I've been sidelined for a week now due to an Achilles tendinitis injury, and I'm already chomping at the bit to get back out there. Patience Phil...patience!
Over the past 15yrs, I've been plagued with tons of little nagging 'old-man' injuries, that for the most part, I blame on my poor body mechanics (the other reason is simple stupidity!). Like it or not, as much as I love to run, I'm prone to injuries regardless of the effort I've put into building a strong base. Chalk it up to one of those facts-of-'running'-life for me. But, it occured to me a long ago, that if I can't dodge the injury train - I might as well learn to deal with it!
One of the (only) positives of going through all these injuries every spring/summer is that I've now built a good recovery program that revolves around a fantastic team of therapists that work as one to piece me back together, and back on the trails as soon as possible! The other part of the recovery 'recipe' is PATIENCE - I don't think I was at school on the day they were passing around the bucket of patience 'pills'...Might have been out running I think...Anyways...
I think it that the main reason for an injury's failure to recover is due to a runner's lack of patience in letting the injury heal - meaning that they try to run too early in the recovery process...Fair statement? Looking back at my injuries, past and present included, I would tend to agree.
Here's another exert from my log, and the sequence of events to give perspective/context on the cause of my injury, recovery process and tools...
Wed May 26: 50km trail run (5hrs) - Did ABC's to warmup and loosen up the hips/legs. Great long easy run, felt good all the way around Mt Rundle running clockwise (easy way). Legs felt good afterwards, but noticed a slight irritation after shower/stretch session in right Achilles. Uh-oh...
Thurs May 27: Easy Core + spin bike - Stayed off the legs today. Lucky to get appointments today with both Active Motion Phsyio (massage) and Active Edge Chiropractic (ART+ Graston - note: watch the cool slideshow on GT...very cool!). Great treatments to get on top of this 'could-become' injury ASAP!
Fri May 28: Easy Core + spin bike + short test run - A tiny bit of tenderness in achilles...probably from yesterday's treatments - should be good to go for tomorrow's race!
Sat May 29: Crazy Soles Nipika Trail Race (25km) - Great race, body felt super strong, lots left in the tank! Unfortunately, ankle was not ready for tough technical twists/turns on the trail and Achilles got aggravated about 15km mark...Crepitus set in later in the evening - not good! Lots of icing + Vitamin I (ibuprofen) in the evening. Slept with compression sock.
Sun May 30: Easy road ride - Good to get off legs...still a bit of crepitus. Lots of icing today, stretching and Vitamin I. Slept w/ compression sock again.
Mon May 31 - Sat June 5: Core and Spin/road bike only - Took advantage of injury to take a rest week (since my body was telling me it was tired anyways!). A quick recap of the week's treatments:
- Massage (2): Monday and Thurs
- ART + Graston (2): Monday and Wed
- 10min icing session: 2 times/day with Japanese mint oil
- Wearing compression sock all day to increase blood flow to area
- Vitamin I: 600-800mg X 2 times/day
- Flax Seed oil: 2tbsp/day
- Traumeel/Arnica cream...Note: There's a lot of controversy on Traumeel...but why not try it!
Sun June 6: 3h20 min Long-easy ride. Body is feeling very good - Achilles is much better but still a bit tender in one spot.
So that's that...Looking back, I jumped the gun and raced too soon, and on a course that pushed the limits of the ankle. The severity of the injury could have been avoided for sure...Looking at the positive side, the timing was as good as it gets as far as getting an injury. I had planned a rest week, perhaps not so 'restful' but lower in volume nonetheless. This way, I will be able to start off the next cycle fully charged!
I leave in a week for France again...Salomon's launching a new trail shoe called the XR! If all goes well in the recovery process (which I know it will), I'll be running on some trails again very soon...
Patience Phil, patience...