Friday, September 12, 2014

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

That's how I've been feeling this last month.

I'm fine. Really.
Constant pain is hard to deal with.

When I finally got to see the podiatrist, he said I didn't have a break, but that I probably had a sprain or strain of some sort.

His advice was to try and run on it and see if it hurt worse.
I have just been in constant pain--some minor and some severe.
I felt like he was no help at all.  He didn't give me any tips to improve, except that he said I could go to the running lab and have them video my form and analyze it.  At that point, I didn't feel like I could run even if I wanted to.  It felt dangerous.  Like I would actually break my ankle or something major.

My next stop was the Physical Therapist.  He was very calm and didn't seem alarmed by my condition, but genuinely concerned. He recommended strengthening and stretching. I had been trying to do that on my stairs or at the gym.  His method was using an unstable surface to do heel raises.  That instability made all the difference for strengthening my calf and the surrounding minor muscles. 

The exercise that has made the biggest improvement and has allowed me to run for the last week, is an ankle exercise using a latex band.
 Make a loop at the end of the latex. (2.5 lb. resistance)
Put around injured foot and anchor with opposite foot.
Hold extra length tightly
 Flex to the outside of the foot
Then turn it to the inside.
Repeat until fatigued.
This strengthens the peroneus muscles and helps me land on my foot more evenly (instead of the outside of my foot.)
This is such a simple motion.
The funniest thing is that I was trying to do a similar thing at home with a sports bra.
Little did I know I was on the right track.
After one day, my foot pain had decreased significantly.
And a few days later, I ran for the first time in 2 months.  It felt so great, even though I am a lot slower than I was before.
I am very grateful that he was able to "fix" me.  I was thinking that I would never feel better.
I still have some aches in my hip and back some times.  They seem to improve if I stretch. 
A few days before I went to PT, I  was feeling a little defeated and decided to lift heavier.  If I couldn't lift lower body and I couldn't run, I figured I might as well  work on my back and arms.
I did a mega set with weights 10 pounds heavier than normal.  Later that night, my arm started swelling up. It has been at least 3 weeks since that happened.  I tried to test my arm strength with pushups a week ago and it swelled up again.  It feels like it could be tennis elbow  mixed his some carpal tunnel.
So now my lifting is reversed.  No upper body lifting.  Light lower body. And a bit of running. 
I'd like to think that I am a patient person.  We are almost at 6 months since the initial calf injury.  I won't be doing any races until winter or spring and that is fine with me. I am glad that my body hasn't given out. 
Who has some good news to share???

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