It’s like I can never go a full training session without an issue.
On Thursday, I head out for a 4mi morning run before work and i felt the shin pain. I stretched a bit and took it easy. It felt better at times but there were points where I wanted to call it quits, so instead I opted to walk a bit until it felt better. I only did about 3.5. Thankfully it was rest time until Saturday’s Newport 10K race. I knew I should have a therapy session on Friday to freshen my legs up a bit.
Jason, my PT, used the Graston technique on my shins, did some cryotherapy and had Lucy, my massage therapist, work on my shins and the front part of my ankle. Afterward Jason taped my shins and that truly helped me during my race on Saturday. The way I had planned my weekend, I was also headed for a bit of therapy and a one hour massage with Lucy on Saturday afternoon. That’s where I told Lucy I noticed my ankle was also starting to bug.
When I went to my Monday therapy session, I told Jason that Lucy had mentioned it felt like scar tissue on my ankle. After he took a further look he mentioned that it looked like it could be the tendons a bit overworked. That was enough for me so after a day of pondering my next steps I called Dr. John Kennedy’s office and made an appointment. I was scheduled for an MRI of my left ankle right before seeing him the next day. I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer.
I walked in there, hoping that he’d just tell me I needed to keep doing my PT and icing. Unfortunately, after he saw my eyes my eyes teared up as he said “while most runners tend to inflame one tendon, you have managed to inflame ALL three.” I didn’t know what that meant and I was immediately overwhelmed because I wanted to keep running, I wanted to keep enjoying the sport, even if I continued to be slow. I just wanted to run.
He explained that I had laxation on both ankles and they rotated further than they should, causing my tendons on both sides of my ankle, the peroneal tendon and the posterior tibial tendon, to do extra work. As a flat footed person and someone who has gladly spent her money on stability shoes to avoid shin splints, I knew and understood this had to do in part with me being an overpronator. He also said that my achilles tendon was affected and this was probably the most confusing because this was the last thing that had been bothering me. His PA, Rebecca, said the reason why was mostly because the other two tendons were masking the discomfort. Now that I’ve had time to process the information, I can think back to times where I have felt a slight bother but obviously, I paid little to no attention to it.
After a bit more discussion, Dr. Kennedy provided affirmation to my belief that this could be why it’s hard for me to have legs that are not always so tight despite constant PT sessions. He referred me out to USATC, a physical therapy facility in NYC where Gary seems to work with runners and will help me with gait training so that this does not become a recurring injury.
My appointment is still about 10 days away and in the meantime doc’s orders are to walk at a slow pace, ice and I am doing electroshock therapy, one session a week for three weeks. After the first session, I’m still feeling and seeing some swelling in the area and my walking has been limited to my commute and 2-3 miles two days after work. However, I’ve noticed that those miles, if done on a hill, are followed by some discomfort so I will keep it easy this weekend. My end goal is to heal properly and fully in order to come back to running and continue to train, with enough time, for my half. Dr. Kennedy said he saw no reason why I shouldn’t be up and running for September and that I had nothing to be concerned about in the long run.
Mentally, I gotta say I am doing pretty good. I have been reading Deena Kastor’s “Let Your Mind Run” and I’m 100% positive that I’m putting her words to practice. I’m seeing the bright side in all of this: I can still walk. I can walk on new routes and discover new paths in the park I tend to run every time. I can also shave one day off my walks and hit the gym instead and focus on my core and upper body and lay off my lower body for a few weeks.
Seeing the bigger picture opens your eyes to what is the truth. – Wadada Leo Smith
That’s the quote on the chapter I just began reading Friday. The big picture is that my parent’s once told me that my pediatrician said they wouldn’t know if I could walk until I was at least one year old, and well, now I’m a runner. This is just another lesson, something that will help me improve in my running and I will run my half and I will run my first marathon in January 2019. That’s my truth.
Have you ever had an injury? What was your biggest hurdle in getting through the recovery process?