August 8 Check In

Morning Commute Crosswalk

I’ve edited and updated some evergreen posts such as the New England Marathons Fall 2021. A directory of New England Marathons requires regular updates, even in a normal year.

But I haven’t been running or racing much these past few months.

The mid-summer Check In

So here’s a recap of the past few months.

Running Check In

I’ve had Achilles tendonitis since November of 2020.

Throughout 2020 I had been running three times a week. My long runs were often half-marathon or longer and I was feeling pretty good.

In November I ran three legs of a relay race and during the last two miles I could tell that something was wrong.

Any runner will tell you that it’s not unusual for something to hurt during a run. Even if it’s just a few miles.

This race was a little over 14 miles.

Over the next four months I spent a lot of time on the couch with my ankle on a pillow with an ice pack waiting for things to get better.

I also ran short runs in the neighborhood just to try and keep something going.

This managed to knock back the discomfort back 10%, but I was in no condition for Spring Training.

Finally in March I went to an Orthopedist. He looked at my x-rays, did some poking, twisting, turning and applied pressure.

The good news was that nothing was broken. The bad news was that I had a classic case of achilles tendonitis.

He gave me a 24-hour NSAID, told me to rest more and ice at least four times a day. If nothing improved in the next month or so I could come back and get fitted for a boot.

I did everything he said and even stopped running for all of May.

In June I tried to get back to running with short runs around the neighborhood. I even ran the virtual BAA 10K.

While my pain had decreased maybe another 10% the 10K confirmed that I was not ready to get back to training.

I called to make an appointment for The Boot. I was gonna be a Storm Trooper!

Instead, my original ortho had me talk to an ortho who specialized in runners. We are a special breed! ?

For this appointment I got to do a tele-health visit on my phone.

I know that some people don’t like these but I loved the convenience. Since I had already been physically examined there was no need to go into an office.

Doctor’s Orders

On top of being a nice guy, this Doc knew how to talk to a runner.

Right at the beginning of the call he said that “we both want the same thing and that is to get you out running again.” How could I disagree with that?

He said no running or long walks for the next 6-8 weeks and to go see a physical therapist. He knew the PT practice I use and gave me a referral.

I’ve been to PT about 8 times since mid July.

My PT Doc gave me four exercises to do at home, which I thought was great. Previously I’ve been sent home with pages of things to do. Does anyone get past the first page?

My ankles are still tight when I wake up in the morning but seem to be getting better.

Better yet, last weekend I noticed that I could fly up and down stairs without pain! Mid-flight I realized I was going down the stairs strait and nothing hurt!

I told my PT about this and that there is a 5K coming up on the 14th. But she looked at me and said “you could run it but it will probably set you back.”

That’s all I needed to hear. I’ve been dealing with this for eight months, so when the doctor said she wouldn’t advise it in so many words, I listened.

Instead of saying no she just told me what would happen. Pretty smart!

Following Doctor’s Orders

My Ortho told me not to run or go for long walks. So I haven’t even gone for a hike in the woods or to the beach.

I’ve even impressed my self with how well I’m following my PT plan.

Every day I do the entire plan and sometimes I do a bit more. Just like running, it’s important not to over do it. So I only do some of the routine several times.

All of this has pretty much trashed my summer, but what can I do?

I want to run again and not be in pain every day.

It’s a small price to pay even if it is a few more months.

About 10 years ago I had what I thought was bursitis in my left hip. It lasted for about three years and I thought my marathon running was over.

I kept to short runs and settled into the idea of running just for fitness.

But eventually it went away on it’s own and hasn’t bothered me since.

If something like that can get better, so can this.

Author: OmniRunner

9X Boston Marathon finisher, 17X marathons total. Sharing my love for running and the fun adventures and lessons that come with it. Helping non-profits increase fundraising and new runners celebrate their First 5K.

6 thoughts on “August 8 Check In”

  1. Thanks for sharing your story of pain and rehab, OmniRunner. I need to hear these things. I was especially heartened to hear that what you thought had been hip nudities disappeared after 3 years. Gives me hope!

  2. Oh, I hear you, Andy!
    For 11 months in 2019, I could not run due to Achilles tendonitis. Absolutely no running for me and lots and lots of PT.
    And, most importantly, I needed to get a gait analysis and customized insoles so that it doesn’t happen again.

    You’re doing great by listening to your doctor. She knows what she’s doing. You will soon be back – wishing you a speedy recovery!

    1. Tendons take a long time to heal.
      They don’t have a great blood supply and there isn’t much you can do about it.
      And everyone heals at a different rate.
      My Orthopedist told me he could give me a time range for a bone to heal, not tendonitis is less predictable.
      Thanks for your comment!

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