Apparently, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.  As with most thing, compression must be used in moderation.  In hindsight, this is kind of a “duh” moment.

Those of you who follow my DailyMile may recall that between the Sunburst Marathon and Grandma’s I made several mentions of a Mystery Pain in my leg.  Fortunately, it went away and didn’t bother me during Grandma’s (though just about everything else did), and it wasn’t until Sunday morning that I put two and two together and realized the culprit.

Compression socks.

As Harry Belafonte says, “I got carried away!”1  After races or hard runs, I usually spend the evening in compression socks.  I put my legs up if I’m loungin’ and maxin’ and wear them around with actual shoes2.  Often, I’ll even sleep in them after a particularly long run or race.

This is not wise.  After Sunburst I think I wore them all day, through the night, and drove 600 miles all the next day in them.  I may have even spent Sunday night in them.  And then proceeded to pop them on again after every run for the next two weeks, regardless of length.  The theory was that if I reduced my recovery time from each run as much as possible I’d be as ready as a could be for two marathons 14 days apart.

Wrong-o.  The mystery pain in my right leg, which popped up on every run between the marathons and only encouraged me to stretch, roller massage, and wear those damn socks more, magically vanished when I started tapering and stopped wearing the socks constantly.  Callooh!  Callay!

So, yeah, the moral of the story is not to overdo the compression thing.  Good for probably a few hours post race, but not a good idea to live in the for a week.  The manufacturer (SmoothToe, in my case) claims that you can wear them all day and reap many magical benefits, but they also claim that a $10 shipping and handling fee and subscription to a sock-of-the-month club is still a “free” pair.  Eh.

That is all.  Except, if you didn’t catch it by the exclamation point in the title of this post, but it’s supposed to be sung to the tune of Danzig’s Posession.  It’s been stuck in my head all week since I had this sock related epiphany.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Seriously, it only works if you say it in his voice.  No idea what I’m talking about?  Catch up on your classics, punk: Mama Look a Boo-Boo, around 2:57.
  2. Okay, most people wouldn’t call Chuck’s shoes, but it’s the closest I come outside a business environment or athletic endeavor.