit was never right. They either strangled my toes, or flopped off the back of my heel. I gave up after one pair, but I really do need to keep searching.

I’ve never really had to deal with an injury before (if you can even call this an injury), and so I feel like I’m toeing that very fine line of not being a wimp maintaining my fitness before marathon training starts (in two weeks), and pushing too hard. I’m going to take these next two weeks to take it easy(er)


3 thoughts on “Toeing the Line

  1. Firstly, cool that you started up the blog, I like your posts so far.

    Secondly, the constant knots in the calves. I’m no doctor or nutritionist, just a runner who experiments on his own body, but I used to get calf and shin cramps all the time, most notably at night waking me up in pain. I normally eat a diet with a good amount of potassium and also take a magnesium supplement, so I thought I was fine there. Through trial and error I found that my diet was too low in sodium. I cook most of my own food and don’t use much salt. So I started adding table salt to my dishes and noticed the cramps reduce. To make them go away entirely was too much salt, I didn’t like how the food tasted, then I discovered Salt Stick, which is an electrolyte capsule with sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium. Incorporating Salt Stick into my workouts has made the cramps and knots mostly disappear. Your mileage may vary, but something to consider.

    • Hi! Thank you so much for reading – this is my first comment, so I’m extra excited! 🙂

      I had never considered low sodium as the culprit…I also cook most of my food at home, so that could very well be it. I will definitely look into that, and give the Salt Stick a shot! Thank you!!

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