I have a major SweatySanDiego Hangover. Please excuse.
Up first on the weekend visitor/travel/run recap, a blanket statement to quickly cover a few important story-fillers :
Mix and match any sequence of the above photos and that’s pretty much the whole weekend. #OpSD Success. Please reference SweatOnceADay for further proof until I actually write about it.
In the meantime, I’ll talk (selfishly) about ME and MY RUNNING and MY BODY and MY RACES AND GOALS AND QUEST TO BECOMING A REAL RUNNER AND HOW I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR INJURIES MESSING THAT UP!
I was pretty sure my Achilles Tendon was half a sliver from crippling me for life.
Walking was not painful. Over-flexing and stretching was, but not in the whole stretching-should-hurt-a-little! way. Running felt like every step was a 90% chance something in my ankle/heel was going to snap in half.
A lot of you weighed in with advice and suggestions, which kept my mind busy thinking maybe there was hope for an easy fix, and maybe my life was officially over and I needed to start looking into new hobbies.
Oh and Dave? I still haven’t decided whether you were joking or not? Don’t play with my “I like to go fast” heart :
If you run at maxOUaL speed, the aerobic pain will mask the achilles pain.
So the threat of Sweat-cation Derailment pretty much ruined my entire Friday. Within 12 seconds of fetching Emily from the airport and we were dissecting the situation with
doctor stubborn runner intellect and devising a “Save-The-Long-Run” strategy to put to action.
First up : beach path test run. precautionary calf sleeves and pain tolerance on high alert.
After a few minutes it (ankle/achilles/heel) loosened up a bit. And then it tightened again. And then it loosened. And tightened. And then I stopped. And went again. Slower. Maybe faster. Ok, faster is better. Actually, fast feels good. Ok.
I bet I spent .09% of the 5 miles thinking about anything other than how it felt. Surprising, given Em’s prompts of “HOW DOES IT FEEL” ever 4 steps. I didn’t know how to describe or pinpoint the pain. Will running more loosen it up or keep hurting it? Will stretching help or hurt? What about ice? Foam roll? Pain killers? QUIT RUNNING FOREVER AND TAKE UP A PAIN-FREE SPORT???? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST TALK TO ME, STUPID ANKLE THING?!
I hate not knowing what to do.
So I iced. Took a few anti-inflammatories. Continued sticking until my lower half looked like I got hit repeatedly with a
baseball bat 17″ plastic roller torture device.
Ummm, timeout. Where did that giant knot in my calf come from?
After a brief consult to a few trusted sources, it became clear that the source of my ankle/achilles/heel problems could very very VERY well be stemming from my obnoxiously tight calves and the giant lump on the inside middle of it.
Heh, guess I haven’t been stretching as much as I should’ve been…
So Long Run/Race-eve was dedicated to a very painful recon mission against said knot. I said a lot of bad words. And did lots of hydrating (the ‘proper’ kind, not the Emily-and-Sarah-to-AA kind) to flush out all the evil lactic acid that had taken residence in my legs and was being ruthlessly “massaged” away.
Guess what? It worked.
I’ll talk about the run/race in detail later, but I will confirm that Sunday’s 20.7 miles were ankle/achilles/heel pain-free. I’ve still got some work to do to get it back to 100%, but I am SO SO SO SO SO SO x518 RELIEVED that it’s managed and on the mend.
And that’s the story of Injury Scare #1 of the 2012 racing season. Hopefully there isn’t a sequel.
Somewhat random but related question : Do you like your feet touched/rubbed/massaged?
I find it terrible and prefer to never have anyone near the things that I rely on getting me places and through life. Especially runners – we do so much extra abuse (hello callouses, black toenails, blood blisters, etc) to them that I just don’t want myself or anyone else to be subjected to that nastiness. Similar to detailing your car’s tire treads. Why would you use a toothbrush and pepperminty soap when a simple spray with the powerhose will do?