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Sidelined, But For How Long? (Need Your Advice!)


Sunday, August 26, 2012

So, last week I ramped up my running with surprising ease.

This weekend, I attended Girl Scout Camporee with my daughter in which I wore flip-flops (which I never wear in regular life) to and from the bathhouse.

The result?

This morning I discovered that my right Achilles Tendon had become tighter than a tick. It hurts to walk on and I'm icing the heck out of it right now.

I'm not sure if this was caused by the upswing in the running last week, by wearing flip-flops on rocky terrain, or by some combination thereof, but it hurts like a mutha.

I never heard or felt a "pop" in the tendon, so I'm assuming it's just tendonitis and not a rupture.

From everything I've read online, I should cool it with the running, at least for a few days. Dragon*Con is this weekend, and that requires *tons* of walking, so I thought I might lay off the running until then, in the hopes that the walking at D*C won't injure it further.

I had also been planning on running this Saturday at Dragon*Con, because it takes place in downtown Atlanta and I thought running on city streets might be a fun experience. Depending on how I feel, I may still attempt it -- would that be stupid?

For those of you out there who may have personal experience with this issue, how long before I should run again, do you think? I know it's highly subjective, but I feel like I was just getting my groove on with the running.

While I take a timeout from running, is it okay to do those heel-lowering exercises (the "eccentric calf drops") that are supposed to be good for AT, or do I need to heal before starting those?

Thanks for any and all advice -- this kind of hit me out of nowhere!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGSTARDADDY 8/27/2012 6:00PM

    I'll do you a big favor, and go to DragonCon for you. That's the kind of friend I am.

Sucks about leg. Definitely take things easy, but get lots of walking in if you can.

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IRONBLOSSOM 8/27/2012 12:29PM

    I have to echo everything KJDoesLife said, I have always had trouble with my achilles, it's probably the #1 tightest spot on my body, but usually I get the pain in my calf or hamstring because the achilles pulls on them so badly.

Stretch stretch stretch. Rotating heat and ice (20 minutes each) is great, also using a stick roller (http://www.amazon.com/Everything-T
rack-and-Field-Stick/dp/B000671
H8G) can really help. I've actually taken mine to work (I have an office, YMMV) and just done 2 minutes of rolling every hour or so and have found that to help.

As for getting back to running, I would definitely lay off as long as it's hurting, then plan some short runs or run/walks and allow yourself to stop if the pain recurs. Make sure you're wearing good shoes, get fitted at a place like Fleet Feet if you haven't already.

One other exercise you can do is lay out a towel (I usually use a sweat towel) and using your toes crunch the whole towel up under your feet, then uncrunch it again. That's usually an exercise for shin splints, but the idea is that it helps build the muscles in your calf and strengthen your ankle, so it should work for this too.

Good luck!

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KJDOESLIFE 8/27/2012 9:04AM

    I'm the wrong person to ask since I always push it with injuries. I've battled Achilles Tendonitis for about a year and a half. Stretch LOTS, hang your heels off the edge of a stair. Raise up using both legs, then lift one leg and lower down very slowly using the other leg. Do this on BOTH side, 10-15 drops on each side, even though you have pain on just one. Stretch your calves regularly, too, since that can make things worse.

Run if you want to (and are able) and stretch/ice as soon as you're done. Stay out of the flip-flops and wear normal shoes. I've never tried the heel-drop shoes. No high heels, either. Another common physical therapy routine is to sit in a chair and "write" the alphabet with your toes (keeping your legs still), so you get lots of ankle movement.

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BEECHNUT13 8/27/2012 7:55AM

    Ice it and go lightly, if at all. Don't run while you're in pain. Your form will be off anyway. If you do run this week, keep it really easy, and it will keep you from losing your rhythm and your endurance. You should check out a running book from the library, which will have more info on what to do in a running injury. (Runner's World Complete Guide to Running or something like that)

But don't keep pushing - that's how you really injure yourself. Your ankle sounds like it's giving you a warning. As for other exercises, I don't know that either.

If I were you though, I would rest and use ice for a couple days, and NOT run on it. If the pain diminishes, then I would run carefully and lightly - with no goals of really training this week, just not losing what you've gained.

Comment edited on: 8/27/2012 7:57:31 AM

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CHERRY666 8/26/2012 7:07PM

    Someone left a comment on my blog to wait until you feel better (in my case my hamstring was super tight), then to wait a few more days to be safe. It came across as sound advice so I thought I'd share here. Laying off the running for now sounds like a good idea, though.

Oh, also, I know nothing about it so I probably shouldn't say anything, but I was looking up information about achilles tendons the other day and I read things that said the exercise you mentioned is good for it, and things that said it can just aggravate it. . . so there's that.

Anyway, I hope it loosens up and that you have fun at Dragon*Con.

Comment edited on: 8/26/2012 7:08:18 PM

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DIFROMWYOMING 8/26/2012 5:22PM

    I wish I could give you some advice but I have not run since I was a small child....so I have no experience with any of this stuff! Hope you get some good answers, though. And take care.

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