About 20 years ago, I was playing an intramural soccer game at college and got kicked, hard, in my left calf by someone I'll graciously recall as going for the ball I was dribbling.
At the time, I thought I'd simply get a really deep bruise in my calf. Long story short: I actually got a blood clot in my calf from the blunt trauma and had to go on blood thinners and until the clot finally dissolved (quite the painful experience, as I recall).
Within a few weeks though, I'd fully recovered from the injury, and the only way to tell anything had happened was the fact I had a few bulging varicose veins in my calf where the clot had been. The veins were most noticeable when I'd exercise, but they never got any worse.
Flash forward twenty years, and it seems that my increased activity over the last year has aggravated the veins in my calf to the point that there's now a freakishly large field of varicose veins popping out all over my left calf. There's no pain associated with this phenomenon. It's simply aesthetic as far as I know.
But I've had enough people ask about the veins (not to mention my wife and my mom are growing more concerned with each race I run), it's time to see the doctor to get an all clear to continue. Given all the time I spend in the air on travel, plus my triathlon training, no doubt there's some wear and tear going on. Last thing I want to do is fall victim to another clot forming and breaking free.
So, I've got an appointment with my doctor next Monday afternoon to get my calf looked at. I'm hoping he tells me it's just an aesthetic condition and I can keep training as I have been (if not step things up to prepare for a 70.3 half-Ironman next year). If I don't get the all clear, I'll at least know what my course of action to resolve it is.
I'll keep you posted.