Thursday, April 17, 2014

Being injured SUCKS

Very fortunately, I've been injury free most of my life, including the past few years of increased running. Hardly any nagging aches and pains to slow me down.

I'm proud to be strong - and ready to go on any adventure thrown my way.

But all that changed during a glorious February snowstorm.
I was snowbound with nothing to do but laze around. I was at the very end of my half-marathon training cycle, so I took full advantage of my treadmill to do a pace run, a long run and my final speedwork - 21 miles in all. In between workouts, I sat in my PJs, read a couple books and watched Netflix.

I was very excited by my complete lethargy interspersed with intense workouts. But I think that might have been a mistake.
As I worked through Sunday's 10 x 400 intervals, I started to feel a hot spot on my heel. I thought I was getting a blister, but by the end, it had turned into a little pain in my left Achilles. I'd been feeling calf tightness for a while, and I think I pushed it too far :(

I stretched, rolled, iced, Aleved and rested, assuming that a little TLC would take care of it. I did cross training all week and then did a little test run to see how it felt. Not fixed.
My target half marathon was that next weekend, and I decided to go for it, ready to pull back (or out) if needed. My tendon hurt a bit as I ran the Heart Breaker Half, but it did not worsen. No harm done, I guess.
I continued my self treatments and cross training with just a couple short test runs between. Then two weeks after Heart Breaker came the Lincoln City Half. Again, I ran ready to pull back or out and came out no worse for the wear. This time I got taped up by Dr. Dan:
Two weeks later: Shamrock Run 15K. I ran that hilly race hard, felt my tendon some and, once again, didn't come out any worse.

Now I'm in a down time with no racing for almost two months. I've been cross training like a fiend, walking, hiking, biking, aqua jogging, strength training, ellipticalling and stair climbing. I've been getting IASTYM from Dr. Dan and now acupuncture (including cupping) with Judy.
And I'm trying really hard to keep a good attitude. But it's really difficult when I see everyone out running in the gorgeous spring weather and I'm stuck on the indoor bike. I'm feeling my running fitness slip away, and I'm sad. I'm turning down chances to get out and do fun activities, and it super sucks. I was contemplating another stab at the Portland Marathon this fall, but that's out of the question now.

The suckiest part is that my pain is very, very minor. I would absolutely run through it - but it's my understanding that Achilles injuries can become major problems if left untreated. I don't want this to turn into a lifelong issue.

The good news is that Judy told me to try running a mile or two later this week and see what happens. Cautiously optimistic :)

I have four races, including my first relay, coming up in May and June. Even if I can start running again soon, getting back up to half-marathon shape will take some time. *Sigh* Being injured sucks.

Hitting the pool today at lunch - yay for aqua jogging :)

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