…and I’m not liking it.
I started training for the Salisbury Marathon early this year. Things have been going well, considering most of my training runs have occurred on the treadmill because I am a fair-weather runner. Then I decided to do incline/hill work during one of my interval training runs. When I finished that run, I felt a minor strain in the back of my right ankle. So I took it easy the next couple of runs. I didn’t notice any problems.
One night, while sitting around at home recovering from the day, I was fiddling around with my training schedule and trying to coordinate local runs with my training plan. I hopped online and registered for both the Tim Kennard 10 Mile River Run and The Run for the Animals half marathon. I had myself pumped! Very much looking forward to both runs preceding the marathon. About a week later, I got sick.
When you’re training for something like a marathon, you just don’t have time to get sick! It was a severe upper respiratory thing, and I had to take a break from running until my lungs cleared of all the mucus so I could breathe. I ended up taking 8 days off. During the first week after recovering from my URTI, I eased myself back into the runs. I shortened my scheduled training runs by about 25%. The next week I was pretty close to being back on track! Then that pain in the back of my right ankle started to creep up again. It wasn’t severe or debilitating, but I do know that when your body is eliciting pain, it’s telling you something is wrong. When I lift weights, the next day or two afterward I feel pain, but there isn’t anything really wrong going on in this case, right? I (foolishly) took the same approach to the pain I was feeling in the back of my ankle.
I had a 12 mile training run to complete this week. The weather was gorgeous on Tuesday so I decided to get it in since I had the day off from work. I did my usual 10 minute warm-up which consists of a lot of dynamic stretching through yoga techniques. I took it nice and easy since I had that slight tinge of pain in the back of the ankle, and by mile 6 or 7 I started to feel more pain. At that point I started to add in some walk breaks. During the walk breaks my ankle felt fine. Then, almost immediately as I started to run again the pain came right back. I had to make my way back home so continued my run/walk intervals. I finished my 12 miles. I did my usual post-run stretching, foam rolled and took a hot shower. I teach SoulBody Barre Unhitched at our local YMCA on Tuesday evenings, so I needed to clean up and I continued to stretch and move around so as not to tighten up prior to class.
I felt good, and my ankle seemed fine, but there was a very minor dull ache. When I started teaching class that night, as soon as I had to do a toe-point, I felt the back of my right ankle. Then, while performing a plié jump, OUCH! Yikes. That really hurt. So I modified throughout the rest of class.
When I got home I started to panic a little, not gonna lie. So I did what we are ALL guilty of when something like this happens…I jumped online and posted in my running groups on Facebook for advice, then googled ankle/achilles injuries and how to handle them. The more I read, the more freaked out I became. I even pulled out my Netter’s Musculoskeletal Flash Cards. I self-diagnosed myself with Achilles Tendinitis. I am not going to be able to run my marathon, I feared in my head.
Conditions of the Achilles Tendon
Before you go on to chastise me for consulting with “Dr. Google,” like so many did in one of my Facebook running groups, I work in the veterinary field (and blog myself) and I know better than to take the advice of any web-based recommendation without first consulting with my Physician. I was merely seeking advice from others who have experienced similar injuries, and I appreciated all of those who shared their experiences.
The next morning I called my Doctor’s office to get an appointment ASAP to get an official diagnosis and, hopefully, a prescription for Physical Therapy. My appointment isn’t until Monday (I am writing this on the Saturday prior to my appointment).
In the meantime, I’m “on the bench” and not running at all until I get some answers. I’m following the standard RICE procedure for injuries. As I sit here writing this post, my right leg is elevated with a cold compress on the affected area. I currently have zero pain, but I do have some swelling and a little “bump” in the middle of my Achilles.
If the running Gods do have it in for me, I’ll find out for sure next week. If they’re just trying to challenge me, they’re doing a pretty damn good job of it! I will (begrudgingly) take a DNS over a NRA. Who knows, maybe I won’t have to worry about either! Please feel free to share your running injury experiences in the comments, or whatever else you’d like share. I’ll hopefully have some good news to report early next week. Stay tuned…