When they arrived in the mail, I immediately put them on. Because my legs were a-hurtin' after a tough tempo run. After wearing them around for a few hours cooking dinner (= eating ice cream) and lounging around my apartment, I was kind of in love:
I had previously thought that I didn't have a need for compression socks because my calves don't really get tired/sore after runs. Well apparently that's not their purpose per-say....
Taken from a Running Times article:
Compression socks are aimed at improving oxygen delivery to muscles, speeding lactic acid removal and stabilizing the lower leg for greater muscle efficiency.
According to a study, conducted at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, subjects showed a faster lactate recovery rate after exercise when wearing the compression socks, suggesting that compression socks might speed recovery after a strenuous workout or a race.
When I took the socks off before bed, my legs felt fresh enough to do another run. I normally have lingering fatigue in my legs for almost a full day after tough workouts (intervals, tempo runs, long runs) which is why I set my schedule to have an easy day after these runs. Goodness they were happy!
Another high point is that the socks are black, so I was able to wear them to work with dress pants after a morning long run and reap their benefits whilst padding my piggy bank (jk, we all know you don't make the big bucks at a non-profit :p). I wore them the night before the half marathon, and although they weren't magic enough for me to run my 1:50, I don't blame them. They did make my legs feel much MUCH better after wearing them much of Sunday afternoon post-race and some of Monday morning. Thanks to Oxysox for sending some of these awesome compression socks my way. For those of you who do not have compression socks, SWEET LOUISIANA YOU SHOULD. But seriously. :) My only suggestion (and this would be only for women, since I'm not sure about you dudes) is that if you're on the cusp size-wise, to go with the smaller size. I was sent a small and a medium since I'm a 7, which classifies as both small and medium, and the smalls were perfect, while the mediums were a little long. :)
If you go to Oxysox and use jerbear10 at the check out you'll get 30% off your order.
Also, coming soon: a MONSTER (seriously it's monstrous) giveaway including a pair of Oxysox. Whoo! But that shouldn't prevent you from getting your discounted pair. If your legs love you with one pair of compression socks, it only makes sense that they would love you doubly with two pairs. ;)
It appears that one leg is longer than the other....no wonder I keep getting random small injuries.
Oh hey, speaking of random injuries.... ugh. I'm 99% certain that I have a case of runner's knee. My knee felt weird on my 6 miler last week, and hurt all day Thursday and Friday. After icing and icing and icing, and then icing a couple of more times, I tried to test it out Monday on an easy run. Really I just want to run my 1000th mile for the year. Yes, I'm still at 999.4. I made it :37 seconds before I had to turn around and walk home.
After taking some time to reflect on the "injury" (I'm using injury loosely here, since everything I've read/been told makes it seem like this is more of an annoying condition than a full blown injury....and I'll totally be ok with that distinction), I've realized that it's probably just my body's way of saying it needs a break. I tend to take a day or two off after a major race and throw myself right back in to training for the next race. My body seems to give me little random injuries every few months to encourage a week off.
I think it may also be a blessing in disguise, because, to be honest, I was still a little bitter about the half marathon. It's much easier to put the hard work in when you're seeing awesome results (yes, I'm totally that runner, extrinsic rewards? yes please!). When you put in the hard work and fail (yes I know I didn't fail, I'm being dramatic) it's easy to lose a little bit of your drive. I have a feeling that forcing my body to take some time off is only going to fuel the training fire.
Today I hit the trails on Miss Princess Leia and we decided to haul a little bit of booty. At one point I had to bike super duper fast (for me) to pass a couple of people on bikes, while another was coming in an opposite direction. After I had passed them I realized that quicker speed was totally doable, and continued to maintain that pace for the remaining 6-8 miles.
I did 16.07 miles in 1:05:15 for 14.85 mph.