Workout: nothing since Saturday
Good news: My achilles is literally completely pain free. I couldn’t elicit pain whatsoever today…not even by doing the pinch test. So weird. I happened to be working in ultrasound today, so at the end of the day, I had one of the techs scan my achilles to see if there was any evidence of tendinopathy. She was like, “Um…how many marathons have you run?? Your achilles looks gorgeous. Most runners’ have crappy looking achilles! What do you do to keep it in such great shape?”
Haha. SUCH good news, but so weird! Achilles pathology, unless you tear it, is usually not an acute problem. It’s usually a gradual onset and a gradual healing process. My third year of medical school I injured (acutely) my achilles during a silly 5K. My friend had signed me up, and a bunch of us were running on behalf of one of the organizations we were in medical school. I was of course running late for the race that morning, so I didn’t warm up or stretch, but then again, I was doing this fun, because I was training for my second (Chicago) Marathon that was to be in ~4 weeks.
Of course, I ended up wanting to run fast. It was an out and back course, and during the last half mile, one of the runners I passed on my way back yelled, “Top ten! You’re in the top ten for women!” I was like, what?! I then sprinted the rest of the way. I felt a twinge in my achilles, but it didn’t hurt that much. Until I cooled down. Then I could barely walk. I had to withdraw from the marathon and didn’t start running again until the spring (granted some of that was because I was really, really busy with med school…but it DID hurt for months). The “positive” thing was that I finished in the top ten for women, but you know what was stupid? Since my friend signed me up, I was racing under her name, so it’s like I didn’t even get credit for the run. ha, served me right for letting my pride get in the way.
But anyway, long story short, my prior achilles injuries/flare ups have taken longer than any other injury I’ve had to heal, so I get a little paranoid when it comes to my achilles…perhaps too paranoid, but I’ve learned too many lessons the hard way. Plus, I’m not “a runner“….rather, I am someone who enjoys running. It’s a hobby, but it doesn’t define me or bring in money for me, and although I may have placed in the top ten in a 5K, I’m not going to be winning any marathons or racing in the Olympics. My point is, what have I got to gain from pushing myself to the point where I risk getting injured? Running a 10 minute faster marathon for my own satisfaction? I’d rather be a little paranoid and play it safe and run a marathon undertrained rather than overtrained and injured.
I guess I’ll take another week off to be extra safe since the back of my leg definitely was sore, whatever it was, and when I do start running, I think I’ll utilize my Garmin and try to keep my miles above 8:00/mile, at least for the first 2-3 weeks. My heart/cardiac strength can handle faster, but after months of studying and doing little running, gotta safely get my legs back up to speed.
Anyone else had achilles problems? How long did it take to heal?
What was your latest injury?
Anyone else bike to work? I need serious help with my biking winter “fashion”. Any lightweight but warm windbreakers that are good for biking in the cold?? Any particular mittens/gloves you’d recommend?