Well, if you've been checking in on the Twitter feed at all, you'll know that my Achilles tendon has been jacked up since a speed workout while I was out West. It's actually been kind of screwy since the Madison Half Marathon, and I know exactly what's caused it - too much training in my racing flats. Which is made even worse in that those racing flats are Newtons, which have kind of a reverse of the typical shoe, in that your heel is positioned slightly lower than your forefoot. That has put a strain on my right Achilles, and sometime during that speed workout it went from small-case inconvenience to capital Situation. I'm not sure what - there was no pop or anything (thank God - that would likely mean a ruptured Achilles, and that'll change my life), but afterwards it just felt off.
So, I put on my stethoscope - as usual - and did research to inquire what was wrong with me. Looks like it's pretty classic Achilles tendinitis, as I have - and have had - all the classic symptoms. Pain and tightness in the morning, when I awake; pain and tightness at the beginning and ends of my runs, with relief in the middle as it stretches out; fascinating waves of deep, sharp pain that will climb up the back of my leg if I'm just sitting there, or sometimes if walking. Yeah, good times. After my run last week everything kind of intensified, and it also ached a bit, almost like a sprained or twisted ankle, only at the back of my leg. Weird.
The usual treatments apply - stretching, ice, etc. I don't know what "really bad" tendinitis back there means, but if it gets "really bad" there's a risk of rupture, and I'm obviously wanting to avoid that. So, I took 8 days off, today being my first run since last week. It was feeling a bit better - not a lot, but a bit - and my 4 mile run was maybe a touch better than last week, or I could be kidding myself entirely. So, I'll continue with the stretching and the icing, etc. I ordered a special kind of ankle brace made specifically for Achilles tendinitis, so we'll see if that makes any difference. If it gets worse or anything in the next few weeks, I guess I'll head in to the doctor, where they can diagnose me with Achilles tendinitis and give me some stretches to do.
I'm not sure what this means for marathon training. For now, all plans for the marathon are still on, but I plan to go a shade easy for the next 2 weeks, and let the Achilles kind of dictate my speed and distance. If this changes my race strategy for October, then I'll deal with it then, I guess. Bridge to cross if and when.
It's weird to get old. No self deprecation there, it's just true - I'm getting old. I'm 34, and I realize that's not old old, but my body just doesn't repair well anymore. I've been an athlete all my life, and could always work through it, or if I couldn't, then rehab was generally timely. I blew my ankles in high school, and that sucked a lot, but I eventually healed up and life went on. Now, little things nag, and they nag for a long time. By the time my season is done, I'm in need not just of rest, but of time to just heal. I don't know how much mileage this machine is built for. It's a strange phenomenon, for the mind to be raring to go, and for the body to need a whole workover first.
Anyway, track and field coverage starts tonight, and some swimmer is in the pool chasing his umpteenth medal, so I'll leave you with my favorite commercial from the Olympics to get you fired up to get out the door and kick some ass.