Sunday, August 7, 2011

Note to self: Whatever you do, do NOT stretch

It’s part of my morning routine. I actually don’t even think about it anymore. As a matter of fact, it’s quite possible that I’m still asleep when I do it. I have no idea. But like a cat, before I get out of bed in the morning, I stretch.

I sleep all curled up, pretty much in a little ball. So when The Little Miss wanders into my bedroom first thing in the morning to let me know it’s day time or when my Tiger shouts from her gated room down the hall, “MA MAAAAAAAY, Wake up!” it’s only natural that I stretch out those super long legs of mine to try them out to see if they’re functioning in a somewhat coordinated manner before I put some weight on them. Otherwise, should I not, who knows what sort of early morning, I’m still out of it catastrophe might befall me?

BUT (get ready, here’s where I tell you another bizzaro random fact about moi) there’s this weird thing that happens to me when I get into the last trimester of pregnancy. I’ve never seen this listed in any of those “What to expect” books as far as what TO expect, nor have I found it on any of the informational sheets I get at the many visits to my OBGYN as something to be aware of. And not one of my my friends or family members with children has ever mentioned this as one of the delightful joys of pregnancy (detect sarcasm here).  Morning sickness, yes. Headaches, yes. Stretch marks, yes. Massive bouts of exhaustion, yes. This, nada.

I get calf cramps. Wicked, stupid, very painful calf cramps. Worse even than when I ran the Air force Marathon and the temperature unexpectedly rose to 90 degrees AND I ran out of my sports drink at around mile 20ish. By the last 2 miles, I was reduced to walking duck footed. Why? Because my calves cramped up so severely that it caused my feet to turn out…like a duck. I was ridiculous to look at but oh so powerless to stop it (which, as a complete sheer & utter side note, was the exact same time some dude decided to cozy up next to me for a chat to the finish. While he was doing so, all I could think is “HELLO?! DO YOU NOT SEE MY FEET? How can I talk to you at a time like this?” But I really, really digress...)

Back to the calf cramps. I got the first twinge of one early this past week. But Thursday, the first really BIG one hit. It happened just as I stretched out my legs & pointed my toes, early in the morning. I gasped, held my breath, and smacked the pillow a few times. Not on purpose to wake my husband up to save me or anything (which he did, poor guy thought I was going into labor), but because it HURT.

And you know of course that in the middle of a bad cramp, it is complete impossible for the victim to remember the correct way to move their foot to release the cramp. Yep, I pointed my toe some more. Sweet Baby Jesus! (“lyin' there in your ghost manger, just lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors”). That was a mistake. Big mistake. HUGE.

Fortunately, my husband did wake up and rescue me from my temporary cramp induced amnesia. He flexed my foot and tried to massage it out some. After a minute or so more the cramp released it’s death grip on me, but man if that didn’t sucker hurt for a couple more days. I can still feel the remnants of it now.

So I took a couple of days off run/walking to hobble around on it, but I think I’ll be good to go again tomorrow (fingers crossed).

Now some, might take the calf cramps coupled with the drowning of their treadmill all within a few days as a sign that it’s time to call it quits on the running for the remainder of the pregnancy. Me? Nope. Only a sign that I need a new treadmill and a little sports drink pre-bed time that’s all. Mamma needs to run! (Oh! Oh! And a massage, I need a massage too :-)


'Til next time...

P.S. For the record, there’s two movie quotes and three languages used in this blog post. I’m pretty sure I should get something for that :-p

P.P.S. But since I’m probably not going to get anything, how ‘bout I give something to one of you? The first person who can successfully name those three languages and two movies will get one of my sweet Running Mamma stickers, the ones that sent me. 13.1 or 26.2 winner’s choice. First correct commenter has it. Good luck!


Sarah (A Runner's Heart) said...

English, French, Spanish...Talladega Nights and Pretty Woman!:) Hope that's right! :)

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

So sorry for the cramps. Oh my!

ckbrylliant said...

potassium, at least one banana a day!!!

Mum on the Run said...

Hee hee.
Love your post.
Not your cramps though.
Magnesium for cramps??!
Your title reminds me that I do not stretch enough. Or at all.
The guilt.

Judy said...

I had them too and got sucker punched in my morning cat like stretches as well. I've also heard too much salt but it's probably just another "delight" of hosting a lifeform. :)

RunMom said...

Nice work Sarah! I got a response on my FB page too and since I have actually no idea which one of you responded first, I'm just going to give you both a sticker :-) Send me an email at and I'll fill you in on all the details. Congrats

RunMom said...

JUDY!!! I hate to say that I'm glad to hear somebody else has had pregnancy calf cramps, but I so totally am glad that I am not the only freakazoid that gets them. Now instead of people giving me strange looks if I bring it up, I'm just going to say, "Oh yeah, I'm not the only one, Judy gets them too."

Kristen said...

Everyone has an opinion but what worked for me was calcium supplements. I wasn't even running when I was pregnant and my calf cramps were crazy bad. As soon as I started taking calcium they disappeared. It also seemed to stop my crazy restless leg stiff at night as a bonus. Good luck!!

SupermomE12 said...

I got CRAZY bad calf cramps/charlie horses with all of my pregnancies. Bleck!!! I often got them in my sleep when I rolled over and I guess stretched just a bit too much. said...

I had the same cramps, now that my baby is now four, I still get the calf cramps when I stretch. I feel your pain!!

Kim Allen said...

Oh I had cramps in my 1st 1/2 and all I could think of was "every step counts" even if it was a baby step.
I love your blog and everything you are about. You would be a great candidate to become a consultant for the company I work for: Email for more into!