Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ankle bone's conencted to the shin bone...

I've been having a bit of a foot/ankle issue for the past week. It is on the inside of my left foot from the back of the arch up to the bottom inside part of my ankle. I have had trouble here before and am pretty sure it is a minor bit of tendinitis. There was certainly no traumatic event that caused it so it is most likely some for of overuse injury.

The strange thing is that it didn't hurt at all after the Mt. Diablo 50K. I took Sunday completely off other than some walking and ran 3 easy treadmill miles Monday evening. On Tuesday I did 7 miles that felt really good. Wednesday I had to cut my run to 4 miles due to some GI distress (bad lunch food choice coming back to get me). I don't remember the foot hurting then, but I do remember that when I went to run on Thursday it was already hurting and I wasn't surprised. I pushed through the run, but it hurt more near the end and I finished with a modified gate which is never a good side, but further confirmed my tendinitis diagnosis. I took the next 3 days off, but I felt it all weekend.

I have been icing and taking it easy. I did discover some very surprising trigger points my shin that actually seemed to help when I got them to release. I've had moderate success with trigger point self-therapy, but this seemed more dramatic since the pain was lessened to an extent that I could now roll my foot outward without pain. I have continued icing and self-massage and was able to complete a 9.7 miler yesterday, but it hurt again afterwards. Further treatment helped again and I ran just over 8 miles tonight with less pain. However, I am still at a loss as to what caused (or is causing) this in the first place since it didn't seem to be a direct result of my race. I have some theories based on examining what was different in my routine over the past week. Here are my theories in increasing order of "likely contributing factor".

1) New work shoes
I bought some new shoes for work last week. They are slip-on Clarks and seem to have a decent insole and OK support. However, they are a little different from my previous shoes which were Borns and had a bit of a wider fit. I prefer to wear slip-ons as I take my shoes off when at my desk. I am going to try a different pair of older shoes for a little while.
2) Yoga DVD
I recently bought a DVD called Yoga Conditioning for Athletes which is actually quite good. While I think it is unlikely to be a primary cause, it probably didn't help as any of the one-legged stands on my left foot became increasingly difficult. I have stopped the conditioning for now, but will restart once I feel confident in my foot/ankle.
3) New running shoes
These would seem like a VERY likely candidate prima facie. However, while they are a new model they are an update of my older model that I have been using for a few years and they fit very similarly. The new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 really didn't change much over the 6 except in the cushioning technology. That said, I must admit that after running in my 6's today (which I was planning to reserve only for trail running), I definitely feel more isolated from the ground in the new 7's and didn't feel as good on uneven paths. I will stick to my older shoes for the time being, but if it is the shoes I have a bigger problem long-term :-(.
4) Too much too soon (too asphalt-y)
While I didn't feel any problems immediately after my race, I did jump back into running with only one rest/recovery day. It was a tough 50K and perhaps I didn't respect the impact on my body and take more rest than I normally would after a "mere 31 miles". I also have been running on the road due to life and time constraints which is never preferable. After taking the weekend off I feel like I can run so long as I take care of my foot/ankle after and don't push too much into the pain zone.

If the modifications above don't continue to show improvement then I know that a longer break period is definitely called for whether I like it or not. Tahoe is a long ways off and it would be MUCH better to take time off now than closer to the race.


angie's pink fuzzy said...

sounds like you are putting a lot of thoughtful action towards taking care of yourself!

Eudemus said...

Either that or a lot of thoughtful action into rationalizing that I can still run through this issue :-)

Brad said...

I have new Brooks Dyad 4 which also has the new cushioning. I've had problems since going from Dyad 3. Could be the shoes?
It could just be your body asking for a little break!