Hmmmm... how about injuries??
Running can be soooo great, but it's also the devil. My last major running accomplishment was the Flying Pig Marathon in May 2009 (3:43).... since then I haven't FELT like a runner!
I slacked/took time off running the rest of 2009 to plan a wedding/start a full-time job/move into a new house... then got back into it WAY too fast in early 2010, and ended up with severe heel pain (plantar fascitis). This ruined my 2010 season (but, I made a lot of improvements the bike!).
Early 2011: Plantar fascitis STILL bugged me. After numerous round of doctor visits, massage, and physical therapy, I finally found that the GRASTON technique worked well...so around June/July/August it started feeling better.
But guess what? As soon as the heel pain subsided, the back of my calcaneus bone (bottom of the heel) started hurting- great. Right where the the achilles tendon attaches...hellooo achilles tendonitis.
Why did this happen? Most likely because I went from being a "heel striker" to a "midfoot" striker... since my calves were weak from not running, and there is a LOT more stress placed on those muscles when the heel isn't absorbing the shock, I'm guessing my achilles tendon got pissed.
My coach Jen and I have worked with it...slowly building up miles, keeping intensity low, backing off when needed... but when I had my first DNF at a half-ironman over labor day weekend (achilles was getting too painful on the run and I would have caused further damage if I continued), that was the last straw. I got ANGRY.
After another visit with my foot doc, here's what I've been doing the last few weeks:
- A 6-day steroid pack to reduce the inflammation
- PT using the ion patch 2x/week
- GRASTON 2-3x/week
- Massage 1-2x/week (when I'm not bruised up from graston)
- Icing 2x/day
- wearing stupid compression socks/sleeves
- Stretching constantly, and foam-rolling/golf-ball rolling if I'm not banged up from graston.
A bit about Graston...
|Ouch. Bruising is common...does it HAVE to hurt/bruise? No. However, I let them "dig in" as much as I can tolerate...|
From their website, the Graston technique can be described as a "form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation."
Yup, it's like a deep-tissue massage... with a set of "tools"...they pretty much "scrape away" all the junk that builds up around inflammation and any muscle or tissue damage. From personal experience, I can tell you that the pain and bruising isn't SO bad when it's on connective tissues that don't get a lot of blood flow, but it can be brutal on/around muscles...to learn more, click here.
The "schedule" is exhausting. It's time-consuming. That stupid achilles doesn't stand a chance though- I am ATTACKING it! Recovery ain't easy...