I am currently sitting with my food up on an ice back. Yep. This time, it's my Achilles tendon on my right food that is inflamed. I know this is not an uncommon issue for runners and the minute I started feeling pain I grabbed ice and got lots of rest.
Let me back up...
Friday, we did hill intervals as we did the week before, however this time we did the full 30 minutes and our include progressed as 4%, 5%, 6%, 5%, 4%. Felt great, even though 6% was a little rough at 5 am.
Sunday's long run was moved to Monday and we both decided that 4:30am on a Monday was far too early. So, we decided to split up the run: 3 miles at lunch, and 3 miles at the gym later that night. This meant instead of 6 miles on the track, we were treadmill bound for both. I had a chiropractor adjustment that morning, so I decided it would be best if I took the first run easy. I ran at a 5.5mph pace and completed 2.9 miles in 30 minutes. When we got to the gym that night, we jumped on the treadmill first thing. I had had a frustrating evening so it was game on. I hit 6mph right away, which I had done many times in the past, but for some reason, my inner calf along my right tibia was getting a bit sore. It wasn't too bad so I didn't think too much of it, but it was noticeable enough that it caught my attention. I probably should have dropped the pace or walked the rest, but I didn't, because I just assumed it was fine. It usually is. We started the leg workout, and when I got to single leg squats, I definitely noticed the pain in my calf. I took down the intensity and treaded very carefully as to not injure anything. The pain did not get worse and just remained a slight dull pain, so I got home and iced it and taped it with KT tape, and then headed off to bed.
Tuesday morning, I woke up, and my calf was perfectly fine. However, the pain was now right at the back of my heel along the Achilles.
So my Google fu started. I started looking up common reasons for Achilles inflammation:
- tightness/fatigue in calf muscles
- running sprints and hills
- improper shoe support
- Overtraining/increasing mileage too quickly
Ding! Ding! Ding! So, I know it isn't my shoes, and I don't think it was increase in mileage, other than the fact that I was on a treadmill and my form may have been off, or the fact that I had run earlier that day and my legs were a bit tired. We had just done hills a few days prior, and my hips/hamstrings and calves were very tight. Being the major tendon that connects the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles to the heel bone, and coincidentally incredibly tight already with very little blood flow, it's no surprise I pissed it off.
The great news is, I am positive I don't a tear or a rupture, but just some minor inflammation. It feels substantially better today unless I am on my feet for a really long time. The key here is that it is minor, and it needs to stay that way. If I don't give it enough TLC, then the next 9 weeks are going to be torture. So, until I can run with no pain, I am elliptical bound (grumble) to continue getting mileage and keep everything moving, alternating ice and rest and have started a bit of ibuprofen. Hopefully I'll be back to myself in no time.
I need to figure out a stretching and foam rolling routine that I can integrate at different times of the day when I am not currently running or at the gym. I need something to help keep everything loosened up when the muscles are not being activated.
Apparently, by the time I get my DPT, I will be a pro at sports medicine just from personal experience. :P