Heeling

I follow a lot of running blogs, it seems like 3 out of 5 mention heel/foot pain or achilles injuries.  I feel your pain, guys!  I shut down the running for 3 weeks and have been going to PT twice a week.  The treatment that has had the most effect has been iontophoresis.  After my first 10 minute round last Tuesday I felt like I had gone from being at about 30% healthy to 90%.  It was amazing!  I had one more treatment on Thursday, but without the dramatic improvement.  Now that things have settled down over a couple of days, I’m not sure if I’m really gettting any better or not.

Thankfully, riding the bike has been a good distraction and doesn’t hurt my heel at all.  I have been catching the single speed bug and have even done some rides on my mountain bike where I’ve parked it in the 32×16 and left it there.  I really enjoy it and am thinking of selling off one of my other bikes to finance the purchase of a new SS 29’er.

Been a while since Ive had bike fever, but I feel it coming.

Been a while since I've had bike fever, but I feel it coming.

My current MTB is a 1997 S-works hardtail.  I’ve about ridden that thing to death, but I still really like it.  Great bike.

My trusty ride.

My trusty ride.

I don’t get too excited about the latest and greatest full suspension rigs.  I’m thinking the SS 29’er will be perfect for my style of riding.

I pieced together a nice 24 mile ride from work that includes about 1,000 feet of climbing with lots of rolling hills.  Nothing technical at all, but the nice thing is it only crosses 3-4 roads (it goes under the busiest ones) so you can put the tunes on and just cruise at a steady pace.  Not bad for being in a densely populated area.

View from the lunch ride

View from the lunch ride.

Its not the mountains, but itll do for a weekday.

It's not the mountains, but it'll do for a weekday.

Friday I started thinking I should test the heel a little.  I was feeling pretty good and it had been almost 3 weeks.  I tried a small 1-2 miler last Monday and it went badly.  Had to walk most of it, and my heel felt just the same as it did before I stopped running.  With a couple of ionto treatments, though – I felt good enough to give it a go again.  So it was decided – 4 miles at lunch.  The only trouble was I had packed all of my bike stuff thinking I was going to be riding again.

I happened to have a new pair of racing flats and a pair of 4″ splits still in the back of my car from a trip to the running store a few days ago (when I was feeling optimistic).  I grabbed the splits because they were on clearance and I’m always on the lookout for cheap (but good) shorts I can use on the treadmill.  I got the flats because I have been craving a more flexible sole in my shoes.  I can’t believe how stiff most shoes are these days.

I headed out in a long sleeve bike jersey, 4″ shorts, and racing flats on a crushed gravel trail.  I think the look on people’s faces when I passed by was one of “what the hell was that?”.  Good thing I wasn’t in the mood to care.  I was testing my heel dammit!  Oh, and setting the whole outfit off was my nicely defined cycling tan lines 3-4 inches below the hem of the shorts.

Get some longer shorts...

Get some longer shorts...

The actual run went very well.  Apart from my heart rate being 15 beats higher than normal, and feeling like I was 50 pounds overweight, I was really happy with being able to run again.  I cruised 4 miles at 7:30 pace and was happy with how the heel held up.  I knew the real test would be waiting to see how it fared the rest of the day and especially the next morning.

Saturday things felt decent so I got up before dawn today and did another 5.  This run wasn’t very good – still have quite a ways to go on the healing front.  The plan is to stay on the bike for now and mix in a short run every 2nd or 3rd day, and get one of my road bikes ready for Craigslist.

Posted on April 12, 2009, in run, stuff. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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