ORN: 10.7 miles, 1:51:20, 10:25/mile, R/W 3/1
In my previous post, I outlined the pain in my right Achilles tendon which put me on the sidelines for how long, I didn't know in early February.
A month later, I'm back running.
With a lot of input, the logical advice was the best advice: dude, go see a professional. A local running friend referred me to a doc in town who is also an ultrarunner himself. It worked well. He did a full work up, bent me every which way and said "Yep, you are really tight on your right side." His analysis was clear: the pain was in my Achilles but that wasn't the cause. Instead, he found some real tightness in my calf which, effectively, shortened my Achilles and thus it hurt. The key was to get the calf looser. In addition, my entire right leg was tight, likely triggered by the calf.
Sympathetic to my interest in running again, he told me to lay off running for two weeks and get very well acquainted with my foam roller. There was no serious damage and I needed to simply help the muscle loosen up via deep massage. That I did. In addition, I found a place to do some stationery bike work.
On February 19, I held my breath and took an ever-so-ginger 3 mile run on an indoor track at a local gym. It was better. The weather then went to pot here, with sub zero temperatures, snow and ice. So, for two more weeks, I ran, round and round, on this indoor track. I used my usual 3/1 run/walk sequence and reversed my direction on the track every four minutes. I could tell the calf was staying loose and getting better.
Finally, today, the temperatures got into the lower 40s, on a Saturday no less, and so I went out for my first outdoor long run since January 17. I was quite encouraged. Shorts in the snow...it was great to be out and do a 10 miler
And why do I have a running blog?? Because I'm forgetful. So I write things down. Case in point: I just noted this post from three years ago, March 10, 2012. The topic of that post, little-read and soon forgotten?? My sore, right Achilles tendon. So good to read...the very same leg, the very same symptoms, the likely same cause of increased mileage. I had completely forgotten the previous event. The lesson? Clearly, there I have some structural tendency towards this specific injury. It reinforces to me the requirement to stretch well as a countermeasure.
My annual plans remain the same...still hoping to run a sub-four hour marathon. However, I've shifted my target race from the spring races to the fall. I'll use the spring races to get back to the mileage I need and get the calf working well. Next up is the Sam Costa Half Marathon in two weeks and then the Carmel Marathon on April 18. Hopefully, the summer will then allow the work necessary to prepare for fall.
One way or another, I'll persevere. As will you.