Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My greatest fear

Stats for the past 3 days:
Miles ran: 0
Bananas eaten: 6
Nights I've gone to bed prior to 8pm: 3

Despite all this, last night I came face to face with my greatest fear.
Fear fear
If only it were that easy.
Not needles or dogs, although those are both terrifying.

Leg cramps. I swear, if you ask any of my BFFs what my greatest fear is, they'll tell you dehydration, and it's not because it can throw months of training out the window during a race, it's because of leg cramps. 

Specifically, the kind where a giant ball forms in your calf, and wakes you up in a panic about half a second before the pain sets in. Please tell me someone else has experienced this.

This event is so traumatizing for me that I remember exactly the last time it happened, so I know it was 10 years ago, when I was a sophomore in college. Actually, realizing that I was a sophomore in college 10 years ago was also pretty traumatizing. 

Since I'd gone to bed earlier than my 3rd graders, what I considered "the middle of the night" was probably what normal adults consider "evening". So when I woke up screaming my head off (remember how I mentioned yesterday that I have zero pain tolerance?) I expected Eric to come running in immediately. He never even noticed.

Luckily for me, my mom knows everything, and I have no idea when or why, but at some point she'd taught me to flex my foot to stretch the muscle if this ever happened, and it worked like a charm. I think that's the first time I've ever remained calm in the face of panic and actually thought through what to do.

Once I regained control I limped to the living room where Eric was passed out in front of the TV to inform him of this horrific turn of events and inform him of his failings as a protector. He didn't really buy into my "it could have been an intruder murdering me!" argument and kept insisting that no one was going to use grappling hooks to break into our third floor window Spiderman style.

He's out there, waiting for me.
The point of the above statistics was that I shouldn't have been dehydrated or lacking potassium, both common causes of cramps. So I don't know why this gremlin from hell came back to haunt me in my calf. Here's hoping I have another 10 cramp free years now.
bananas!!! bananas!!! bananas!!!
I'm going to start wearing these to bed.
So in news other than more proof of how pathetically babyish and whiny I am, my Achilles has been feeling totally back to normal, even on my feet all day at work. The big test is the one time each day that I go down stairs, when I leave my apartment in the morning, and even that felt fine this morning. 

I took a 2 mile test run tonight after work and it felt completely fine (although my other leg was sore from the nighttime cramping). Naturally, I did all sorts of foam rolling, stretching, icing, and compression after. I'm planning on doing about 6 miles tomorrow morning, and hoping that will be my official triumphant return. Amazing how listening to doctor's advice and resting when something hurts instead of blindly plowing ahead because I need to get the miles in actually works! I really need to remember this lesson in the future.

I'm really not alone in these weird calf cramps am I?

What's your greatest mundane fear?


  1. Okay, honestly I have no idea what kind of cramps you're talking about. They sound horrific, but I've never had anything like that happen to me. Hope your run tomorrow is triumphant as expected!

  2. Don't know that I've ever had a leg cramp to that severity either but hope they stay away and that the achilles continues to feel good tomorrow!

  3. escalators. OMG. i am terrified. i feel like I'm always about to fall off.

  4. I get those cramps sometimes! The last tim was when i was home for Christmas. Apparently they are traumatizing enough that you always remember when and where they happen. My fingers aRe crossed for a good run!

  5. I get those calf cramps when I'm sleeping all the time now. I blame them on pregnancy, but it's probably because pregnancy can dehydrate you (those little fetuses are thirsty mofos). I always have to weigh whether to drink a lot before bed to avoid the cramps or chance it because I don't want to have to get up and pee 13 times.

    If I bought you those banana hot pants, would you wear them always?

    1. It's a known side effect of pregnancy. I was terrified I would get them my entire pregnancy. I used to wake up screaming from them and my husband would desperately grab my foot and flex it to make me stop freaking out.

  6. When I was pregnant I got those leg cramps constantly. One left me crippled for about a week it was so bad. I screamed and hopped around the room at like 5am. Mike just stared at me. I do not miss those leg cramps.

  7. ...Wait...are you pregnant? Did you just give it away? Hehehe

  8. I've had calf cramps on the outside of both legs for the last 2 days. They finally feel better but they are one of my worst fears too. I hate charlie horse type cramps.

    Snakes. That's my biggest fear. Ever.

  9. I had one calf cramp like that a few months ago and it was awful! It woke me up in the middle of the night and it hurt so bad! I just remember feeling a golf ball-sized lump in my calf and wanting to cry. Luckily, foam rollers cure all :) Hopefully yours stays away!

  10. I hate...hatehatehate...calf cramps. They hurt so much! But the flexing thing totally works. And if you do it in that second BEFORE it happens, you can prevent it.

    I'm afraid of the elevators in the metro stations in DC. Those things are SO high and steep, and they sound like they are going to break at any moment. Not a fan.

  11. I actually get those leg cramps a lot. They terrify me awake and then reoccur during the night. It's freaking awful.

    I'm so glad you're feeling better and your run went well! Wineglass is so close! I can't wait for our glorious reunion!

  12. rest is a cure all!

    i saw a body compression suit and i thought it was a fabulous idea. not sexy in the least but practical.

  13. Charlie horse! Those are called a charlie horse. And yup I've been woken up in the middle of the night as one sets in, and I do the foot flex to nip it in the bud. It's hard to think straight when I've been shocked awake by my calf muscle tying itself into a knot(at least that's what it feels like)

  14. I used to only get those when swimming. I've had one when doing an open water swim to an island, which is a pretty inconvenient time. It is tough to reach down and try to flex your foot, because then you only have one foot and one arm free to tread water -- very irritating. Basically I had to just sink in the water while reaching for my foot; it scared the kayakers a bit.

    I've had them after running a couple times now. More convenient than in open water, but still very not enjoyable.

  15. Cramps are the worst! When I was in high school I had one of those and woke up screaming. Thank goodness both parents were down the hall in record time expecting to find a real emergency and not a cramp in my calf.


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