Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sore Achilles

ORN:  16.2 miles, 2:59:31, R/W 4/1, 11:05/mile

One of the benefits of blogging is the record.  Much like the diary or personal journal of an earlier era, a blog puts down one's observations as a snapshot.  Future reference is often useful.  Unlike a journal, though, we do it in public.  Happy to have you reading along.

Today's topic is my sore right Achilles tendon.  I  have not had an injury for several years now, so this is new territory.  It arose after my 24 mile run last Saturday.  It seems I must have strained it somehow...on Monday, I actually saw a bit of discoloration, indicating I must have popped a few blood vessels.  I shuffled through 5 miles last Sunday but then decided to give it an extra day of rest and didn't run again until Thursday.

So, looking at today's scheduled 16 miler, I wasn't sure just what it would feel like. Heading out the door in our chilly upper 30s, the tendon was stiff.  It didn't really hurt but I was certainly aware of it on each stride.  I kept the pace easy and used a 4/1 run/walk ratio.

What surprised me was how it gradually improved.  By mile 5, I really wasn't noticing it any more.  Miles 6-8 were up a long, gentle incline, where I wondered if it would strain more.  But there was no pain.  By mile 12, it was a touch noticeable but only when I focused on it.  The run ended with 16 in the bank and it was OK.

After the run, I iced it again.  I found, as I have all week, it was most noticeable when I stood up after sitting for a while.  It seems it stiffens somewhat with in-action.

Given that I have a 33.5 mile trail race in two weeks, I'm wondering what this means.  Realizing I ran the equivalent of a marathon last week, the tendon felt consistently better as the week went on, that a long run today went OK and I'm in taper mode, I decided the Achilles would likely be OK for the race.  

And why did the injury happen?  I gotta figure it was overuse.  I probably dialed up my mileage too quickly in an effort to get set for the long race.  Note to self.

Thanks for reading over my shoulder!




Wes said...

sounds strangely similar to that plantar fascitis crap. keep an eyeball on it!

Sarah said...

Your race is getting closer! Hope everything continues to feel good.