Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finally, another blog update

After a several month hiatus I decided it's finally time to write a blog update. About a month and a half ago I aggravated a nagging achilles injury and have been trying to get healthy to really start training for the fall races. For a couple of months my left achilles was bothering me, but it always seemed to loosen up and the tightness and discomfort would go away 1 - 2 miles into a run and it wasn't really hampering me. In early June I ran the Heights 5k and with a little less than a 1/4 mile to go, my achilles really flared up. I was close enough to the finish that I kept going, but I couldn't even jog normally to cool down after the race. I think I probably made a mistake wearing my super lightweight racing flats that weigh about 3 oz after not having worn them in a couple of months and not doing a lot of fast speedwork. Running a 5k without a lot of speedwork puts enough stress on my legs, but the lightweight flats have a really low heel and put a lot of extra stress on my calves and both of my calves felt pretty thrashed after the race. Next time I get back in racing shape I need to make sure I'm doing strides and/or shorter speedwork in those flats if I'm going to race in them. At one point, my achilles would hurt when I'd start walking after sitting on an airplane and not moving around for a few hours.

I went back to MSHC to get it treated and seemed to be making some progress, but I probably got a little too aggressive trying to get back into the swing of things and it's kept bothering me. We've done a couple of EPAT treatments which is a shock wave therapy that's basically like a mini jackhammer pulsing on my leg. It seems to be helping because my achilles feels a lot looser the week after the treatment and doesn't get real stiff and tight in the morning. I did a relatively easy 5 mile run last week and it still was pretty uncomfortable. I've talked quite a bit with Dr. Leist at MSHC and we did an scan of my stride and I'm going to try wearing my orthotics again.

A couple years ago I got orthotics because I thought they might help with some of my hamstring injuries, but once I started going to MSHC, we determined the root cause of my hamstring issues and so I quit wearing my orthotics. I don't remember the exact timing of when I stopped wearing the orthotics, but shortly after my hamstring problems cleared up, my achilles started bothering me. I used to wear stability shoes but when I was fitted for shoes a few years ago, they watched me run on a treadmill and said that I didn't have any ankle pronation and should be wearing neutral shoes. It also seems like this is about the time when I started getting injured after staying relatively injury free for a while. Even though I don't have visible ankle pronation, my foot pronates fairly significantly and this would put a lot of stress on the inside part of my lower calve which has the most scar tissue and problems. We are going to try either the orthotics or going back to more of a stability shoe to see if that helps clear up the problem.

If I'm going to be injured and miss running, I guess now is as good a time as any. The weather is miserably hot and there aren't a ton of races I'm missing right now. My job has been pretty busy the last couple of months and we have a healthy, happy 10 month old that seems to be starting to sleep through the night on a more regular basis. Now that I can get more regular sleep without regular nightly wakeup calls, if I can get my achilles healthy I should be able to get back to regular training. It's been a bummer not getting out to run with my friends and trying to work out on the elliptical and stationary bikes are so boring. I'll try to post an update in the next couple of weeks on my achilles and hopefully I'll be making some improvements.

Here are a few recent pics of us-

Daddy and Olivia - not in Houston

Family vacation in Colorado


Taking it all in

Look what I found!!