So This is Tight

I’m currently riding the line between denial and hypochondria.

I’ve been running for almost 5 years now, reading running magazines about the same amount of time, and running blogs for about 2.    I have probably read a hundred or so posts about people feeling tight and achy.  Achy, I understood.  Tight?  I would sympathize with the runner but honestly, I had no real idea of what tight was.     I can no longer claim that ignorance.FullSizeRender (3)I felt pretty good after my long run on Saturday but I know I didn’t stretch enough right after as I headed off to the movies fairly soon.  I was able to put my feet up while there and I stretched and rolled that night but Sunday was rough.    My hamstrings felt so tight and my left ankle was hurting.    I was torn between heading out for my easy run and taking another rest day.   The number hog in me really wanted the 5 miles, my ankle did not.   This week was scheduled as a recovery week- I could take an extra day off if I felt I needed it.   I finally decided to move that extra day to last week and I took Sunday off.  I spent the evening with an ice pack on my ankle.     IMG_9377I headed out on Tuesday for the easy 3 from work again.  I thought it would be better to push my speed work to the second run of the week.   Special me forgot to use my inhaler before setting out, so I had to take a break 1.5 mile in.  Ugh, butphoto op right?   Heading back turned into a pain fest.  My calves were so tight, my Achilles’s were (was?) hurting and my left hamstring was pissed.  No!    I made it back to my car and stretched before heading home and then stretching more and rolling.

And this is in my new book- I knew I hated that damn swinging pony tail!
And this is in my new book- I knew I hated that damn swinging pony tail!

I am beginning to worry.  I have a race in 2 weeks and SLO in 58 days.   Wednesday was a normal rest day and I made sure to roll and stretch really well.  I also completed week 1- workout 1 of my new Strength for Runners book.  I had a tempo/ mile repeats on tap for tonight and decided that would just be stupid.   I can feel my hamstring throughout the day every day.  Not necessarily pain but it’s not happy.   I have a pretty good pain tolerance though so I could be misjudging that as well.IMG_9403I headed to the lake tonight for some more easy miles.  I knew I was going to run out of daylight so I figured I may only get in 2 miles or so.  The plan was to run until something hurt or until I could no longer see out of my sunglasses.  I figured that would be a good way to measure the darkness.  😛    I felt achy at the start but felt better as I warmed up.  I pushed on for 3.25 miles.  I probably should have skipped the last lap of the lake.  It was pretty dark.    I stopped my watch .25 from my car and walked it back.    More stretching and rolling followed tonight.IMG_9400I am less worried about my ankle than I am the tightness.   I roll my ankles on a pretty much daily basis so I am used to that.  This tightness needs to go away.    Sometimes I feel like a sharp pull and I fear I might hear a snap.   I can’t decide which side to swing to- denial that it might be something or hypochondria and I am making a mountain out of a mole hill.   I know I sometimes have issues with my left leg.   Could this be more of the same?    And sadly even the comfy chair has betrayed me.  All tv watching, blogging, reading and attempts at crocheting this past week have happened while sitting on the floor.    Oddly enough, cross-legged on the floor is only comfortable position.

I haven’t actually registered for the half in two weeks.  I want to run it because it’s a race I love and this would be my 5th year running it.  I just can’t decide what to do.    I also feel super lazy that I have now skipped one easy run, shortened another and turned a 6 mile speed run into a 3 mile easy run.   This weekend calls for a 90 minute progression run and it makes me nervous.

So, thoughts?  Is it all in my head?

Have any other stretching or rolling ideas?  I have a foam roller, a stick and a tennis ball.

Would you run the half in 2 weeks?

25 Comments on “So This is Tight

  1. I’m not really any kind of authority on this stuff as I’m relatively new to the running game. But for what it’s worth, you may want to keep taking it easy. Focus on stretching and rolling and just try to keep up with the mileage as much as you can. And if you’re not feeling better/looser in a few days, take yourself to an expert. Self-diagnosis can only take you so far if there’s a real problem.


    • I hoping to get in my runs this weekend but back way off on pace. I just want to take it easy and see what happens. Hopefully something good will come out of this and stretching more will become a habit! I am really hoping it eases, it takes forever to get into a doctor!


  2. I’d see if stretching and rolling helps. Sounds like you have all the necessary gear. If your halfer is in only two weeks, you could taper now and maybe be ready. Don’t do more than what your body can handle to avoid serious injury. Be careful!


  3. Man Fallon!!! I’m soooo sorry 😦 I personally would probably drop out of the half I had to already make a similar decision with a half I was to be running in two weeks. I dropped down to the 5 miler and now have opted not to run at all. I totally get you in the tight department, I have been fight with my wonky right glute and hammy for over a month now. Some days I feel like I’m turning the corner and other days I wonder. I would play it by feel for your race and then make a decision. I have been foam rolling like its my job and getting massage therapy on Monday. Hope you get better!!


    • I know that is what I should do but I am having troubles reconciling that. I think mostly out of nostalgia- this was my first half years ago and I have run it the last 4. I need another wine glass! But seriously, I am going to see how I feel this weekend and decide by mid next week. I hope your massage therapy helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I also had never really known what “tightness” really was until after my marathon when I got extreme calf tightness. It was really weird to describe to people – like, it wasn’t pain, but it was extremely uncomfortable and I could feel it whenever I walked. Foam rolling actually seemed to make it worse. Finally I took a whole week off running, and it went away. Rest was the only thing that worked for me.

    You know your body better than anyone else. But be careful trying to speed up recovery with tons of stretching and rolling. Often times those things can help, but sometimes they actually make things worse and delay recovery. Sometimes the best thing is actually to keep doing what you normally do (but take it easy!), give it time and let the issue work itself out. Every time I’ve experienced tightness/discomfort/whatever, straight-up rest has worked EVERY time. We runners really need to remember that rest is not a 4 letter word 🙂 Skip the speed work for a while, go easy and be gentle, and try to stick to your normal routine with a few cutbacks here and there.

    Best of luck!!


    • Exactly, your legs feel swollen but it’s not quite pain. Hearing that rilling wasn’t very helpful for you is actually reassuring because it hasn’t been helping me. Stretching yes, rolling not so much. I am hoping cutting back- no speed work-helps but if I have to rest I will. I want to treat it like something so it doesn’t become something of that makes sense. Thanks!


  5. Oh, tightness. I’m at the other end of the spectrum… I don’t know what it’s like for my muscles NOT to be tight! I say keep doing what you’re doing… stretch, stretch, stretch, foam roll, foam roll, foam roll! The ankle thing makes me nervous though. Keep an eye on that, and keep icing it. I know it sucks, but rest it (REALLY rest it!) if it hurts… you don’t want to end up with torn or sprained tendons! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that nothing bad comes of it!


    • I’ve had a sore ankle off an on for years so that I am used to. My ankles and my knees creak from so many years of softball (catcher) that I’ve adjusted. Coworkers can hear them, too, it’s kind of funny. I actually wore heels a few times this week. Oddly they didn’t hurt. The plan is to get in some very easy running and see how I feel next week. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ugh, I’m so sorry you’ve been experiencing this tightness. My best guess is that some rest would do it good. Sometimes tightness goes away quickly and other times it lingers longer. If it goes away, I’d keep it to easy running for a little bit and see how it feels. I wouldn’t say you have to throw in the towel for your half just yet, but see how the next two weeks go and play it by ear. If the tightness does linger though, I’d play it safe and skip this one.


    • Rest seems to be the consensus. Part of me agrees and part of me is hoping that it doesn’t come to that. We’ll see how it feels after some easy running this weekend. I had moments today that were ok, so fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry to hear this Fallon! After my bout of injuries I was reading this and thinking “I bet her hips are the problem”. My advice would be to go a see a physiotherapist. All of my leg problems are because of weak hips and glutes and my feeling is that the problems won’t go away until you fix those issues. But I am not a doctor (well I am but not the useful MD kind). Then I would ask my PT whether it’s a good idea to run or not and take the decision out of my own hands. Sorry to be a downer………


    • Truthfully, I’ve always thought I had a hip issue or a left IT issue. This is the first time my hamstrings have been tight but not the first time my left side has given me trouble. I’ll think I will give it a week or two before starting the process to see a PT. The bummer is how long it will take me to get in and see one.


  8. Yikes! I”m sorry to hear this! Maybe use some bands to strengthen your hips? This might help. RockTape is also amazing as are compression socks. There are a ton of videos online to help with how to RockTape those pesky areas. I hope the tightness starts to fade!


    • Oh, I hadn’t thought of bands. Thanks! I feel like I have been living in my compression socks this week. I have some KT tape (I think that’s similar to Rock tape?) I will have to google those videos!


  9. I have the same problem with my right ankle. I wanna run and I actually have a race in 45 days but at the same time i know only icing and rest will do the trick. Trying to go out for a few miles to test the pain every now and then but I always come back frustrated because the pain is still there 😦


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