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I Run Natural Twenties

I’ve seen less than consistent running in the first two months of the fall-season, and that’s on top of a random self-inflicted groin injury, and my recent ankle re-injury.  As a consequence, my mileage surplus has morphed into a deficit, and my resolution to run 1000 miles is suddenly in danger of failing.  To hit my goal by December 31st, I have to run 150 more miles, or about 2.5 miles per day.  Assuming I don’t get injured again, 2.5 mile runs are well within my reach, but I rarely run 7 days a week anymore, so (conservatively speaking) my actual goal is more like 20 miles per week, spread out over the days however I choose.

I know I can do this, and I have 60 days to prove myself right.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2008 in No Easy Days

 

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My One Weakness

After a week of exercises, my ankle feels significantly better. The pain and swelling has been mostly replaced by a constant soreness, and my focus is now on rehabbing it properly to prevent re-injury. Yesterday I went for a short 16 minute jog on a flat paved trail near my house. My left ankle was noticeably weak, but it was great to be sucking wind and moving a bit.

My one complaint is that there’s something wrong with my achilles or heel area. The physical therapist said that I might have injured the spot where the achilles connects to the heel. This causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot when I extend my ankle fully, particularly if it’s bearing weight (e.g. calf raises). There seem to be a number of possible causes for this type of pain, but for now I think the only thing I can do is strengthen the area, stretch it out, and take it slow.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2007 in No Easy Days

 

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The Third Ligament

Like I mentioned earlier this week, I recently suffered an ankle sprain that has prevented me from running for almost two weeks now. At the recommendation of Tony and another friend, I made a trip to physical therapy this morning. It turns out that there is a new local law that allows patients to refer themselves to a physical therapist rather than going through a primary care physician, which allowed me to get an appointment rather quickly.

The ankle itself has healed quite a bit since Monday. My foot is still slightly bruised, and I get a twinge of pain occasionally when I take a bad step or put my shoe on too fast. The biggest problem is that it’s still swelling up some whenever I walk around too much, which gives the feeling that my whole foot is numb. I explained my symptoms to the therapist, who did a series of measurements comparing the flexibility and size of one of my ankles to the other. The range of motion of my injured ankle was down by as much as 30% in certain directions (that’s my estimate based on looking over her shoulder at the measurements). This isn’t terrible, considering that my “good” ankle is actually very flexible, but it helps establish a goal for the rehabilitation process.

She also felt my ankles up for a while to see where the sore spots were, and decided that I had stretched the posterior talofibular ligament. There are three ankle ligaments, shown in blue in the picture, and she proposed that the reason I was bruising more with this injury was that either I had never torn this particular ligament in previous ankle injuries, or I had reopened some scar tissue from previous injuries.

A lot of this is guesswork, but I feel like physical therapy is somehow more codified than, say, evaluating an ear, nose, or throat infection. The therapist prescribed an aggressive set of exercises, along with some biking and perhaps water running, and I’m going to go back in a week.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2007 in No Easy Days

 

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