Friday, September 16, 2011

Crappy calf-iness

Hm. well. My left calf is swollen. Really!
And I'm normally a sock-matcher.
I've been remiss about sock-washing of late.

A combination of dehydration and improper saddle height has resulted in a multi-day calf pain episode. I regularly have nocturnal leg cramps in my left calf. Probably once a month or so I wake up in insane pain with my calf fully tensed up and the muscle completely contracted. It's weird.

I strained this poor calf on Tuesday riding my fancy new bike (with a saddle height that was probably about 2 cm too high) on the trails in a mostly dehydrated state. A couple hours later, I met Glen and co for some CX "hot laps" where I could barely do a lap. The pain was just too much.

So I've been trying to take it easy this week. The commute home yesterday though was pretty painful. And slow.
This is where we hot lap on Tuesday afternoons.

So, I'm off the bike for today: drinking electrolyte stuff, hydrating, icing the calf, and eating vitamin I. I'm hoping that will allow me to ride this weekend as normal.

This makes me feel 40. In addition to being more aware of my potassium intake, I'm also pondering yoga.

Thinking. A novel concept, but I've been told that's what 40 year-olds do.


Stephen Morgan said...

I used to have the same exact same problem. My problem solver (recommended to me by my triathlete wife) has been Clif ShotBloks with the 3x Sodium in Margarita flavor, along with staying fully hydrated (water or Heed, or generally a mix of both), and popping Sports Beans in copius amounts.

I haven't had a nocturnal cramp this year, and just one bad one on the bike after getting dehydrated due to not drinking enough water during the day.

Stephen Morgan said...

Oh, yeah, and I suppose the massages, chiropractic visits, and stretching probably haven't hurt, either. These are all things new to me this year, except for the Sports Beans and Heed.

Rachel said...

Hmm, I don't think it's being 40.

I've had problems with leg cramps for years. The last notable time was when I went camping with you.

I rode the 47 miler at Spokefest last weekend, and I just had to keep consuming potassium and water the whole time and taking it easy. I stretched a few times when I felt it was getting bad. I was on the border of cramping up a few times but managed to avoid it.

I took my multi-mineral in the morning, put salt on my eggs, and ate 2 bananas. I drank a bottle of water for the first 9 miles and then filled it up with Heed and ate an orange. Then I drank the Heed and a bottle of Recharge for the next 15 miles (mostly climbing), and ate 1.5 bananas after that. I was out of electrolyte drinks at that point and wished I'd had more, but at least I was done with the big climb part of my ride.
So, I drank 2 more bottles of water for the next 13 miles and then stopped to refill and ate an apple. I did not eat a banana because I didn't feel like eating something that dense. So I got back on my bike and went the last 10 miles and about 2 miles into it I wished I had eaten that banana. I was probably going about 8 mph for that last stretch because I didn't want to overdo it and get a cramp. I drank another 2 bottles of water for 8 of those miles, and then refilled and drank half a bottle for the last 2.

So next time, I'm going to stock up on those little one-bottle-sized packages of electrolyte powder and drink only it and no more plain water.
If you find out some sort of better solution, I'd love to hear it.

All I can figure is that my body burns through electrolytes.

Michael said...

I started doing yoga last spring after having problems with a pinched nerve in my hip and it's been awesome. After a couple of months of yoga I had to raise the seat on my bike and slide it back a couple of CM, thanks to not being all hunched up anymore.

Welcome to your 40's!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I injured my right knee when I was first getting into yoga. I was 18 at the time. That was the second in a trio of injuries that I have not fully recovered from, and doubt that I ever will. Back then, I was still learning that I am not invincible.

So, be wiser than I was, and ease into the yoga (if you start practicing it). Stretching regularly does seem to help prevent cramps, in any case.

rory said...

it'd be easier to hydrate if that bike had a bottle cage. its not like it doesnt have 2 places for it...