Setbacks and restarts

I intended to keep up this blog with my progress as I tried to get back to running regularly. A couple of times I was about to write something and then had a new setback. Looking back I suspect my reluctance to write was because I wanted to have something positive to write.

I’m still not sure, but I am cautiously optimistic as of today.

Over the Christmas period I was off work and my intention was to run 2 to 3 miles every day, as this seemed achievable at the time. It seemed to be going well. Each run started with some discomfort in my Achilles tendon, but the swelling in my ankle was down, and didn’t seem to be coming back. I was also being very good about stretching and rolling (which I am still making sure I do). On the 5th day of running, the run itself was just like the others, but later in the day I had pain on the inside bottom of my foot when I put pressure on it. The next morning it was the same, but strangely, within a couple of hours of getting up, it disappeared as quickly as it started. A trapped nerve perhaps?

Over the next 10 days I only ran a couple of times, testing things out, and when I thought things were okay I started running more often again. I ran every day for a week between 2 and 3.5 miles at a time with no issues so things were looking very positive.

That Saturday I decided to push a little further. I got to 4.3 miles and suddenly I felt pain in my ankle, in the exact spot where it had previously been swollen.

With the ankle swollen once again I should probably have taken things easier than I did. A few days later I went out to run and found that I was in pain after about 2 miles. When I got home I discovered that the muscle along the bottom of my foot was rock solid. It massaged out quickly though.

I took 9 days off completely (from running at least – the Halfbike came into play during that time and did not aggravate my foot in any way). I also had a better sense of what muscles are likely causing my problems and had a massage that focused on that area – my upper calf muscles were very tight. That brings us to this past weekend.

I was unsure about trying to run again but thought I was okay because the massage seemed to have helped. I got on the Halfbike for 5 miles before the RVRR club run, and then I thought I’d start running with the group and see how things went. I intended to cover 2 miles at most. I got talking to someone during the run, and felt good, so went out a bit further, and I did feel a small amount of discomfort at 1.5 miles so that’s where I turned around.

One theory I was toying with was that perhaps my form is not as good when I’m running slower, so on the return part of that run I picked up the pace to between 7:50 and 8:30. I felt no more discomfort. Stretching and massaging the calf through the day seemed to stave off any discomfort.

I wanted to run on Sunday, but I also wanted to be cautious (and I had been out late drinking on Saturday night), so I did not. Today is Monday – I ran 3 miles on the treadmill (keeping the pace in the 7:30 to 8:20 range), and things seem fine.

Now I have to decide whether to run tomorrow, or wait until Wednesday. I think I’ll wait, even though that optimism is trying to tempt me into running again.

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