Thursday, March 15, 2012

Injury #452

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

What? It’s not summer? Well, it’s sure feels like it around Chicago! With consistent temps in the mid-70 to low 80’s! You have just got to love running this week!

Unless you’re me! Oh, don’t get me wrong! I love running in this weather! Daylight savings time means it’s actually light out until almost 7:30 pm! It’s just that I can’t actually run right now!

Oh injury! How you love to screw with me so! I’ve been waiting for this exact week for a month! More daylight! I won’t have to run in the dark! And it’s a bonus with these temps!
After my long run of 16 miles on Saturday, I actually felt fine. But come Saturday evening around 7:00 pm, my ankle started hurting. I didn’t think much of it. But Sunday, it was still hurting. It’s the left ankle which I previously injured in college (incredibly badly) for which I never went to the doctor. Brief recap on that, it was completely swollen (in college) and black and blue for about a solid month! I couldn’t go to the gym. I was a bank teller at the time and luckily part supervisor so I asked for supervisor duties for 2 weeks so I could sit down most of the time. It was painful with a capital P! It didn’t heal for at least 2 months!

Needless to say, I assumed my injury this past Saturday was just a minor pain and would go away. After being on it ALL day Sunday (for at least 8 solid hours), it definitely wasn’t feeling better. Later on Sunday night, I looked down and it was a little swollen. That definitely made me a little nervous. I tried to chalk it up to the fact that I was on my feet all day (which I’m sure didn’t help it) . I decided to try to ice it that night.

Monday, I had taken a day off of work just for a personal day. When I woke up and while lying in bed, I was thinking that my ankle was still swollen and still a little sore. I wasn’t sure what to do. I’m training for a marathon and I’m more in the home stretch than the beginning. I wasn’t sure if I should just try resting a few days and icing, or if I should actually make an appointment right away and have it checked out. What I didn’t want to do is rest a few days and ice it, it not be any better and I’m still back at square one a week later. I decided since I was off, I was going in for a free screening from a physical therapy place someone recommended near my house.

That was a great decision. It was free so no co-pays or insurance hassles. The woman spent a lot of time with me and I didn’t feel rushed. She said I had mild tendinitis. After I talked to her further and she did some further testing on me, she confirmed what a doctor said in December, that I have weak hips and butt muscles. Basically that always seems to be the main source of all my issues. Everything is always connected. She said I have poor flexibility in my big toe (about 20% when I should have 70%), my arches are in sad shape, I have weak ankles, and my hips and butt.

She gave me a 3 page sheets of exercises to do to strengthen all of these areas. Toe exercises, arch exercises (didn’t know they existed!), ankle exercises, hip exercises and butt exercises. I need to do these 4-5 days per week. And it takes me about 35-40 minutes to complete! But you know what? I have to do them. I have to get these areas stronger and more flexible if I want to keep running as seriously as I’ve been.
Now for the running. Before I went in, my worst fears were playing in my head. I’m 7 weeks from the marathon. What if they tell me I have a stress fracture or something else and I have to be out of running for 2 months! Or even what if they tell me I can’t run for a month! When deciding whether to go in or not, that is one of the reasons I wasn’t going to go. I was trying to decide, do I continue training for the Illinois marathon at the end of April and possibly kill my chances to do Chicago again this year? Or do I possibly have to sit this one out and then train for Chicago? These were all “What ifs”. What if I had something seriously wrong! But I decided to be smart and figure out what was up before I did major damage to anything.

I really hate my feet!  But a blogger has to do what a blogger has to do!
The swelling is that large bump right above the taping (where my ankle bone should be)!
I normally have very sexy and hot ankles!!  :)

And the verdict was….no running for about 1-1.5 weeks. What?!? That’s all??? I could have kissed that woman when she told me! It was a cutback week for the training anyway and so I felt that this was totally doable. And I would still have 5.5-6 weeks left to finish training.

Now I just have to be smart. I can’t over push myself. I have to lay off of the really uneven trails that I’ve been doing my long runs on. That is what most likely caused this to flare up. So I’m swimming and biking this week. I’m trying to be outdoors a little because this weather is too great to miss! I may whine and complain but I’ll get over it! The good thing is, I actually love swimming and biking. And I’m going to try a strength training class at the fitness center tonight since I can't make my normal Thursday night group run (Totally sad about that!).

So, the key is to work with what life throws at you.  When life gives you lemons...garnish a long island ice tea with it!  Mmmmmm...I love long islands!!

**Speaking of marathons, run on over to my friend Kelly’s blog. She has posted about her marathon experience from last year and things she has learned.


  1. Good luck to you. Keep up with your exercises and stay focused to get to the marathons. You can do it.

  2. You're smart for getting it checked out since you had the time to do it! Glad the diagnosis was doable!

    We'll be back to our Thursday run next week! No worries about that!! Maybe even start some hill training at Schmuhl? Or do the Hickory Creek trail? I'm looking to change up the location.

    And of course thanks for the blog shoutout. I'm happy to share my experience with others! :)

  3. Best to handle it now rather than to keep running on it and making it worse. Swelling always indicates a problem. Nothing to take lightly. Get better!!!

  4. Good job for being smart and getting your ankle checked out right away! Last year, I was training for the Illinois Marathon and nursing an ITB injury throughout the last 6 weeks or so. I was a bit scared to go to the doctor or PT, so I just toughed it out and it wasn't the smartest thing to do. So good for you!

  5. I am so glad it wasn't anything more serious, AND glad that you got it checked out - better safe than sorry, right?

    I just biked 10 miles at lunch today - these temps are almost too hot, but I am not going to complain!