Okkkkay. I’m back. I’ve been semi-avoiding the blog world out of crankiness. My own crankiness, of course.
So way back before Christmas, I posted about a freaking awesome long run I had with my friends. I was on such a high. And then I got sick…on Christmas Eve (I had 20 people at my house for dinner and a fever. That was fun). Whatever I had lingered and caused me to miss about five days of training, and it was awful. But no problem, my coach and I communicated and agreed that I would rest and not panic. I missed a long run. I was bummed.
The next week, I jumped back into my training and felt decent – but had a nag in my left Achilles. I remembered feeling it after that last long run, but then after being sick it just went away. So I kept running. Got in a decently paced 16 miler, around a 7:25 in some slippery conditions but had some pain in the area that worried me. Still, I kept going. I hoped it was just one of those aches that would go away after a few days and work itself out. I even got in a nice track workout of 800s later that week and hit/exceeded my paces. The pain kind of just stayed the same, so I headed out for my 18 miler that Sunday. We had another epic day where we felt incredible – my friend Kathy and I pushed the pace and averaged a 7:08 for the entire run, hills and all. My ankle didn’t hurt while I ran – even so much as to think to myself, “Maybe this was all in my head and I’m past whatever it was!” Ha.
After the run, I made sure to take an ice bath (which was freaking torture, it is FREEZING in PA these days!) and popped some ibuprofen just because I wanted to get ahead of any potential inflammation. I’m not much of a fan of NSAIDs, but I thought it would be a good idea. Well, over the next few days I had some definite soreness so my coach backed off the intensity of some of my runs. By Thursday, I decided it was time to get in to my doctor. By some miracle of God, he had an open appointment right at the end of my work day. He had me get my left foot x-rayed before I even saw him and after a thorough clinical exam, determined it was a little tenosynovitis of my Achillies. So the sheath around the tendon was unhappy. Made sense, because I really wasn’t displaying any of the classic Achilles tendinitis symptoms.
He got me in for some PT – of course I have the therapist’s number in my phone so the three week wait to get in with him didn’t happen – I was there the next day for some Graston, ultrasound and massage. They also gave me the Flector Patch to put on the area – basically an NSAID patch that is directly applied to the source of pain. Which is kind of hard to find – there really is no pain to the touch, no swelling, etc. It’s so odd.
It seemed to work because I was able to log some miles at some decent paces over the weekend, but then we got hit with a bunch of ice, something I don’t mess with regularly. Started my long run (supposed to go 22 miles) on Sunday and the freezing rain began about 8 miles in. By mile 10, I started walking because I could barely take a step without sliding. I had to walk about two miles from my car, and I was frozen to the bone. Tried again the next day but had to wear my Yak Trax because it was still so slippery out. I made it 14 miles, but the outer edge of my left foot began hurting. My Yak Trax were kind of old and falling apart, so I think it threw off my stride. I threw in the towel, but my coach was still happy with the mileage I managed in such poor conditions. It was a rough run.
So on Tuesday, I went out for some easy-peasy recovery miles, and by the time I got about 2-3 miles into my run, the outside of that foot started aching again. What. The. Hell. It didn’t hurt all day and pretty much felt fine, so why now? I finished up six miles and sulked. Yesterday was a scheduled cross training/strength training day so I went tot he gym before work and lifted, and skiing after work. We got out of school early for some impending snow and I got on the slopes early and got in some extra runs. Felt good, no pain, but my next run is today.
I’m frustrated because since Christmas, it’s been just one thing after the other. Sick, injury, poor conditions. On one hand, life happened and caused me to miss some training. On the other, I’ve logged some quality miles. My next race is in a few weeks – a 10K – and then my first marathon of the “spring” season is on February 15th. With some of the long run paces I’ve hit recently, I wanted to shoot for 6:50-7 minute miles in the marathon, 6:20-30 in the 10k. Even with missing a long run and having to cut off some distance due to weather last weekend, I am confident that I can do this. I know I can. Except now I’m just hoping I don’t have a fracture in my foot or something. Honestly, I think I aggravated a tendon in there from running in the poor conditions in my Yak Trax, but it’s enough to have me concerned. I’ve had stress fractures before to know what they feel like, and what I felt was enough to worry me. The good news is, my “tell tale” stress fracture sign is the hop test. Anytime I had a stress fracture, I couldn’t hop on it without feeling something – and when I hop on this I feel nothing. So that’s good.
I guess when I take it for a spin today (after yesterday’s day of cross training), I’ll see what the deal is. Here’s to keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best!
How do you deal with injury interrupting your training? When something hurts, what “process” do you follow to try to heal it as quickly as possible?