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.
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.
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.
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.
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.