What do I do now
When I started doing my long distance runs on the weekends, as I was training for my race, I began to have pain in my right achilles, where it attaches to my heel. As I increased my mileage, it got worse. I took time off from running just before the race so that I would be able to compete as planned. I wasn’t able to run as much as I would have liked to during the race, but I did finish and that was what I set out to do. As the days went by after the race, the achilles pain began to increase to the point that it was extremely painful to walk. I tried every style of shoes that I could think of, and had many conversations with a friend who is also a podiatrist and ultra runner. He advised me to stop running and let it heal or I would be chancing ending up having surgery or worse, a ruptured achilles.
So I tried, to stop running. I went a week, here and there, but then I would get so depressed that my running wasnt happening, that I would get right back out on the road, and the whole pain cycle and inflammation would start up again. Again and again I was told “no running for awhile”. So, I would wear my air-boot for a couple of days and it would settle down enough that I could walk comfortably. But, as soon as I even tried to return to running the pain and inflammation reared it’s ugly head and came back full force. The thought of not running for 3-6 months was making me sick to my stomach to even think about it.
Fast forward to yesterday. I was finally given the option to walk, and also ride my bike on the trainer. I set out on the roads and happily trotted along here and there. Not full running by any means, just a little here and there. I was only allowed 20 mins, but I ended up being out there 25. I was due to do 20 mins on the bike, so I took off 5 to allow for the extra 5 on the walk. The day was cold, and brisk, but it felt F A N T A S T I C to be out there again. Mentally I needed that ittybitty walk/run. It helped immensely to lighten the fog my brain has been in since the marathon.
I made sure to put on my favorite jacket from 180S, and my new shoes from Skechers Performance, the Go dri Ride3 Extreme. Totally made for winter/wet running. Great shoes for this time of year. Ankle/Achilles felt ok afterwards, a bit sore but nothing major. I knew that the test would be this morning when I got up.
As always, the morning is the hardest time to walk. When I sleep the tendon retracts and so when I get up and step down it pulls where it inserts into my heel and is extremely painful. This morning was awful, and I ended up making a very hard decision. I have many times gone to work and limped around all day not wanting to deal with wearing that stupid looking boot at work. But, today I realized that if I don’t start listening to my doctor and my coach, I may injure myself enough that it wont get better without surgery. This is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. My life revolves around running and everything associated with it. The thought of not being able to run just tears a big whole in my heart as well as my psyche.
So the morale of this story is.. do what your doctor tells you. Runners, I can totally sympathize with any of you dealing with injuries.. the hardest thing is to not run, and to explain to a non runner that it hurts the soul to NOT run. I know it doesnt make sense to them. I will include my family in that one.
So, I will from this point on try my hardest to be a compliant patient and do what I am told. Many thanks to Caleb, Dennis, and Isaac, who have been very, very encouraging, yet stern enough to tell me when I’m out of line. I value their input greatly.
So when you see me waddling around town or at work, you’ll know the story and won’t have to ask! Hopefully by putting this out there, I will keep myself on track a little bit better.