Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tri-GEEK

Trying to manage this tight pesky calf while simultaneously running jogging ~40 miles/week has been like a full time job challenging so I'm pulling out every trick in the book and applying it. Massage, Acupuncture, Bio Freeze, Po Sum On, Trigger Point, stretching, strengthening, ice, heat... pretty much everything (except rest). Last time coach and I were talking he asked if I had compression socks. Yes, I do. And I wear them around the house and to bed sometimes. And I did wear them for the marathon and I did make it through 21 miles before my calf tightened up then so maybe they helped? But I still don't want to wear them out in public. Like, never, out in public. He suggested I try training in them to see if they might help.

Ok, but see I train in public. So this wouldn't that be like, well, breaking some rule about the level of dorkiness one is willing to go to?

I was going to wear them for my long run on Saturday. I really was. But then my friend Sarah called and asked if she could come run with me. Sarah is a runner. And in classic runner style she arrived at my house wearing a sports bra, shorts, socks, and shoes. That's it. Then there's me- the dorky triathlete. I've got my gels and my water bottle and my visor and my heart rate monitor, and well, I just couldn't pull out the compression gear on top of it all. So I didn't. And I made it through the run just fine without any calf issues.

But as an aside... I honestly don't know how Sarah did it without a single gram of carbohydrate or a sip of water? That is the runner vs the triathlete thing for sure. Why is it that a triathlete can't run long without consuming gels but runners have no problem with it? I've always found this quite baffling. It's like we truly are a different species of athlete. Moving on...

I gave in and wore my compression sleeves on my run this morning. And, um, I so hate to say this, but WOW. I didn't just manage to get through the run. I didn't have any tightness at all- not even the manageable kind. OH NO. You know what this means, right? While I have gotten through 15 years of being a triathlete without training/racing in compression gear, all that is about to change. I'm having visions of becoming a full fledged complete TriGEEK who might just never take these sleeves off my calves. Dorky? Whatever. Mama can run without tightness! I give in.

You know what calf sleeves don't help with? Bee stings. Picture the scene... I'm finishing up my run this morning with a set of strides. Talking myself through them... stay relaxed and quick... light and easy and fast... and then WHAM. I run straight into a bee. Or maybe it flew into me. My first thought as I felt that stinger pierce my forehead? Sweet! I was running fast enough that a collision with a bee caused a sting! (Yes. I am a full fledged Tri-GEEK. We settled that mater already, didn't we?) I had about 10 seconds left on that effort so I kept running... when I was done I felt my forehead and squeezed the stingy spot pretty hard and ended up with the stinger in my hand. Nice. I finished off the set of strides before jogging home and man, it stung something fierce. Look! I even got a picture for your viewing pleasure.

Nothing says Tri-GEEK quite like a girl who takes pictures of the bee sting she got on her forehead while she was out running in her compression sleeves. Ha!

10 comments:

Jennifer said...

ha! Yes, I usually feel like the dorky tri geek in the pool with my bike water bottle, GPS watch and bike chain grease marks on my calf (the latter only once... I had to laugh).

I was actually wondering about compression for hamstring. I found some compression shorts... worth a try, you think? (alas, hammy's still not entirely happy yet...)

mmmonyka said...

I am jealous of bee sting. Not of sting itself but of the fact that you can get stung because it means warm nice weather. I want to move to Hawaii when I grow up.

I use compression socks when I have tight calves, but I am not sure whether it trully helps, I suppose.
I love the runner vs triathlete mystery. I think that it is all about what our bodies are used to. Triathletes spoil their bodies by feeding them gels and water, and then triathlete bodies require that everytime. I did 20milers without any water or carbs and ran a marathon on a piece of wholewheat bread for breakfast ( no drink because water was disgusting) and 1 gel and 1 banana and water during. (I did not it very fast, maybe if I had run faster I would have bonked) But my body was used to such regime so I was fine. I probably learnt my body not to expect too much energy supplies so it somehow learnt to be more efficient using the energy. That's my explanation.

Molly said...

Hahaha! If it helps you stay injury free, I say embrace the geekiness! :-)

Kim said...

I had to laughing at your comment on my blog about how you just sit in your house in the summer with no AC for heat training!! LOVE IT!! Ha! So sorry about your bee sting and I TOO am amazed how when I used to be strictly a "runner" how I ate like nothing and now I have to have gels with me like 24/7!! Hope you are well!

Aimee said...

Ough..that big sting looks painful!! Good think it happened at the end of your run and not the beginning!

I kind of felt the same way about compression gear. At first, I thought it was all hype. Then I bought a pair of recovery tights and became a believer. So, I ventured to the compression socks, and I have to say that I LOVE them! They are awesome! I'm glad they gave your calf some relief on your run!

Iron Krista, "The Dog Mom" said...

OH, I too gave in. I bought some calf sleeves and wore them 2 weeks ago on my long run - my legs felt AWESOME. Then, the next week didn't wear them and my calves have hurt ever since.

But, to top it all off I wore them In Mexico for my 2hr long run. By myself, while I'm sure everyone that saw me running in them thought A. I'm special needs for running that for in MEXICO B. I'm even more special for wearing THOSE things on my calves.

That said, I'll also go to the grocery store after two workouts, no shower wearing part pjs and part workout cloths without even thinking twice about it, so does it really matter? :-)

Running and living said...

When I first started to become interested in triathlons I made a pact not to get into the gear: spandex, recovery stuff, compression. Now I am all about it. And I LOVE recovery socks!

Angela said...

hehe TriGeek! I would wear my compression socks in public only with long pants...in the middle of summer...long pants. But they are amazing!

kerrie said...

i promise not to stop making fun of you if i see you racing in them.....but DO take a really long time in T1 to put them on, like about 20 min. or so.....

Alicia Parr said...

Ummmm....didn't we as swimmers back in the day regularly do 2 hour workouts without a sip of water? Just sayin.