>Health and Nutrition>Crampy Toes & A Pain In The Butt
I ran my first 10K on Sunday (woohoo!) and had a great time. I felt really good for the most part, but there were two minor things that I'd like to identify so I can keep them from becoming an issue:
1. Around mile 5, the toes in my right foot started cramping up. I don't think it altered my gait, and was more uncomfortable than painful, but I've never had that happen before. Maybe it was just a fluke, but if there are "foot stretches" or whatever that would be good to do, I'll add them to my routine.
2. Around mile 4.5, I started getting tight in the back of my right leg, right where the thigh meets the butt. Again, it wasn't painful, but I've had this happen a couple of times (always on the right side), so I'm interested in finding out what it is and how to keep it from getting worse.
I warmed up a bit before the race, but I didn't do any stretching afterward. I should have, but I don't like stretching in public because I probably look like a disabled hippopotamus. But now my legs feel tight, so that's what I get for caring what other people think. =)
Life is short. Running makes it seem longer.
You're a runner now, so you have to get over worrying about what you look like in public! Red in the face, sweaty, snot rocket blowing, bending and stretching in all kinds of spandex wear...it's not always a pretty sport!
That back of the right leg thing may be the start of a sciatic nerve flare up. In the evenings it might be good to lay on your back and do some leg lifts. Use a stretchy band over your foot and lift your leg straight up and down nice and smooth, 15 times on each leg.
Running is stupid
First, I like how your progression over the last several months. Good job. Second, in my experience, toe cramping means I have an issue with my shoes ...too tightly laced or an incompatible shoe. For example, one of my current shoes causes weird pains in my forefoot once I hit 7-8 miles or so, so i wear that shoe for short runs. Third, I have had what seems like the same pain as you in my upper leg. It tended to appear at the 6-7 mile mark of a hardish run and alway on the left side (in fact all my pains appear in my left leg, which is a little shorter than my right). It reoccurred for me from when I started running agwin in 2010 until this year, but never in races. I suspect my form got a little goofy when I ran hard for an extended period which resulted in the pain, but what do I know. I do know that as you run more and more odd little pains will arise that sometimes are serious but in other cases can be run through. I would slow down and try to maintain good form for the majority of your runs and I think your body will adapt and become more efficient and niggling little pains will resolve themselves. Good luck!
I read an article talking about how some people "claw" the ground with their toes which lead to foot problems and work the way up the leg. Don't over-think it but try to see if you notice that you are using too much toe action on your foot strike. I wish I had the article, but sorry. I have caught myself doing this clawing a couple times when I was tired or beat up from long runs.
5k = 19.48 10/1/13
10k = 45.28 4/16/13
Half Marathon = 1:38.53 Summer Sizzle 7/13/14
Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/12 4:39.11
Solo O Marathon 06/02/13 3:52:10
Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/13 3:40.34
Thanks for the responses. I'll try doing the leg lifts, and I'll pay attention on my next couple of runs to see if I'm "clawing" the ground. It's possible I was doing that a little bit during the race, probably when I was going up a hill. I'll also try tying my shoes a bit looser.
(I will also make sure to stretch after my next race, no matter how ridiculous I look.)
Jaybar: Thanks for taking a look at my log. One of my major goals for 2013 was to run consistently, so I'm really pleased with how my weekly/monthly mileage is coming along. Each pixel on the graph represents getting up (often before dawn) and heading out (sometimes in icky weather), so seeing the bars go higher and higher makes me smile. =)