As I train for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon (running has helped my snowboarding stamina immensely), I have been battling a nagging calve pain for the past few weeks. I think I have finally figured out what has happened. Here is my frustrating story…
When I started running longer distances (long for me at 5+ miles) in my year old shoes, my right foot started going asleep. Sever numbness DURING my run – so annoying. This I learned was because my right foot is a half size bigger than my left foot and my shoe was too small. Made perfect sense. The answer? Get a new pair of shoes. So I was fitted at the Salt Lake City Running Co. They watched me run on a treadmill and said that there is a small pronation and that I needed a more supportive shoe in the correct size. I thought that is what I was getting when I spent $150 for a pair of new Adidas.
After I got my new shoes, I went on a run in them immediately. Planning to go 5 miles in my new kicks – I could barely make it 3. I was experiencing new calve and ankle pain NEVER felt before. The next two days I paid for it (and three weeks later I still am paying for it). My inner calf/ankles were shot, sore and in so much pain – predominantly my left calf. So I called the running shop. They guy on the phone said that you should never, ever feel that much pain from a new pair of shoes and that theoretically, you can buy a new pair of running shoes and run a marathon in them the next day – the fit should be perfect. He said I needed a new pair and should come in and not run in these shoes I was JUST fitted in.
I went back to SL Running and the girl helping me said I needed a supportive shoe. I said that is what I have in my new Adidas I was just fitted in. Unknown to me that was not the case. For some reason the original looser fit me in NEUTRAL non supportive shoe – even though he told me I needed a supportive shoe. I am still so confused as to why this happened in the first place and pissed because I am now worried about my running progress as I train for the SLC Half Marathon
Anyway…I traded in the neutral Adidas and got a pair of supportive Brooks. At first I didn’t really like them because I was still experiencing the pain, blaming it on the shoes still since the pain was still there (when in reality I had a growing injury). For two weeks I have been giving 2-3 days in between my runs because it takes that long for my calf pain to subside. I run again and then I am out for a couple of days. Call me crazy, but with the confusion of all of these shoes, I kept blaming it on my shoes. So I went for a long 6.6 mile run last night (because after two days rest my calf was feeling good) in my old Nikes, because the ONLY pain I ever felt in those was a numb right foot (what I would give for that to be my only problem now). My run in these shoes felt wonderful! I was convinced last night that these Nikes were the right shoe. No calf pain during my run – just some really annoying numbness in my right foot! Solution, just get a size bigger of these old shoes.
Well, I woke up this morning with my all too familiar calf pain. It was back – and with a vengeance. I could not believe it! So I immediately got onto the runners blogs and forms out there and it is quite clear what my problem is. I ran in a shoe that was not supportive enough and strained my calf. I knew it on that run with the Adidas that something was wrong (which is why I stopped 2 miles early). Anyway, I am super frustrated that this happened because I was fitted in the wrong shoe. Was the store just trying to promote the Adidas Boost – ironically it was the day the shoe launched when I got fitted? Why did he tell me I needed support and then give me a neutral shoe?
As frustrated as I am with the avoidable situation, I am now focused on recovery. It looks like since my pain is not constant, I have not torn my calf. However a strain is present and a combination of massage, a runners stick, ice and dreaded rest should do the trick. I just purchased a runners stick on Amazon, and will ice twice my calve twice a day for 10-15 minutes. When my leg feels better, I will run and see if the pain returns and know if my treatment is helping and reevaluate at that point.
Wish me luck and my word of advice is listen to your body on your run as these problems do not solve themselves.