It has been more than a week since I last ran and I am going nuts. I did a quick 5 miler the Wednesday after I got home (three days after the race) and it felt great but there was a little swelling in my right ankle. By Friday the ankle was feeling stiff so I thought I would try to do another 5 miler. Again, my body felt great and the stiffness went away pretty quick, but about 2 hours after finishing the run the creaking started where the shin meats the ankle. I also noticed that it was swelling a bit more. Was I going to have to stop running for a while? Sadly, very sadly, yes.
I talked about the injury in my post on January 14, 2010 so I won’t rehash it. The point of this post was the realization that I had no idea I would miss running so much when I was forced to take some time off. You would think the after all the training last year for the marathon that I would look forward to some time off. No, the time off is killing me. Now I see why the wife is crabby in the morning until she gets her run in (but it could be other issues as well ).
For anyone who thinks they can’t be a runner, don’t believe it. Two years ago when I was getting ready to do my first 5K at US Cellular Field (it is still Comiskey Park to me), I figured I would try it and have such a hard time that I would hate it and never try it again. But a strange thing happened. It was painful during the run but it felt exceptional when I was done. So began my road (no pun intended) to better health and eventually my first marathon.
The doctor said to give it four weeks before I run again. I think I’m going to give it 1 more week before I do a quick three miler. I know, listen to the doctor, but I think he was generalizing about the injury and I will know soon enough if I came back too soon. In the mean time, I will have to hit the weights or so some yoga that does not put weight on that ankle. We’ll see how that goes.
Despite the great Marathon experience, apparently I did not come out unscathed. I noticed today that the top of my foot feels like a creaking door and If I put my hand on my shin and move my foot up and down (point the toes at the ceiling then at the floor) I can feel the creaking in my foot.
Turns out I have inflamed extensor tendons something my wife is very familiar with as she has had that and a host of other running related injuries. I think I developed it because I was not running as much as I normally would during the last Sundays marathon and that altered the way my foot handles the miles. Changing your training drastically can cause this injury according to the research I did on the subject.
Lorie prefers to run inside so she has injuries related to that form of training, while I prefer outside but am often forced to run inside because of my work schedule and the fact that I like to run in the evening. Where we live is not very conducive to night running and actually the roads are not the best during the day either. Being forced inside means that we have put lots of miles on the treadmills (yes plural) and have worn thru three of them. The last one took such a pounding that the deck shattered and started to fray the belt.
When we buy these things we make sure they have a good warranty since we will beat the crap out of it over its life time. This breakage was fixed by the manufacturer by sending me a new deck, belt and lube so I could do the repair myself. It was pretty easy once the whole thing was apart. The only tricky adjustment was the belt tension. To remove the belt you must remove the from and back rollers, them refi them once the new belt and deck are in place. Adjusting the tension to so it is not too tight and not too loose can be tricky. It took a few days to finally get it to where we want it and those few days can be dangerous
You don’t want to tighten the belt too much at first as you want the belt to gradually stretch and the lube to spread out evenly between the belt and rollers. The dangerous part is when the belt is too loose and you take a heavy step, the belt slips (stops) and it is murder on your knees. I would grab on tight to the handle bars at the beginning of each run and take a hard stomp and try to make the belt slip. If it did slip, I would get out the hex key and do a quarter turn on each side to tighten the belt. If it did not slip I would repeat the process the next day until I was getting no slippage. Like I said, about two weeks of adjustment and we were back in business. Only another 2 months before it gets nice outside and I have to lay off training for a few weeks anyway until I heal.