Posts Tagged ‘posterior tibial tendinitis’

After spending most of the week recovering from last Saturday’s 22-miler, I set out to do my last semi-long run (12 miles) this Saturday — exactly 15 days before the NYC Marathon.

Before I get to that, here’s a quick recap of my week leading up to today, in case you cared. I did my usual 4 miles around the neighborhood on Tuesday. I wouldn’t say it was the best 4 miles I had ever run, but it wasn’t the worst.

My right shin/calf  is the one giving me the most trouble these days and I have to be careful when I run not to favor it too much. If I do, I fear that I will put too much stress on my right hip, leading to bigger problems. So I REALLY focus more on my stride and less on my speed now. Maintaining a good stride will be key for the marathon if I have any nagging injury issues.

On Thursday, I had planned to attend a spin class at a gym near my office but wasn’t able to get out of the house early enough to get there. So instead, I managed to get in 4 miles on the gym’s treadmill later that day. It had been a LONG time since my last treadmill workout. I quickly remembered why. Treadmills suck, even if you can watch CNN’s endless coverage of “Balloon Boy” while you run. Once you get in the habit of running outside, it’s very hard to get back into treadmill mode. It was a struggle, but I managed to get in a few miles.

socksBy the time Saturday rolled around, the A.M. temperatures had dropped down into the 40s, making my intended 12-mile run more of a chore than I had ever expected. Because my son had an early soccer game on the schedule, I knew I had to hit the road early if I had hoped to get it done on time. One too many smacks of the snooze button put me slightly behind schedule. I was delayed even more than usual due to the layers I had to put on, including a winter hat (which, needless to say, took me awhile to locate.) And I know you’re just lovin’ those stylish socks!

When I finally started my slow, shin-shaking trot, the clock said 7:15. After the first 6 miles, it was 8:05. Ugh! I was going too slow If I planned to do the full 12. So when I got smacked in the face with a teeth-chattering 20 mph wind a few miles later, that was all I needed. I decided to cut the run short at 10 miles. The decision bugged me a little, but I quickly got over it. It was more important to get home in time to make sure we got to the soccer game as scheduled.

soccerAs a bonus, they won the game.

I wore my compression socks for about two hours after the run. The verdict is still out if they are helping with my post-run recovery. All I know is, they feel good while I’m running and really help to support my calf muscles. And that’s good enough for me.

Over the next two weeks, I am supposed to run 4 or 5 miles on about 8 or 9 different occasions. Whether I keep that schedule will depend on how I feel each day. I might also try to get another deep tissue massage for my legs at some point before I head up to New York with my family. The time is quickly approaching…

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So, I finally got around to getting a massage on my aching calf muscles and shins. Holy crap that hurt!

I planned my visit to Georgia Sports Massage so that I would have time to fully recover from the massage in time to race in the inaugural Atlanta 13.1 half marathon on Sunday morning.

A deep tissue massage is in NO WAY meant to be confused with a standard leg massage. Basically, I was told that between a 1-10 on the pain scale, they are aiming for a 7.

My masseuse, Ashley Stevenson, achieved her goal. On several occasions I found myself having to bite my lower lip to keep myself from  screaming. She spent 15 minutes on each leg trying to work the knots out of my posterior tibial tendons and calf muscles.

There’s “bad” pain and “good” pain. This was the good kind. I could really feel her breaking up the scar tissue that had built up in my tendons.

When I left her office (after paying $55 for 30 minutes – insurance doesn’t cover it. Darn!), I was in a bit more pain than when I first arrived. But as the day wore on, the pain slowly started to subside. I plan to test it out with a short run tomorrow morning, depending on how I feel when I wake up.

This will give me a full 48 hrs before Sunday’s race. Hopefully, all goes well.

A very quick update on my bothersome left leg.

tendon X-rays were negative and didn’t show any stress fractures. That doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t have one, it’s just not an obvious one. A more in-depth bone scan could show that I have one, but for now Dr. Julien wants to treat it as Posterior Tibial Tendinitis.

He has run the NYC Marathon 9 times, including once with a stress fracture.  Clearly, I have come to see the right man.

tendon1When I told him that I am running it for the first time, he didn’t want to do the bone scan out of fear that it could put an end to my quest. He basically told me that if I can stand the pain, to continue training. The biggest indicator in my favor is that my leg pain doesn’t get worse when I’m running.

However, he gave me a list of 4 things to do to take care of my leg.

1. Stretch

2. Get new arch-supporting insoles for my shoes (which he provided)

superfeet1superfeet

3. Ice my leg for 15-20 minutes every night.

4. Go to see a sports massage therapist every 2 weeks.

Of those four things, he said the most important one is the massage. It’s a deep tissue massage and will really get at the tendonitis, he said.  I just won’t be able to do a long run after the massage because it will HURT, he said.

I also need to get new running shoes very soon.

The good doctor also told me that I can now start to cut back on my training. Instead of 5 days a week, I can probably just do 4 days a week. I wish I didn’t have the pain to deal with, but this is the best news I could have hoped for at the moment.

Oh, and one other thing, Dr. Julien also lives a double life as a photographer and has been shooting fashion and music since the 70s. He has a great Website. Have a look.

I’m off and running again tomorrow. 4 miles.