Sidelined: achilles tendinitis

Saturday, I had plans to run with my friend and brownie-baker extraordinaire, Deanne, but as soon as we started (and really, even in the days leading up to the run), I felt a familiar burning in my heel and up my calf. Right away, I knew it was the tendinitis coming back, so we walked instead.

Typically, when this happens, I take a few easy days, pop some ibuprofen and ice and stretch it a couple times and I’m as good as new. Not so much this time around.

I rested Sunday and Monday and decided to stick with the plan to run 30 minutes on a treadmill Tuesday. Within the first 10 minutes, it started coming back. When it didn’t feel better at the 20 minute mark, I switched back to walking.

It sucks. Big time. Cardiovascularly and mentally, I’m ready. The treadmill run felt wonderful–relaxing even. I’m taking another 2-3 days off running but hope to be back in the game by Saturday. In the meantime, here’s what I’m doing to mend:

  • Ice: after workouts, before bed
  • Stretching: at least 3 times daily
  • Strengthening: exercises to strengthen my calf and ankle will help stabilize my foot and lessen irritation to my achilles tendon
  • Rest: no running and light walking. Instead, I have plenty of biking, swimming and strength-training to do.
  • Ibuprofen: Around the clock as directed. Even if I don’t have pain, I may still have inflammation that will eventually turn into pain. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory that will prevent that from happening.

Normally, I would also take this as a sign I need new sneakers, but I just replaced the sneakers and inserts in April, so that shouldn’t be an issue. If it’s not better by Saturday, I’ll schedule a doc visit which will probably lead to physical therapy.

In the meantime, I’m ordering a book my trainer recommended called Chi Running. The writer’s philosophy is that anyone can be a runner with the right form and technique. My trainer said that while she frequently jogged short distances, this book helped her become a 4 time marathoner. While I’m not looking into registering for any marathons anytime soon–or ever–I am interested in making running a more comfortable exercise opportunity for myself.

At times, I’ve been struggling with being so frustrated by this and a little anxious–the triathalon is in just 4.5 weeks. And if the weather isn’t suitable for swimming, it changes into a duathalon which means more running. I’m staying focused by remember that I’m still doing the rest of the training and that I will catch up quickly as long as I take the time my body needs to heal now. It’s the best one can do.

Now… the rest of me is thinking crazy thoughts about the next challenge. My students are trying to convince me to do a race/obstacle course that’s actually modeled after training that the British Special Forces do. It’s called Tough Mudder and it includes chasing a monster truck, running across a log bridge, running through a course that has hay piles set on fire and a final challenge that is supposedly so “bad ass” they can’t tell chicken shit people like me what it is.

So… how might one train for that? 🙂

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6 responses to “Sidelined: achilles tendinitis

  1. Ugh injuries suck, especially reoccurring ones! At least you know how to treat it and aren’t chancing it by pushing through the pain. I hope you are better for your Saturday workout!

  2. I hope you feel better soon! Sometimes a little time off and the right recovery techniques work miracles. Keep us posted.

    PS – You should totally do this Tough Mudder thing it looks awesome!

  3. Sorry about the injury. 😦 I wish I had advice for ya!

  4. TIIIIINA YOU HAVE TO DO IT!!!! And to train for it. Uh, convince Longo to set fire to a building and let us run through it? or we could parkour through NYC. that’d be awesome.

  5. @Keelay: Can we go to watch it this November before I commit? I just want to make sure no one dies. Although, I just learned about someone dying during a triathalon, so apparently, I’m living on the edge already.

  6. So sorry to hear you are hurting. I think the only way to train for the Mudder is to join the marines and do bootcamp!!

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