I picked up some KT Tape after my appointment the other day. Excited to see if it will help keep me running. I am about to test it out on the 2 or so miles to Goodale Park and back. Hopefully I won’t be hobbling home.
I have been complaining about my ankle so much that the injury has its own name: Anklemania. This particular problem traces all the way back to January or February. It’s come and gone a little bit. I am still surprised I made it through the quarter marathon on it. After that race, my phyiscal therapist encouraged me to take time off and see a doctor.
I waited a while to do either of those things.
Actually, I haven’t been running very much at all. Major life changes and timing and the heat and my aversion to pain have all played a part in that. I haven’t run in a week! But on Thursday, I did finally go to a sports medicine doctor.
That doctor asked questions and felt all around my left foot and ankle and decided that I probably had peroneal tendonitis. You can read things about it here and here. Basically, there are two tendons that run behind the ankle bone and one of them attaches down along the side of your foot. Because the main part of the tendons’ job is to stabilize the foot so running on uneven surfaces (like I did back in January when the trouble started) can cause problems. Not resting it enough right off (especially from injury through March, when I ran the most) probably aggravated it.
I have been prescribed physical therapy for six weeks to strengthen it. If it doesn’t start to feel better pretty quickly, I go back in three weeks and we look at maybe a stress fracture and start taking x-rays, etc. If it takes a turn for the worst, I go back ASAP. But, if I go six weeks of PT and all goes well, I should be good. I am allowed to run unless it hurts or I end up limping afterwards. If that happens, I have to use the elliptical, bike, etc.
Incidentally, I had a final PT check up for my back on Wednesday which went really well. My therapist joked that he would see me in two weeks for my ankle. Boy, was he right! I wonder if he’ll take my PT graduation shirt away…
If you’ve been following along, you may have read a little bit about my ankle problems. I thought that was actually all over, but I was apparently kidding myself. After 4.05 miles yesterday, I have found myself with the same ankle pain back again. Now, I think I know why.
Yesterday, as I was running, I was paying special attention to the way my feet were falling. The right one was doing a fantastic job. It was light. It hit in the mid-foot area. It came up. It felt like a well-oiled machine doing what it was supposed to do. But the left foot? It was not coming down as light or bouncing back up very well. The more I noticed it, the more awkward I felt. Fast forward about 24 hours and I am having trouble walking normally.
Incidentally, I had physical therapy this morning and since I knew I wasn’t walking right, I mentioned how my ankle had started to bother me again. After some discussion, he gave me an article I have read a few times before: The Once and Future Way to Run. In the article is a video for the 100-Up. I think I may have actually mentioned this before. Well, I have done the 100-Up a few times, but never stuck with it. My PT said I should start and keep going. With my new discovery on how my foot is working, I can see the difference between what it’s doing and what the feet in the video are doing. If I can get it right, maybe everything else will improve as well!
I wanted to go out for a little bit today, but I am staying in and 100-Up-ing instead. I can’t hobble my way through the Cap City quarter next week after all.
My physical therapist took a look at my ankle yesterday. I see him every two weeks and since I had complained about it for the past session and the one yesterday, he started poking around. His diagnosis: it’s probably just strained. Not sprained, but strained. I told him I thought it was probably overuse and he agreed it could be.
I am to keep icing it, elevating it, etc. If it isn’t better in another two weeks, I am being sent to the doctor. I took yesterday off from running despite my plan for a long run. I had intended to do six miles either Monday or yesterday, but my ankle + rain on Monday left things a little short and then yesterday was yesterday. Originally, I had planned to do weights today and maybe try the elliptical or bike for cardio with less impact. I decided this morning (after a somewhat painful evening of standing at work last night) that I was taking a full day off from extra activity.
I know this is probably a good idea. Mentally, it’s hard to swallow. I want to do things and it makes me feel so much better to do them. I feel kind of defeated even though I logically know I’m just resting so that I can do more later. Funny how your brain can work against you like that.
On a side note: the other day, I snagged some of those lovely CEP calf sleeves you see in the picture above. My ankle felt pretty rough for a lot of my run on Monday, but man did my legs feel great! I have to say I think I’m a true believer in compression now.