Everything was going great until about mile 9 of 12 yesterday and I felt a very faint pop (super faint… so faint, I could have just run over a tiny acorn or something) right on the back of my left heel.
Right after that possible pop, things went south on the run. Pain, starting small and working it’s way up to a level that warranted a verbal “ow” every time my left foot struck the ground, took over my entire left foot and shot up my calf.
But it was my LONG RUN. I look forward to those all week. It’s just me (and sometimes a cutie following me on a bike) and a ridiculous amount of miles ahead of me and that is my time to zone out and ponder the big stuff. That’s the time to say “Hey this is impossible, what am I doing?” and then say “HAHA SELF! YOU WERE WRONG BECAUSE YOU JUST RAN A REALLY LONG WAY.”
So, I stuck it out. The last 3 miles were progressively painful to the point where all I wanted to just sit down on the sidewalk and have someone carry me back. Of course I didn’t do that, but I sought refuge in other areas:
Ice bucket challenge, foot style. I did both feet because I feel like that’s helpful anyway after a long run. It’s pretty refreshing anyway.
Fresh round of KT Tape. It’s my new favorite invention. If you want the quick and dirty of how it works, follow this link. It’s super supportive of whatever you put it on, though, and helps keep things immobile while healing. I’ve been wearing it on both legs while training, but now I’m convinced that the problem is just with the left one after yesterday’s catastrophe.
Internet research. Because if it’s on the Internet, it has to be true, right? After scouring around , I diagnosed myself with Achilles tendinitis, which affects 5-10% of runners, especially those who are running 20+ miles a week and are prone to heel striking. I’ve come a long way with heel striking, but it happens most now when I get tired. I apparently haven’t been doing a great job stretching my calf muscles before/after running, which also leads to this.
So now, I have a pretty blue piece of tape stretching up my calf and am icing down my heel every couple of hours. I’ve decided to put running on hold for a few days to not damage it any more. According to the Internet doctors and specialists, ice and heel drop exercises are best for right now, and I can ease back into running only after heating the area first and stopping the moment I feel any discomfort.
So here’s hoping it doesn’t take that long, because I’m already miserable.