I Want A Medal

It’s no secret that I love medals.

I love getting them at the end of races, and I’m very disappointed that my next half marathon — the Brooklyn Half in May — doesn’t give medals to its finishers.

(Though I suppose if I learned to be super fast and actually place in a race then I could always get a medal, or a cool certificate or some cash…)

But today I would like a medal for another reason.

Today I want a medal because I didn’t run. And for me, I feel like that’s kind of a big deal.

I really like to run.

My legs definitely needed a rest day. Last night before bed I feel a teeny tiny ache in my right shin. I immediately diagnosed myself with shin splints and stress fractures and declared that I would not run in the morning.

Even though it was 60-something degrees.

Even though the sun was shining.

Even though my pretty new sneakers really want attention.

And even though I can think of no better way to start my day than with a lovely run along the river.

But I didn’t do it. I’m resting this morning.

I hope everyone is happy.

I still plan to spend the rest of the day re-fueling as if I ran a half marathon this morning. Trail mix? Yes please. The rest of the decapitated bunny? I’ll get to it before noon.

In other news, I woke up feeling sick — again!

At this point I’m convinced that it absolutely must be allergies. Last week when it rained I felt fine. Now the sun is back out, the flowers are blooming and I swear I’m allergic to the sun.

I will take Claritin. I will survive.

And in the meantime, I’ll be the girl hacking at my desk and putting up a fight when everyone groans, “Uh, Alison, go home. You’re disgusting.”

Despite my snot-filled nose and closed-up throat (don’t be intimidated by my sexiness), I did manage to put an outfit together today that makes me feel healthy.

(My face looks very red in this photo. Probably because I worked up a serious sweat walking to the office this morning. Again, with the sexiness…)

I can’t wait until after Memorial Day so I can start wearing my plethora of white outfits. White skirts, white shorts, white pants, white shoes. I really wish I didn’t care so much about the “No white before Memorial Day” rule, but that’s just how I was raised. Thanks a lot, Mom.

Coming up today:

  • More deadlines. More meetings.
  • 12 pm = I find out if I’m in the NYC Marathon. Whoa.
  • Definitely taking a walk outside to enjoy the sun.
  • My favorite spinning class after work.

SOMETHING IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT I KNOW RIGHT NOW: Tell me about compression socks. I’ve never worn them, but I feel like a lot of distance runners swear by them. If you wear them, tell me why (please). I’d love to know if you always wear them, what kind you wear, if your favorite brand makes lime green socks and what wearing compression socks has done for your running. Also, do you wear them while you run or only for recovery?



0 Responses

  1. I’m relatively new to running and found I would sometimes be sore the next day. My calves would be a little tired feeling after a run. Sometimes there would be shin pain, not splints exactly, but something uncomfortable. I’d read about compression sleeves for the shins as a possible cure and got these hoping they’d do SOME good.

    They surpassed my expectations in every way.

    I ran this morning and hours later I feel as fresh as if I hadn’t run at all. I put the Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves on right after I’m done running and wear them for the rest of the day. I’ve heard of people sleeping in them, and they’re certainly comfortable enough to. I just haven’t. My shin pains are gone. My calves are ready to run much more quickly than before. It reduced recovery time dramatically.

    I wasn’t prepared for how well they would work. I thought maybe I hadn’t run as far or as fast but that wasn’t the case at all. I’m getting a second pair because I think I’ll be able to run more frequently and well, I’m not doing laundry EVERY day and I’ll want to wear these more often than I’m willing to wash them. They’re machine washable and they dry really quickly hanging to dry. I haven’t dried them in the dryer. I’m nervous they’ll shrink or I’ll ruin them. I’m a convert.

  2. I’m a little late to the party, but I need to throw in my two cents. Get compression socks! I am sort of obsessed. I run in them and I don’t know how much difference they make, but they are definitely amazing for recovery! And they look super cute in pink if I do say so myself! I have Zensah compression sleeves and CEP socks. I have read that the socks are better than the sleeves because the sleeves can cause blood to pool in your feet and swell. This makes them less ideal for running in, better for recovery. They are great for hiding under work clothes, though! Now hit up Jack Rabbit and get a pair!

  3. Reading blogs is so expensive — now I want pink compression socks! Thanks for throwing out such a great question, your readers are so smart.

    Also, sorry about the allergies…it seems to be particularly miserable this year. Don’t worry, it was will be hot, sweaty, no-pollen summertime soon enough!

  4. i wear compression socks and i’m obbbbbsessed. not only was i convinced they’d help my shin splint (i have the right leg shin splint thang goin’ on too!), but my favorite runner shalane flanagan rocked them in the nyc marathon last year. so, obv, i had to get them, haha. but they REALLY help and i wore them at the scotland run and didn’t feel my splint once. i feel faster in them too? i got them at jack rabbit on the UES 🙂 also something for shin splints that’s really helped is ICING for like 30-45 mins. hope that helps!

  5. 1) I didn’t get into the NYC Marathon 🙁 – maybe next year. We’ve only got 2 more tries and we’ll for sure be in

    2) Try Zyrtec and a netty pot. I live in SC which is like, the haven for pollen, and it helps me out tremendously

    3) tell me if you get a pair because I asked this exact question on FB today. I am having shin splints and the last half I ran, I had some issues with my achilles, so I’d like to see if they would make a difference.

  6. I’ve never really run in compression socks (well besides the few miles I did during the Boston Marathon but that was short) but I swear by them for recovery!! Maybe it’s all mental, but there honestly is no better feeling than putting those things on after a long run or race. And I feel like there must be something to it – I used to struggle with a lot of shin/calf problems but this last training cycle (when I wore the socks all the time) I didn’t, even during my peak weeks. Which was enough to make me a believer!

    And CEP makes them in lime green! I have a pair and I LOVE them!

  7. I wore compression socks/sleaves a lot over last summer and fall, when my milage was quite high, and I *think* they helped me recover, but it could just be placebo. However, they make you look extra cool and give you the best tan lines.

    I have that skirt too, but I swear it’s from Gap! Am I totally wrong??

  8. No marathon news yet! I can’t figure out if there’s another way to be watching to see if you get in besides going to tv.nyrr.org. The video keeps freezing in and out, and you can’t log into your runner profile anymore. Argh! 🙂

  9. I love compression socks (and calf sleeves). I had been having calf shin pain and wearing them made me feel like everything was better held together. It might all be in my head, but it works! I run in the sleeves (long runs and speedwork) and sleep in the socks.

  10. i have a pair of compression socks from lululemon [probably the only thing in that store that could be considered a bargain compared to other brands] but i only wear those post run. i have the zensah sleeves though and love them – definitely made a huge difference in my runs last fall when i was battling some shin pain. also think that with the sleeves, you can wear them more often between washes than with the socks…

  11. dudeski, get yourself compression sleeves! they help me SO much with calf/shin issues AND they come in hot pink. I mean, not at my running store, but at every other store that cares about how hot runners look.

  12. Good for you on the rest day…sometimes those are the hardest. Cute outfit, too, so you get an extra medal for coming up with it on a sick day.

  13. I think you deserve a medal for taking the rest from running…especially since you’re still getting a workout in, just tonight ala spin. I’m DYING to get out and enjoy the warmer temps after work – supposed to hit 75 here in Boston! Wooo!! PS. good luck on the marathon news today!

  14. I adore that skirt!

    I wear CEP compression socks and sleeves. (I have them in bright pink and bright green and they clash fabulously with my neon orange shoes :). I wear them while running and for recovery. I have really big muscular calves and a chronically tight achilles and the socks have helped me like nothing else. I originally ran in Zensah sleeves but they are thicker and nowhere near as tight as CEP.

    The socks help keep my calves and achilles warm, the increase blood flow to the area, and it really feels like a little hug for your legs. I feel less leg fatigue when I wear them and rarely suffer from shin splints anymore. They are a bit pricey but they are completely worth it IMO.

    I wear the sleeves for shorter runs and the socks for longer. They recommend that you wear the socks for anything over 18 miles.

    And it doesnt hurt that they’re cute!

  15. I have both CEP compression sleeves (they have socks that come in bright green!). I don’t feel like they make much of a difference on runs, but they sure help with soreness and swelling in my calves post-run. If I were do run longer than a half-marathon, I might consider wearing them on a run to help avoid high mileage muscle cramps.

  16. I swear by my compression socks. My calves are a big problem area for me and compression socks have done wonders . I mainly wear CEP for recovery but I wear my bright green Zensah’s for long training runs and races. They definitely help if you travel to a race and to wear them on a plane.

  17. I bought my first pair ever last year… I wasn’t sold on the idea of them, so I didn’t want to spend a ton. I ended up with a pair from Lululemon… I put them on as soon as I get home and shower from a long run. I put them on before I take a nap and my legs feel so much better! I swear by them now… and if I get into NYC today, I might just splurge and buy an expensive pair 🙂

  18. I love my CEP compression socks! i think they definitely make a difference for recovery and I have worn them for a for a few races. I am not totally sure they help in the races but I think they help during a workout if my legs are feeling a little sore that day. I have the hot pink ones and the black ones but they also make lime green and white!

  19. Hmmm I am not familiar with compression socks. Look forward to learning about them though. Good for you for resting. I did the same thing today although not purposely. I woke up, put on my running clothes and fell back asleep. OOOPS!

  20. I love my compression socks. I bought them at Jack Rabbit and wear them after long runs. They make my legs feel so good! I haven’t worn them working out yet, so far only for recovery.

  21. I have a pair of hot pink CEP compression socks, and I definitely saw lime green on the shelf when I bought them at The Running Company! At $60, they’re definitely a splurge (I had a Groupon!), but they really are great for recovery. I also wore them during my last race (a 15K), but didn’t really notice a difference in performance.

    I’m curious about compression sleeves and arm warmers, though. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just wear a long-sleeved top?

    1. Emilia,
      I had the same thought about the arm warmer, but then I used them. The arm warmers allow you to control temperature more than a long sleeved shirt. When it gets warm, you can just remove the arm warmers. You’re kind of stuck when you have a long sleeved shirt.

  22. I wear CEP compression socks (in bright pink, from Jack Rabbit!) for recovery after long runs, but I only started doing this in February, halfway through my marathon training and after training for several half-marathons. I wear them to bed and I actually think they help me fall asleep after a day when I’ve had a long run! I don’t know if I notice a huge difference, but I am definitely hooked on them!

  23. I wear Zensah compression sleeves when I run — they are awesome. I wear skin colored but they make lots of fun colors. For recovery, I wear Sugoi compression socks and they are also awesome. I wear those on airplanes too. Definitely makes a difference in post-run soreness.

    My hair became a fro from my walk to work. Yours looks perfect.

  24. you should fill a water bottle with wine to bring to work to help with your sickness. we did that in australia (during class, not work) – it was fun.

  25. Well, I don’t have any input on compression socks, but I would like to tell you that your hair looks amazing. I’m kind of envious of the way it’s falling perfectly across your forehead. Okay, I’ll stop creeping now.

  26. Ooh, I can’t wait to read about compression socks as I know next to nothing about them.

    Also, I am in love with this comment: “Last night before bed I feel a teeny tiny ache in my right shin. I immediately diagnosed myself with shin splints and stress fractures and declared that I would not run in the morning.” Hilarious, and exactly what I would do.

    12pm! Let’s report back and see who’s in!

    PS … love white outfits, and I totally don’t obey by the Memorial Day (OR Labor Day) rule. I wear white year-round. Hahaha.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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