Hobbling Around

I’m hobbling around like I just ran a marathon and yet Chicago is still five days away.

My calves are so insanely tight that I have to put in effort to walk properly. This is not at all how I envisioned the final week of my training to go. I’ve been so dedicated to doing things the right way: I’m hydrating, I’m stretching, I’m even foam rolling (which I hate to do). A week ago I was happily in the taper and ready to glide my way up to the starting line. Now I’m holding a mini-freak out in.

I spoke to my coach last night and she gave me a much needed pep-talk and lots of good advice. From now until race day I’m going to rest up and mentally prepare for the task ahead. There are no more runs left in this training cycle for me… wow. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Thank you to everyone who recommended wearing compression socks. I have no idea if it’s a placebo effect or not, but slipping them on did make me feel marginally better.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.13.23 PM

(An extra special thank you to my friend Susan who shared some wise words that helped me take a step back from the ledge I was ready to jump off of last night!)

The most frustrating thing about this whole calf situation is that it seemingly came out of no where and I can’t pinpoint a cause. That makes me feel helpless because I don’t know what to blame or exactly what to do to make it better. My coach said based on my description that it’s just general tightness/soreness and not an injury so it will be fine by Sunday.

Sometimes our bodies just do weird things in the taper. Ugh.

I’m going to try REALLY HARD to not stress about this and to also not stress about how the race day weather keeps getting warmer and warmer.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 9.08.58 PM

The current weather prediction calls for a high of 74* with abundant sunshine. I’m not really a big fan of this latest prediction to be honest. The 10K I ran over the weekend had very similar weather and by the end I felt quite hot.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.26.06 PM
I’m smiling but my calves were feeling pretty tight here.

I’d much rather have the weather that’s being predicted for Friday or even Saturday! Hopefully it shifts a bit towards the cooler end over the next few days.

Fingers crossed!

Until Sunday I am going to focus on all of the positive things going on in my life right now:

  • I have 2 days off of work for the race
  • I’m taking a mini-vacation to Chicago
  • It looks like we’re going to avoid rain on race day
  • I’ve already done my laundry for the week
  • The Miami Dolphins fired our awful head coach yesterday

So much to be thankful for 🙂 .

What is your ideal race day temp?
Warmest race you’ve ever run?

41 comments

  1. Miranda

    Fab race picture! Good luck at Chicago 😀

    1. Kristina

      Thank you, Miranda! 🙂

  2. Staci @ Hoosier Running Mom

    I love running with the temps close to 45 but not too much higher than that. I find for me it is the perfect race temp!! I am hoping your calves loosen up by Sunday and I am sure that the race won’t feel too hot. Chicago (for me anyway) always feels a little cooler than it says it is due to the wind off of Lake Michigan (which is always cold). Plus, it is much less humid up here.
    I have run races that were in the high 80’s and full sunshine…not a big fan. I just took it as a good time to mentally toughen up!
    Staci @ Hoosier Running Mom recently posted…When it sucks to start running again just make GOALS!My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Staci! I’m so glad that Chicago tends to feel a little cooler than the temps read. I’m all about gaining mental toughness points, but just running a marathon period (in the best weather conditions) would earn me enough. I don’t want to get greedy with them!

  3. Kris

    Hi! I agree that compression socks are amazing! I wear them most nights and they have definitely helped me through my training for Chicago. I am also running this weekend and I keep watching the temperatures slowly creep up to warmer and warmer temps… Hopefully it will feel cooler as people are saying it does!
    As hard as it is, rest up and keep the positive thoughts! I’m trying to do the same as I am slowly doubting myself through this taper time !

    1. Kristina

      Oh no, don’t doubt yourself! Now it’s time to focus on all the good things that will happen on race day (even if you don’t meet your goal). Of course that it so much easier said than done as I am currently going a little bit crazy myself :D!

      Fingers crossed that rain later this week will bring in cooler temps that will last through the weekend!

      1. Kris

        Yes! Only positive thoughts allowed!!! ? Hope you are feeling better!

  4. cheryl

    Don’t forget to stretch your hamstrings and roll those out as well. If you have tight hams it will make your calves work harder…
    My favorite temps are mid 40″s. I melt in the heat!
    cheryl recently posted…Yes, I am still here…My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Thanks for the tip Cheryl! Mid 40-s sounds so so cold to me, but I would rather have that than mid-70s on a marathon day. I think lower 70s is nice for half marathons but definitely too warm for a full!

  5. Susan

    You got this. One day at a time and focusing on what you can control. I am sending you all good thoughts.

  6. Heather

    When I strained my calf last year someone pointed me to the website Athletes Treating Athletes and I found it really useful. This page on calf massage might help you: http://www.athletestreatingathletes.com/self-muscle-massage/self-muscle-massage-pt-1-the-calf/

    While I haven’t run Chicago before, I live at a similar latitude/northness. The high for the day won’t be reached until 3:00ish, so most of your run should be in the 60s.

    You’ve got this!
    Heather recently posted…Half #7 – CC River Run 2015My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Oh, thanks so much for the tip about the high! That’s so interesting. Down here I think we hit our high pretty early in the day.

      Thanks for the link, I’m checking it out right now!

  7. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    Susan is so wise, I am glad her words helped you out. And it must be comforting to hear your coach’s opinion is that it’s just general tightness. I HATE when I can’t pinpoint what causes and ache or pain. I totally know what you are talking about. No need to flip out, Chicago is still several days away and your calves will have plenty of time to rest until then!
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…RunfessionsMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      Susan is so helpful! I love that the Internet has helped me make so many friends!

  8. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor

    I’m sure that resting will help your calf a lot. I got crazy bad calf tightness after my fall marathon last year (remember??), and I took a week off running. Once I came back, it was completely gone and I was fine. Rest is a great cure!

    I remember freaking out about the weather before Grandma’s. It is scary when you’ve put so much work into a goal. But it will still be cooler in the AM when you start running, temps usually don’t peak until early afternoon. Fingers crossed for you!
    Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor recently posted…Day 1 of Half Marathon Training!!My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Thanks Hanna! I’m still obsessively checking the weather forecast hoping a magical cold front will come through. The race sent out an email with a weather warning today. Based on their advanced forecasting capabilities they think race day will get pretty warm … bah humbug!

  9. Jennifer

    Catching up on your posts in reverse. Another positive to add to your list – Meeting up with Blog + Running Friends 🙂 I’ve had a little quad pinch the past couple of weeks – hoping it goes away come Sunday with some rest + extra foam rolling.
    Jennifer recently posted…Chicago Marathon Countdown – Packing ListMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      Oh no, fingers crossed that it goes away quickly for you! I can’t wait to meet up!
      Kristina recently posted…Hobbling AroundMy Profile

  10. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust

    I really think your body is just acting out during the taper. Whenever I taper for a marathon I ALWAYS feel weird aches and pains that weren’t there before. It’s as though my mind and body are playing tricks on me or something. Don’t stress – you will be ready to go on race day and it will all fall into place. Have you tried taking an ice bath? I know it sounds horrible (well, maybe not in Florida) but it might help. Definitely continue to wear the compression socks, especially during your flight!
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Happy One MonthMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      I’ve been using heat + ice therapy. The heat REALLY makes me feel a lot better. It loosens up my calves for a little while to the point that they feel almost normal. Hot showers and compression socks are my best friends right now!

  11. Denise

    I think my ideal race day temperature is around 40 degrees–anything above 50 and I’ll be hot by the end. I tend to avoid races in the heat of the summer because I’m a wimp when it comes to the humidity. I guess I probably wouldn’t make it down in Florida. 🙂
    Denise recently posted…A Case of the MondaysMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      Hahah it’s true! The coldest race I’ve ever run here had a starting temp in the mid 50s and was mid 60s by the end. All of us Florida wimps were shivering and complaining in the starting corrals that it was too cold! 🙂

  12. Lizzy

    I’m sorry to hear your calves are still feeling tight. Fortunately you do have some time and I think if you keep stretching, rolling, and resting you will feel better by race day.

    Weather in Chicago can be crazy unpredictable, so I think there’s still plenty of time for that forecast to change!

    The hottest race I’ve run was this year’s LA Marathon. The high for the day as in the low 90s and I think it was 86 or so when I crossed the finish line. It was similarly hot the year before… m i s e r a b l e. They moved the race a month earlier this year so hopefully that will help…
    Lizzy recently posted…Training Tuesday – LA Marathon week 2My Profile

    1. Kristina

      I totally thought about your LA race when I first started seeing the temps creep up for Chicago! That’s great that they moved the race a bit earlier for next year!

      I think 76 degrees will feel quite warm by the end, but I just keep reminding myself that that is still 6 degrees cooler than it was at the end of Portland last year!

  13. Annette @ Sweating Through Life

    Good luck on race day!!! I always wonder if compression socks “actually work” or if it is a total placebo effect…but either way, I love them. Sorry that you are struggling with tight calves. I’m hoping that the compression sleeves are really working for you!
    Annette @ Sweating Through Life recently posted…Life as a Colorful WarriorMy Profile

  14. Cocomama

    We really do have so much to be thankful for. Enjoy a lot of deep dish pizza and seeing da Bears playing on TV with the locals!
    Cocomama recently posted…26 Miles Across the Sea: Catalina Island Two Harbors CampingMy Profile

  15. Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian

    I hope your calves feel better with some rest! Sending you good thoughts for a successful race.
    Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian recently posted…Disney World Planning Tips – Part 2My Profile

  16. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures

    Yikes! Hang in there. I would be freaking too about your legs, but like your coach said, it’s not an injury so that is good news and it should be gone by race day. A week before my race I thought I was being all smart and decided I would stretch and foam roll every night, and every morning I would wake up sore even after a rest day. Super odd, until I figured out the foam rolling was actually causing my soreness! Doh! I’ve learned my lesson…
    Lisa @ TechChick Adventures recently posted…Everything is going to be OKMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      Oh no, that’s so crazy that the foam rolling was what was causing the soreness… but I’m not surprised. Sometimes it just plain hurts instead of “hurts so good!”

  17. Maddie @ Dixie Runs

    Hopefully this is just the taper madness, but I’m glad the compression socks seem to be working for you! Have you ever tried using The Stick? (thestick.com, but I got mine at my local running store). It is THE BEST for rolling out calves. You don’t have to use your body weight like a foam roller, so it’s a lot easier to use. I keep it next to my bed and do it every night before I go to sleep and first thing in the morning. It’s also really good to use on your shins… sometimes I don’t feel any tightness in my shins but when I use the stick I can feel it really loosening them up! Also, lots of downward dog. I hope you feel better soon and I can’t wait to see how it goes!!
    Maddie @ Dixie Runs recently posted…Cautious Optimism and Dixie Loves me AgainMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      I love The Stick! I don’t have the official one, I bought mine from Target. I love that you don’t have to use your body weight with it … mostly I love that you don’t need crazy upper body strength to use it. Foam rolling gives me such an arms/shoulder workout, haha!

  18. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    My ideal race temp is around 50 degrees. But I am usually used to running in the cold by the time by late fall marathon rolls around:) I hope your calves loosen up over the next few days!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Tips for Time Management During the Peak WeeksMy Profile

  19. Jenn @ Running on Lentils

    I’m sure your coach is right that it will be fine. Keep those positive thoughts coming!
    Jenn @ Running on Lentils recently posted…Goals Update: OctoberMy Profile

  20. Karen

    Wishing you all the best! Enjoy your trip, live in the compression socks!!
    Love your race picture, you look great 🙂
    Karen recently posted…RainMy Profile

  21. MichelleS

    The longest race I’ve ran is a 10K, so I’m so totally inspired by your marathon running!!
    I live in Minnesota, so the coldest race I’ve ran was 8 below zero and the hottest was this summer at 85 degrees! I wasn’t a fan of either one…I run the best at around 45-50 degrees. My 10K PR was 37 degrees with a slight breeze = AWESOME!!
    I hope your calves cooperate with you!! Good Luck in Chicago – HAVE FUN!!! 🙂 (I’ll be thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way!!)

    1. Kristina

      HOLY COW! 8 below zero! I can’t even comprehend that! You are tough, I don’t think I would have made it out of my front door!

      Thanks so much for the positive vibes! I’ll take as many of those as I can get! 🙂

  22. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    Holy crap…no more runs for this cycle!!! How is your marathon already here?! That’s making me nervous about mine!!

    Would you coach recommend a gentle massage to help your calves feel better? I think the nice, cool weather in Chicago will be so refreshing after training in Florida! You’re ready for this!!
    Ali @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…Dancing is Totally Cross-Training, Right?My Profile

  23. Nicole

    I normally just lurk, but you should check out Janae’s post on phantom pains if you haven’t already 🙂 http://www.hungryrunnergirl.com/2015/09/phantom-pains-the-side-of-the-road-is-out-to-get-us-and-what-weve-been-up-to.html

    I hope your calves feel better soon! I know you’ll rock Chicago girl 🙂

    1. Kristina

      Hi Nicole! Thanks so much for the link. I had read that post when Janae first put it up, but it’s such a good one to re-read! 😀

  24. Jennifer @ The Final Forty

    UGH, my calves are FOREVER tight and sore. But I am a huuuuuuuge fan of compression socks, so I hope that helps! Rest those legs for Chicago, I’m SOOOO excited for you! I’m sure you’ll be feeling strong and ready by then! You’re gonna kill it! 😀
    Jennifer @ The Final Forty recently posted…Race Recap: Ocean City Half MarathonMy Profile

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