March 7, 2012

Oh, My Aching Calves!

Oh, My Aching Calves!

For those of you who have been following along, I live at the beach in Southern California, and since I run these days, I often run near the sand. Did you catch the word “near” in that sentence? I discovered through early attempts that running on sand (even the hard packed stuff down by the edge of the water) is nothing at all like running on a hard/solid surface. Since I have great access to paved paths and trails near my house that parallel the river and the beach, I had just sort of decided that sand was not for me.

But at heart, I am a beach girl. More and more often lately I was putting on my running shoes and thinking “maybe if I just do a little run on the sand….” And then I found myself doing, say, a half mile on the sand and the rest of my run on pavement…and then I was wanting more. We are approaching daylight savings time and the days are getting longer, so when I run in the evening there is the call of sunsets and ocean breezes.

I tried running barefoot on the sand. Isn’t that what we all did as kids? Isn’t that all the rage right now? Not for me. But it did put the idea in my head that my current shoes were pretty heavy with a thick tread that felt like it sort of stuck in the sand.  Maybe new shoes would make the difference.

Besides, who doesn’t want new shoes?

So a couple of days ago, I went on over to my local running store. These guys have not steered me wrong yet. I found the same salesperson who fitted my for my last running shows (which I love) and told him what I was trying to do.

You need something lighter, he suggested

With a more flexible sole, he added.

But still with some support.

The he took this pair of light-weight Brooks down. They had turquoise soles. On my feet they were light and breezy and comfortable and…cute. Sold!

Yesterday, powered by my cute, new, light breezy shoes. I headed off from my house. Down the paved path until I came to a good spot to turn onto the sand. Arriving at the edge of the water, I turned up the music in my ears and started to run.

It felt good. It felt really good. I had just enough stability and just enough feedback form the sand and I was running and my feet felt light…wow! I could do this for a long time. So I ran to the point where I was going to turn off into my neighborhood, and I passed it. And I ran past the next turn off. And soon I ran to where the beach ends at the river mouth and I thought, My kids are going to get worried….

So I went home.

I finished my day at home with making dinner and working on my tax returns and folding laundry and all the fun stuff working moms do after the long day of “real work.” I finally passed out, very happily, hours after my kids were asleep. I was already dreaming of doing it again.

Then this morning I work to Ouch!

Ok – how did I miss that if I had a great run on the sand my calves would be so sore that walking from my bed to the bathroom would take effort? And then I found that I had left the ibuprofen downstairs….ugh.

It’s late afternoon now and 2 doses of Advil later I can walk and it’s not sooooo bad. But I don’t think I am running today!

I guess for every new step you take you have to expect to stumble a little. Pain always reminds me that even when I feel it, I am not super-human. We all have our edges, and sometimes I just run blindly right over mine.  In this case, perhaps I was just a bit distracted.

Here’s to putting my feet up with a glass of red tonight.






Leave a comment
  1. Dawn
    March 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Hey Jacqueline,
    I LOVE the name of your blog…did you read the book Born to Run? I really enjoyed reading it, it nearly (only nearly) made me want to run barefoot, I love the idea, just not sure about the reality! 😉


    • Jacqueline Jacques
      March 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

      Hi Dawn –

      Thanks for checking out the blog. I did read Born To Run and really enjoyed it (and sort of named my blog after it!). Have only tried running barefoot on sand and thought it was really hard! But might try again.

      Best to you,

  2. Cal
    July 15, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    Just be careful on the sand, as it is very unstable and if you have any instability in your knees at all it can cause major injury.