On Sunday a post was made here on WaltInPA.com that explained that I had made the stupid mistake of running while dealing with Achilles Tendonitis. Call me stubborn, or stupid, but I’ve continued to run and have learned a few things along the way…
Pace is Everything
There are basically two types of running for me. The first type is when I go out alone and wind up running faster than I can manage. I struggle to self-regulate my pace which results in fatigued calves. The fatigue changes my stride and causes unnecessary strain on my Achilles Tendon.
The second type is when I go out with my daughter. If the weather is nice I usually encourage her to bring her bike along. She doesn’t go all that fast and I’m able to keep up for the most part. Actually, we tend to go at it slower than when I run alone. In the event that we leave the bike behind, we do a fair bit of walking as she tires quickly from bolting off ahead to show me how fast she can run.
The second situation feels like less of a workout but it saves my legs. I feel like there is less irritation and in turn, less inflammation. I can run in both instances but in the former I need to pay close attention to what my body is telling me so that I don’t overdo it.
After I return home from a run, timing is critical. The longer I wait to ice down my Achilles Tendon the worse it seems to be. If I walk through the door, grab an ice pack, and elevate my foot for about 20 minutes, there will be virtually no pain or aggravation of the tendon.
In instances where I run with my daughter, after 20 minutes on ice my leg feels fine and I can go about my day without issue. If I run on my own, and tax the tendon, I like to stretch it out after 20 minutes then go back on ice for another 10 to 20 minutes.
I’m not crazy about the idea of getting softer running shoes (I use Asics Gel Cumulus 17) but it would probably reduce some of the irritation I get in my heel (as the tendon becomes irritated I tend to strike harder on my heel in an effort take stress off of the tendon – which helps but creates a separate problem.
Why are you still running?
You are probably asking yourself Dude, why the hell are you still running if you know you have an injury? The reason I continue to run is because if I stop, I’m afraid I won’t start again. I’ve read several articles on running website that explain that this type of injury should be followed up with 6 to 8 weeks of recovery.
I just got started again – if I stop for upwards of 2 months I can almost guarantee that my drive and determination will fizzle out. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far and seem to have found a way to continue with minimal pain.
Besides, spending time outside with my daughter has been amazing. She pedals along on her bike while I jog and we get a chance to talk about school and anything else she has on her mind. We are close and these little trips have made us even closer. It is something we both enjoy and I’m not ready to put it on the back-burner for several weeks.
Maybe I’m crazy but I seem to have found something that works for me.