Over the past few years, I have had the occasional calf knot. The first time, I felt it mid-run and kept going, I ended up having to cut the run short and hobble home. Not a good idea. The knot has never fully gone away and from time to time, I still notice that my calf will get a little tight and I can feel the knot tightening. At first, I could not pinpoint the why. All I knew was that there was no method to this knot. The shoes were different, the workouts and intensities were different. The best method I learned was to jog it home and take the next days easy and just do light mileage until the knots were gone. I would roll, and it would hurt, but it would usually take a week before I could get back to full bore training.
Meanwhile, I had noticed that my right toe would get numb on occasion. Yes the first time was winter, and at first I figured it was running through snow that did it, but the numbness lasted for a week or two – obviously it had nothing to do with temperature. The numbness would go away randomly – or so it seemed – and come back randomly. Some have suggested it is tarsal tunnel, but I have my doubts.
By about the fourth or fifth time my calf knotted up, I got a little pissed and went scouring through my logs. I could not figure it out. And then, something sort of clicked. About two weeks before my calf would knot up enough for me to notice and retard my training, my toe would go numb. Now I have no idea why this is happening – not yet anyway – but I have learned that when my toe gets numb, I need to roll the hell out of my calf and get that knot gone as best I can. Since I have started doing it this way, I have not had a problem with calf cramping. If I did not keep notes on the tiny cues my body gives, I would still be battling random weeks of minimal training.