Flirting with the injury couch :(

Long post warning....

Feeling sorry for myself! Last Thursday was such a great day, running with the 401 Challenge. I ran 17K in the morning, and apart from the usual level of fatigue, I felt fine. Went into town in the afternoon and gave blood, then finished the day off normally with no signs of anything amiss.

When I woke up in the morning (wedding day) I noticed that my right ankle/heel was sore - tender to the touch and a bit painful to walk on, It was in the general area of the achilles tendon, but slightly to the outer side of the heel. I got through the day ok, nipping out to buy a pair of trail shoes ready for Parkrun if I made it, and the wedding went off nicely (2pm at the register office). We all went for drinks at a cocktail bar afterwards, then for a meal in the evening. I eventually got to be at getting on for 2 in the morning, with the ankle still sore but no worse.

I woke in the morning and thought the foot perhaps felt better, so decided to go to Parkrun. While I was aware of something not quite right, it wasn't painful or difficult to run on. It was a pretty cold morning, and the ground was quite boggy, so all things considered, my 32 minute run wasn't bad.

The foot was uncomfortable but didn't seem to be getting worse over the weekend, and I went out for a 7k run on Monday without too much difficulty. Yesterday (Tuesday) I went with Jan (new wife) to visit my parents in London. The foot was hurting more, and when I looked at it, the foot was definitely a little swollen around the achilles (hadn't noticed this before), although still with no sign of bruising. It was noticicably more difficult to walk on without limping. I phoned the osteopath and arranged an appointment for Thursday morning. Last night I iced it and this morning it does feel a little better, though not good enough to run on.

I'd have been running today, and it's club run night tomorrow. I'd definitely be stupid to run today, but I'm really anxious that I'm going to be confined to the IC for a bit. There's a 10k race in 3 weeks or so, and I was trying to prepare for that.

Has anybody had similar experiences? What should I be expecting? I'm a bit peed off that for the first time, I can't run.

21 Replies

  • First of all many congratulations to you and your new missus. Hopefully a little break will help but it does sound like its crying out for the rest to me. It's nearly a week after the injury it should be getting a bit better but it hasent had any rest. I'm sure the oestopath will give you good advice on your event, fingers crossed its just a niggle and will heal quickly.

  • Thanks, RFC. I just find it frustrating because I can't tell why it's like this, or what happened!

  • What a shame for you Steve after the excitement of the 401 Challenge and getting married (congratulations btw!). Re your ankle, I'm no expert, so I reckon you should speak to someone who is. I do hope it settles soon for you - sounds like some proper rest is called for though, to prevent it turning in to something worse. Look after yourself.😀

  • Poor you Steve :-(

    Cant offer any advice on what it might be , but yes I agree with Sandra. I think a rest up for a bit is required just so not to aggravate it .

    Hope you get some good news at the osteopath xxx

  • I'll report back after the osteopath tomorrow. Thanks for the sympathy!

  • Rest up. It sounds as if you've tweaked your ankle and it's swollen, tender and painful. Rest, ice! Lots of ice! I think ice works better than anything. Anti-inflamms don't kick in for a while but I wouldn't write them off if your symptoms don't sort themselves out with ice and rest. Keep your foot elevated as much as possible!

    If you keep trying to run on it before it's better you'll just make it worse. Inflammation is there for a reason

  • I think I've resigned myself to having to stop running for the time being. I hate that! I do want to be running again before my Olympic Park 10k in three and a half weeks. I hope that's doable, but I doubt I'll be achieving a good time!

  • I had ankle problems back in march. I'd reached the point by then of 10km runs every other day, and 14km on the WE run. Then my ankle started to feel painful at the front. I remember the ankle feeling ouchy part way through a 16km run, and pushing through it. By the end of the run it was feeling OK. It was the next day that it felt bad.

    For the next two months I was limited to one run per week. I just ran until the ankle started to feel uncompfortable and then stopped. This meant I was down to about 4km per week :( . I found some ankle strengthening exercises which seemed to work well. They involve rising up on tip toe about 20 times. Then when that feels easy, you do it on one leg. Then when that gets easy you do it on the edge of a step, so you can drop down lower. I found that really helped.

  • I can't do a heel lift at all on my bad foot! Thanks for the helpful words, Zev

  • Steve, rest it now and give it lots of ice. If you rest it for a couple of weeks or so until the inflammation has totally gone, you'll avoid being laid up for several months. Your development of pain and swelling seems very similar to mine. I had to do a sudden course change on parkrun (the guy in front fell over and i had to jump over him to avoid a pileup). I ended up with a swelling on the side of the ankle the following day. I then ran on it when i shouldn't have done (I didn't want to miss the Great North Run) which made matters a lot worse. For the following week my 20 minute walk into work became a 55 minute hobble. It was about 3 weeks before I could run again but I was lucky. In hindsight, I realise that it could have been a lot worse. 3 months later, I'm still getting the odd niggle and stiffness.

    I now stretch my achilles very carefully before every run by standing on a step and rapidly flexing my ankle, raising and lowering the heels above and below step level.

  • Thanks, Adam. I've come to terms with having to rest it now, though I feel so frustrated! I want to be running again by 13th December, for the Olympic Park 10K. I was hoping to try for a PB then, but I don't imagine that's likely now.

  • There will be other 10Ks in future. If you feel sufficiently recovered before the race I would run. Just don't push it and go for a PB and don't train in advance on a dodgy ankle.

  • I won't, Adam.

  • It's a pain when our bodies let us down isn't it? We feel great, fit and raring to go and a nagging little pain pops up from nowhere and stops us in our tracks.

    I'm going through something similar at the minute and, like you, also have a slight swelling and no bruising. My pain is around the outside of the ankle bone and feels very tender. I've been extending my long run and last week my ankle clearly didn't like the distance and started to complain. Like you, I've iced it and rested but I ran a 5K two days later and it was fine but still achey. I was at the physio on Monday for something else (my body is falling apart) and he took a look and said it was due to a very tight perineal tendon which runs up the outside calf down to the ankle. He did use acupuncture on it to force it to relax and that helped a lot. In the meantime, I've cut down on my mileage this week (I feel there's no way I could run a long run at the minute) and am massaging, icing and foam rollering it every night. But it does feel a lot better as time goes on.

    I'm sure rest and ice will do the trick Steve but it's hard not to run. Keep us posted.

  • Thanks, Princess. I'll be sure to share the details!

  • Oh no - you can't be injured! Steve you're the epitome of going out there and defying what other people don't even dare to do. This is hopefully a small injury, a very very small one, perhaps a sign you need to shift attention towards new wife Jan for a little bit ;) Your body will still know how to run when you come back to it. Heel drops are a good thing to incorporate into your routines injury or no injury, as and when you're ready - there are cautious methods for doing them, do some research - there are ways to do them very carefully for injured achilles/ankles where you don't fully put your whole weight onto that foot. But there's no exercise for rest - you've just got to take a break. A week or so, some advice from the osteo, then gradually easing back in and you'll be out doing the 10k in Stratford no probs. Congrats on Thursday's 17k. Maybe time to take stock of everything you've achieved this year - it's been amazing, hasn't it :)

  • That's very sweet of you Ruth! Thanks for the kind words. I'm just back from the osteopath, and about to write a fresh post to keep people updated and share what I've learned.

  • It sounds to me that, apart from the injury, you are ready for the 10K right now - so you just need to rest and get the injury repaired over the next 3 weeks - how well it has repaired by then will determine whether you just finish the 10K or attempt a PB. But training wise - you are ready for the 10K now. Probably maybe a week or two too early - but you won't lose much in that time.

  • Thanks, Baz. It's true I'm perfectly ready for a 10k run, though I'd hoped to try to be in the best possible condition for the race. Can't be helped, and I guess it's all part of learning about running.

  • This sounds very similar to what I had and i could barely walk. I self diagnosed Achilles tondonitis ( not recommended) and I started doing eccentric heel drops. I didnt run for about 6 weeks and it got me down big time, but I am now back in full fettle. Get assessed, take their advice and i hope its nothing too awful. Take care :)

  • Thanks, Ju. I've been seen and treated and I posted a new entry to explain and share.

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