Injury Sucks

Being injured sucks. Over the years I have been fortunate in that I don’t really get injured. I may get a niggle and have a few days off, but nothing becomes big enough to take me out of running fot a good while…until now.

In fact, 2015 hasn’t exactly been the best year for me so far. I started it by volunteering for a research project. It involved 3 V02 max tests in the space of 2 weeks. Ever since taking those tests I have gone from one issue to the next. Following them I started having a strange sensation in my right thigh – numbness and tingling with some tightness too. I was able to run on this and after seeing a Physio was able to determine what caused it. I already knew but it was nice to have confirmation. The V02 tests were done on a stationary bike – I am not a big biker. Due to not really getting a proper warm up and them being so close together, it had caused my lower back to tighten up like a mother f**ker. I found a really good stretch though to help get rid of the tension in my back and it was gone within a week or so. At least with this issue I was able to continue running and the Physio gave a thumbs up to that too 🙂

Then just as I was getting back into my stride, an ankle issue rears its head. I figured it was time I bit the bullet and got a new pair of shoes. I had been running in Zem 02 shoes for the past 2 years but the soles are wearing thin. They may last another year or they may gain a hole. I got them for 7 quid off Amazon and on reflection, should have got more….none left now. So I decided to try another model. Unfortunately on my first run in them they rubbed the back of my ankle and irritated it – so I decided to ease into them hoping this would be gone. I had a tight ankle the next morning from using them and then found that it was sore for a few days after as well. I stretched my ankle/calf out moreso in this time to help ease the issue. This did help, however I chose to wear them again before my ankle had fully recovered. I went out for my tempo run in them and it irritated my ankle further. I ended up cutting the tempo shorter – I wasn’t too concerned about this as I did 40 mins of the 50 I had planned. Anyway the next day my ankle was pretty sore and I attempted another run but had to stop after a mile because my ankle was too sore 🙁

Since then I have been cross training like a crazy person. It has been just over 2 weeks now and the ankle is nearly 100%. I am extremely disappointed as I thought it would be resolved by now (the Physio I saw thought it would be gone within a week!). I did have an issue last year where this happened but with the other ankle and it was gone within 5 days. This time it seems more serious. So to prevent myself from going nuts, I have been doing lots of cycling, aquajogging, spinning, fitness classes like pilates and ab blast. I am pretty nacked but if I don’t overcompensate with the cross training I am pretty sure I will sink into a deep depression. I know I am very close to running again but its not coming quick enough.

I had hoped to run the Orion 15 on Saturday. Today was the day I was going to test it to see if this would be possible. I knew it was a long shot but its still disappointing to know I am going to miss it this year. I was able to run today but there is still soreness. Trying to run a hilly muddy tough 15 miler isn’t going to help things.

Orion 15 has been the highlight of my year and I am so sad that I can’t do it this year. I only hope I can find something similar later on in the year to compensate my craving for lots of mud and lots of hills.

So what exactly is my ankle problem?

Well its somewhere between heel bursitis and an insertional achilles tendonitis. That is the location it hurts. I think its a heel bursa and the shoe rubbed it (I won’t be using those shoes again and believe the way the back is angled and its stiffness is going to cause problems again even if I wear socks – which I despise anyway). I am not sure if I have a Haglund’s deformity or not but it looks that way – I definitely think the bursa was seriously irritated though.

I have found some of the cycling I have done to irritate it but not enough to make it worse or to prevent it from heeling.

Things I have done to help it:

  • Eccentric heel exercise which I got from this article: http://www.running-physio.com/insertional-achilles-tendinopathy. This was a really helpful article for the issue.
  • Cross training for sanity (spinning, aquajogging, cycling and anything else I can do)
  • Stretching – I have been wary to stretch the calf too much in case I irritated the issue further but this hasn’t been a problem. I have always included stretching in my routine anyway but have just been doing extra since this issue. It does or did irritate it but it is usually fine after a while and doesn’t make it worse.
  • Massage – just massaging the actual tendons in the foot in the ankle and heel as well as the calf muscle which has plenty of knots in it.

Tomorrow I will probably be doing more Pilates, maybe a bit of aquajogging and maybe some spinning. I do feel by next week I should be out running properly again as its practically gone, but to supplement next week I will be at the pool aquajogging too.

I have also got my hands on a rower which I will use over the weekend. I am always reading about rowing being good for runners so seeing as I have a free one might as well get into some of that too.

I really can’t wait to be back outside doing what I love. I am a true run junkie and this is certainly emphasised more to me when I can’t run.