ThyPeace

Anyone have advice on learning to run?

134 posts in this topic

26 minutes ago, ThyPeace said:

It's Monday, still no running.  My ankle still aches.  I've been doing more reading on the Internet and none of it is encouraging.  I think I have injured my tibialis posterior tendon.  And if so, the Interwebs say I need to consult a doctor or risk permanent damage.  Yay.  So now I guess I need to call my doctor's office and find an orthopedic guy who specializes in ankles.  Because in my area, they specialize that far.  

ThyPeace, pretty sure I know what practice I'll end up at.  They're a few blocks from my office.  I would usually walk it, in fact.  Sigh.

Sorry about your injury, ThyPeace. I've followed your thread with interest. Back in my late 20's, 30's and early 40's I ran. But I was in Alaska (before global warming) and running outdoors was confined to May to Labor Day. I would just do a short run (about 30 minutes) or a long run (about an hour) and never tracked my mileage. (Also before FitBits and pedometers became common.) My then-husband is 15 years older than I and our running speeds matched well so we often ran together. No injuries, no problems but--for me at least, it was also not a sustainable method of fitness and not just because of being limited to four months a year.

Fast forward 25 years and I'm now almost 70. I walk or exercise/swim in a pool and do Pilates and I'm a year out from a hip replacement. While there are many people who LOVE running I wasn't one of them. If I were to do it over again, I'd just walk. :) (More relaxing, still weight-bearing and little chance of injury). 

You're a lot younger, though, and eager to run so I do hope you get your ankle issues resolved quickly and get back to your running program.

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I've been a way for ten whole days, I see.  Last Friday was the final exam for the last class in a certification I've been working on (now I can claim to know something about facilities management), so I spent much of last week studying rather than spending any time on forums like this one.  And just as I was finishing studying last Thursday night, we got the news that a close friend's husband would be taken off of life support the following day.  Obviously we'd known for several days that things looked bad, but it was still not a good evening.  So Friday I got up and went for a walk at 5:50am, finished studying, started packing, took the test at 8am, went to work, finished up everything I needed to do there, left work around 2pm, came home and finished packing, drove through Memorial Day traffic to the airport, was on a flight at 5:15pm, and by 8pm was sitting vigil (pretty much just like a wake or, if you've never been to one of those, imagine a potluck with lots of food, beer, wine, singing, drumming, and a dead guy at the far end of the garage) with our friend.  I'm glad we went -- her close-by friends and family were completely exhausted and all needed time to be with their own families.  Though we could do very little, giving everyone else the next evening to take care of themselves while we took our friend out for dinner, drove her back to her place, and then did an hour of straightening up and laundry, was probably quite well timed.

Somewhere along the way, there was a post that got lost.  Sorry, @ArtFossil, I intended to respond to you much sooner.  In any case, thanks for sharing your running history.  I completely understand about choosing not to run -- I've done that most of my life, in fact!  I just have found that there are times and places when the running seems to work better.  I was a swimmer when I was a kid and have plenty of joint damage to go with that (shoulders and knees), and biking tends to cause my back to spasm around the instability point that was once a major herniation.  So walking and running usually work best. 

Anyway, over that few days when there was no time for working out, there was also far too much pain in my ankle.  It got bad standing in line for the plane on Friday evening and progressed to misery during all the standing during the memorial rituals and things on Saturday.  I ended up icing it in the car and then again at our friend's house in the evening.  By the end of all that, it just felt -wrong- somehow, and I started to worry more about a stress fracture than I had before.  But there wasn't much to do about it, so I hobbled on through the return flight and travel with ice and a limp. 

Yesterday (Memorial Day), I wore different shoes and was out and about doing yard work for various parts of the day.  Somewhere in the process there was a little grinding pop in my ankle and it went back to just hurting instead of feeling -wrong-.  I'm guessing maybe one of the bones in my ankle or foot had gotten misaligned -- it felt very similar to when my back gets out of alignment.  Not nearly as bad as when it happens in my back (in my back it causes all the muscles around it to spasm) but similar.

This morning it was sore but not impossibly so, and I took myself out on a hopeful walk.  Definitely no running, but walking was possible and no worse than standing or sitting.  Well, maybe a little worse than sitting.  In any case, it was in that condition that I finally got to see the ankle doctor.  The encounter went exactly as I expected it to -- an xray to rule out a stress fracture (nothing showed up with a careful manual examination of my ankle either), and a diagnosis of posterior tibialis tendon tendonitis. 

The prescription is as follows:

  • Wear a brace at all times except sleeping and bathing
  • Ice twice a day
  • Ibuprofen at morning and evening meals
  • Physical therapy
  • Absolutely no running.  And no long walks.  I negotiated for short walks and was allowed 1.5 miles.
  • Stationary bike and swimming are allowed.  Which is nice but I don't have access to either one at the moment... oh wait.  There's a bike at my office that I could maybe use.  Hmmm.  I'll have to figure out how I can do that.
  • Absolutely no running.  None.   We'll talk again when I see you in two weeks.

And yes, he really did repeat the injunction against running.  Apparently he's worked with people like me before.  Unfortunately, the first available PT evaluations were at a time I can't go, and the next ones that are available are a week from Thursday.  So that's when I'm going in, and they'll call me if anything opens up since my office is very close to them.

In the meantime, I guess maybe I'll see what I can do to build strength.  Nike Training Club workouts, maybe, if I skip everything that has footwork.  Sigh.  Frustrating.

ThyPeace, the doc sounded really surprised when I told him my goal was a 5k when I'm 100 years old.  Guess he doesn't hear that one very often.

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@ThyPeace--respectfully (but emphatically): forget building strength! Your JOB is to heal and you can't rush healing but you sure as hxxx can prevent it. 

Rest, ice, take your ibuprofen and wear your brace. Your mile or so of walking means you can get through your daily activities. Forget the bike--biking tweaks your back, remember? Be grateful you can be weight bearing and don't have to be on crutches!

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@ArtFossil, you are reminding me of my mom.  This is not a bad thing!  It just is frustrating to be inactive when I have worked so hard to rise up out of sloth.  I'll go for my 1.5 mile walk this evening and be happy.  (And do some pushups...) :)

ThyPeace, incorrigible.  And yes, grateful that I'm allowed to walk around.

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6 hours ago, ThyPeace said:

@ArtFossil, you are reminding me of my mom.  This is not a bad thing!  It just is frustrating to be inactive when I have worked so hard to rise up out of sloth.  I'll go for my 1.5 mile walk this evening and be happy.  (And do some pushups...) :)

ThyPeace, incorrigible.  And yes, grateful that I'm allowed to walk around.

LOL! From what I've observed I'd say you're incapable of sloth. And you won't lose all your strength in one month. Or two. Or three. It will come back quickly when--IF--you are healed. 

And don't even think about that stationary bike as you were careful to note that biking bothers your back. But, if you want to try water WALKING, know that some of my city's most accomplished runners cross train with this at my Y pool, with and without a flotation belt. Being supported by the water it is, as far as I can prove, impossible to injure yourself (but of course check with your doctor).

You're in this for the long haul, right? Time to be smart about your exercise. :) You've got a lot of decades until your 100's. 

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Hi ThyPeace.  I sped read your posts.  Good for you on your progress.  I concur with the above advice to take it easy.  You need to heal and then you will be ready to run again.  I agree it is hard to be inactive.  I have been running since 1977.  Yep I am an old mother runner, ha ha ha!  Follow Dr's orders.  I have been relatively injury free.  However since this winter was particularly mild, I overtrained for a half and had a sore foot for awhile.  Kept trying to speed up the healing process.  Doesn't work that way, especially at my age.

I use an elliptical trainer and have been taking walks.  But I too can't wait to run.

 

Hang in there.

Joanne, day 12 of Whole 30

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I'm very very capable of sloth.  It looks like 40 pounds more weight, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and inability to do basic things like climb stairs without wheezing.  I've been there and done that and would rather not go back.

And @jomomo, yes, exactly.  Speeding up the healing process just isn't working.

The last month has been just flat annoying.  I've started physical therapy and really started to feel better for a few days.  They gave me some exercises to do at home -- four-way ankle work and standing on one foot.  It's amazing how hard that can be when you're injured, but after a few days, it started to feel pretty easy.  And then I went to the second physical therapy appointment.  I was feeling good and they worked me pretty hard.  By far the hardest thing was doing twenty squats on a Bosu Ball:

https://corestrengthblog.com/2013/04/30/bosu-ball-squats/

My ankle was in enough pain after that that I told the physical therapist about it.  She worked on massaging it some and then we did some more exercises.  I declined the offer of ice afterward because I was late picking up DD and I felt okay by then.  The next morning, and since then, I've been pretty sore.  Frustrating.

I did learn something that @artfossil may yell at me for -- I carefully tried out my bike and was delighted to learn that my strength work in the last year has me to the point where I can ride without tweaking my back.  Yay!  My first ride was all of 20 minutes and I waited 48 hours before I decided I hadn't hurt myself.  Then I did a 25 minute ride, again without pain, and then 45 minutes, and then an hour.  Interestingly, the very light repetitive motion also seems to help my ankle.  My theory is that it increases blood flow to the injured area, thereby improving healing.  

So, some good, some bad, some ugly.  I'll be walking the 5k that I was planning to do with my daughter this weekend.  The doc says that I can run when I am completely pain free.  

And we had a very interesting conversation about my goal race -- the 5k when I'm 100.  I asked if he wanted to be on my team, and he glanced at my chart and said, "I'm going to be 103 when you run that race.  I think you need a team forty years younger than you are."  It made me really stop and think about how much planning and work and foresight it's going to take to get that goal race done.  

ThyPeace, I think I really do need a team.

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It's a week later and I'm still fighting the good fight.  And I will admit feeling really sorry for myself for a little while this morning.  The "this is never going to heal, it's going to hurt forever, I am never going to run again" sort of sorry for myself.  Sigh.

I've learned that the only thing that really mitigates the pain is very supportive shoes and the brace.  Even then it hurts some.  If I omit one or the other, though, it hurts a lot.  Like when I had plantar fascia, I've started wearing my shoes All. The. Time. 

What I don't know is whether I am improving or not.  There are immense daily variations.  Last night I would have told you for certain that it was NOT getting better and in fact was much worse.  ... And then I realized that I had made a terrible shoe choice that morning, had not had any ibuprofen all day, and had not used ice in 24 hours.  If I had done that three weeks ago, I wouldn't have survived the day.

The exercises are not necessarily getting easier very quickly.  But maybe they are very slowly.

Still, it's immensely frustrating.

Next week I have an appointment to start the process to make orthotics for my running shoes.  I don't know a darned thing about orthotics, so will have to do some research.  Anyone here have any advice?

And on a good news note, DH has finally recovered enough from his plantar fascia that he was able to go on a three mile run-walk yesterday.  For him, that's not much.  But it's been two months since the last time he ran more than a few steps at all, so this is a really big deal.  I may be cheering him on at the half-marathon rather than running it myself.  We'll see!

ThyPeace, not giving up hope, but it's less than three months away now.  Seems like running it may be hard.

 

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Physical therapy is still progressing slowly.  Last Friday I got to work almost the whole time with my physical therapist instead of starting with the assistant.  That was really helpful because she actually corrects me and modified the exercises that I just can't do yet, rather than just watching me fall over the way the PTAs do.  I kept telling her how much how much it my ankle still hurts, but she didn't start to believe me until I yelped when she happened to squeeze my ankle in just the right spot.  Her whole demeanor changed at that point -- apparently I should NOT have that much swelling this far into the game.  Her comment was, "Wow, you must really have done some ligament damage, too."  I was in too much pain to say anything snarky.

So I got to meet my new best friend, the Game Ready machine.  It gets cold and compresses.  And then relaxes, and compresses again, the goal being to reduce inflammation.

 ankle-wrap.jpg.1872e8093cc395d526e72607152e9e05.jpg

 

And she told me to go get an ankle sleeve to reduce the swelling even more, and to ice every day (already am), continue with the ibuprofen (I was), and just keep trying (yeah, I know).  I decided that over the weekend I was going to do Absolutely Nothing, and see how that felt and whether it helped.  I slept 9 hours one night, 10 hours the next, and then took a 2 hour nap.  Poor DH had to do far more work than usual to let me do it, but sure enough, by Monday morning, I was in a lot less pain and there was a lot less swelling.  I was still a little tender, but not as bad.  

At PT that afternoon, I got to go on the elliptical for 10 whole minutes!!  That's the most aerobic work I've done in weeks, and it felt fantastic.  I was really careful with my ankle and was able to use the time to warm up the area really well, which led to less pain rather than more.  That's a good thing.  PT itself was just about as miserable as always, but I can still tell that there is some progress.  I can do the Bosu ball squats without it hurting, for example.  And I'm up to 200 pounds on the leg press (they started me at 120 pounds, but that's just silly; I weight 170, after all!).  120 pounds on the single leg press was hard.  I could only do 17 reps instead of the 20 they asked for.  Ah, well.  I'll work at that no problem.

The single leg touches (below) are particularly hard.  I did ONE on the bad side.  Nine on the good side.  Sigh.  The other exercises are all either easy (stand on something and rock my leg back and forth) or hard-but-not-painful (planks).  

More to come on the orthotics fitting, but for now must go back to other things.  Have a good day and don't get hurt, y'all!

 

 

ThyPeace, "be careful out there" is one of my favorite lines from Hill Street Blues.

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