Just a quick update since I have had several people ask over the past few weeks how the injuries are going. The good news is that I feel relatively good in terms of running. My mileage is back in the low 40s on a weekly basis now, my long runs are going pretty well, and my pace is slowing increasing(nothing very fast by any means). Little Rock is now just a little over 5 weeks away and right now – I feel pretty good(knock on wood). As long as I can hold it all together I hope to redeem myself from my Chicago Marathon time.
The nagging voice in my head though keeps reminding me that it was exactly at this point before Chicago that I tore my meniscus and my training plan went out the window. So I have to keep pushing to be ready for Little Rock, but at the same time cautious to avoid any further injuries. I am hopeful that at this point I have a better read on understanding the signs my body is giving me in terms of running and how to adjust.
But this post was supposed to be about updates on my injuries from the past… not avoiding injuries in the future. The torn meniscus seems to be in pretty good shape right now. I did end up getting the steroid shot in the knee back before Chicago to help me continue training and get through Chicago. The funny part is that my knee never really bothered me during the Chicago Marathon or afterwards. Whether or not that was due to the steroid shot, or just the tapering allowing me to rest more – I don’t know. The doc did think that the meniscus was manageable without surgery at this point since it was not causing any huge issues. As I mentioned, I have been able to learn the signs from my body a bit better now. Just last week I had a really bad run in which I started out feeling really tired and my form was just bad the whole run. I knew I was going to be sore afterwards and that night, my knee really started hurting. It even got bad enough that it woke me up in the middle of the night. Luckily once I took a day off and iced it – I was back to normal the following day. I also have noticed similar pain in my other knee over the past few months which leads me to believe I may have a meniscus issue in the other knee as well and need to be mindful of it as well.
So the key for the knee now is going to be
- a.) Proper form – this has been a big focus over the past few months after reading Chi Running. I can really tell a difference when I am closer to using a mid-foot landing as opposed to a heel strike both in terms of performance as well how my body feels.
- b.) being mindful of any pain and trying to adjust training or schedule to allow for rest. I have really come to respect the rest days and what they can do for your overall training.
When it comes to Plantar Fasciitis, I feel like I am on the tail end of it as each week seems to be a little better. Having battled it before and fighting it for months, I really wanted to take it seriously and do all that I could to avoid any increase in the damage. The sports doc basically told me that if I would just stretch at least 3 times a day and use the proper stretching technique it would go away on it’s own. He mentioned the wall stretch that everyone thinks is the best stretch for it, is actually not doing a lot for the Plantar but rather focusing on the Achilles. So I stuck with the stretches he recommended of bending the big toe backwards up until the point of discomfort and holding it for 10-15 seconds and doing 10 repetitions of this. Since then, I also found a device from
that has made a huge difference. It really did not do anything that I was not doing with the manual stretches – it just made it more convenient and easy to do. There is really nothing magical about the device – it just puts your foot in the correct position to stretch the Plantar and with it’s curved bottom you can rock your foot back and forth standing on that foot to get a great stretch. Since using it, my Plantar Fasciitis has improved to the point that it is about 90% gone. The only time I really notice it is on my long runs over 16 miles. Normally, if I use the Prostretch as soon as I get back from the long runs and through the afternoon – the next day it is fine.
So as it stands right now, all of the injuries are at bay. However that does not mean it is not top of mind. In fact if anything, I am more focused now on injuries than I have ever been. The difference is that I am focused on trying to detect them before they become issues and to avoid them at all costs. Keep your fingers crossed….