Injured

I’m inured. It’s my Achilles. It happened last week. I felt a little discomfort after my run on Tuesday, but it went away so I ran again on Wednesday. Both of those were treadmill runs because Carlos was on school vacation and I had to run late in the evening. It also happened to be raining both nights making outdoor runs even less. My schedule was upside down due to the school vacation and it just so happened to be my biggest mileage week for marathon training. My sister said she could watch Carlos on Thursday so I could attempt my 22 mile run. I was psyched to have the opportunity to do such a long run on an entirely new to me trail. I really welcomed the change of scenery.

About a mile in the discomfort crept up and I slowed down a bit contemplating what I should do. It didn’t hurt at that point, it was simply a nuisance. By mile 4 I stopped at a dock overlooking the Charles River. I burst into tears before turning back. I was in pain. I hobbled and limped back to my sister’s place. I was frustrated, angry and worried.

Cut to today. It’s not much better despite all of the interventions I have tried. Here is the list:

RICE (minus the R)

  • icing
  • compression
  • elevating

Medicine

  • Ibuprofen (not helpful)
  • Aleve (just started taking yesterday and I do feel some relief with it)
  • Homeopathic herbal supplements like Arnica, MSM, Magnesium and Bone & Tissue Support (I would like to believe that the injury would be much more painful still without these supplements, but there’s no way to know.

Other therapies

  • Icy hot (just because I had it in the medicine cabinet)
  • Epsom salt soaks
  • Shoe inserts made to relieve heel pain (I’m returning them! Horrible, no relief what so ever)
  • A slip on ankle sleeve (soothing, but not life changing)
  • Sports massage (I just had it done today. No immediate relief, but perhaps I will notice a difference in the morning.)
  • Stretching (I’m reading conflicting viewpoints on stretching with an Achilles injury. Some doctors I’ve read online say stretching is key, other

I have an appointment next Thursday with a Sports Medicine doctor. He was a Pentathlon athlete in the XXI Olympics and continues to compete in triathlons. I was told he will be empathetic to my situation.

The massage therapist I went to is a runner and used to do triathlons. She was not very optimistic about my plan to run the Vermont City Marathon in 3 weeks. She asked me if I had resolved myself to the fact that I may not be able to run. I lied and said yes. Truthfully I haven’t given up hope. The only intervention that isn’t on the bullet list is rest. Life goes on and my life is active with or without the training. Since the injury occurred I also worked almost every night except for Sunday and last night. I’m off again tonight and tomorrow night. My plan is to take the next two nights to actually rest as much as humanly possibly. Carlos is sleeping at my mom’s tonight. Orlando just ran out to pick up dinner. I’m lying on the sofa with my left leg elevated on a bag of ice. Friday nights sure have changed!!

I welcome any advice, words of wisdom or stories to commiserate with me.

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12 Comments

  1. I am SO sorry to hear this! :( I really don’t have anything to say to help you out one way or another … but I am sorry that this is happening. I think you probably have to set up some ‘scenarios’ around how you are going to handle things for the next few weeks … and as your massage therapist suggested one of those would have to include determining what the ‘trigger point’ is for not running the VCM. Which sucks. Again, so sorry :(

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your comment. I’ve recently been reading your blog which I linked to from Carina’s blog. Your story is quite inspiring. I think you’re right about having a plan to get me through the next few weeks. I also need to be realistic about race day. No matter what happens we will still go to Burlington because we have friends we are excited to visit with and if I can’t join in on marathon day then I can certainly cheer for those who are running.

      Reply
      • Thanks Aimee – I mention you this week in a post. Sorry you have to endure this …

        And it is great you’re headed to Burlington – I think going there just because it is an awesome place is reason enough :)

  2. Aimee…this is very disappointing news…especially since you are so close to running that marathon. I’m hoping one of (or a combination of) your healing tactics will work. Thinking positive thoughts for you.

    Reply
    • Thanks Kaye. I am so grateful to have this weekend off. Regardless of the outcome on race day I will be able to say I did my absolute best to get well. Keep sending those positive vibes my way! I hope you’re having a nice weekend off too.

      Reply
  3. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear it. Are you sure it’s your Achilles and not plantar fasciitis? Maybe you can do a drastic taper with lots of not running for a few weeks, and you’ll be able to run anyway? Do you have access to a pool? I will hope for the best and am glad you’re getting it checked out this week. Fingers crossed for you!

    Reply
    • Thank you Carina. Yes I’m basically in taper mode right now. I’m focusing on upper body strength training, gentle yoga, stretching and stationary bike workouts. My friend asked about swimming and I am going to seek out a pool today for the next few weeks. I’m also paying close attention to my diet so I don’t gain any weight just in case I’m able to run. I’m also using nutrition as a means to help heal from within. I am not sure if it’s my Achilles so I’m looking forward to (and I’m terrified for) my appointment with the sports medicine doctor on Thursday for the definitive diagnosis. It will be better just to know. I tried some KT tape last night with some temporary relief.

      Reply
      • What was the word from the sports doc?

      • He explained that the X-Ray indicated inflammation where the Achilles inserts into the bone. I irritated the outer lining of the bone (periosteum) as well as underneath it.

        He is quite optimistic about me running the marathon. He wants me to water run and massage the calf. He will work that area next week when I go back. He thinks if we can take away the knots in the calf and I just keep doing what I’m doing it will be ok.

        I like his attitude, but I can’t imagine running the way I’m feeling. Physically I have felt little improvement. This weekend I actually felt increased pain in my heel because of 4 very busy nights at work and little time to rest during the day. However, I am trying to stay positive about healing and find the good that will come of this.

  4. Have faith, stay positive, run hard in the pool, and cross-train like a machine. Keep your mind in the game. Weeks are actually very long!

    Reply
    • I’ve had your comment running through my mind and I’m not giving up just yet. I’m in the gym now. This is not over!

      Reply
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