I’m still battling the Achilles Tendinitis (Tendinopathy.) But I’m finally starting to WIN!!!
After multiple attempts to heal by resting and doing eccentric heel drops only to have the injured area become debilitating again up after a couple of runs, I finally made an appointment with our Orthopedic Doctor and my first appointment was last Monday, March 6.
Dr. Ripepi has taken care of Dawn and I for a long time now. We first met him when Dawn tore her meniscus. He has operated on her knee, her ankle, and my shoulder. Last year he helped me through an inflamed tendon on top of my left foot–DO NOT TIE YOUR RUNNING SHOE LACES TOO TIGHT!!!!
Dr. Ripepi came into the exam room, grabbed my Achilles and started to explain to me why this injury isn’t something to fool around with. He grabbed the sorest part of my leg and explained that if it tears near the heel bone, he has a place to reattach. If it tears 4 inches above the heel bone (where i have the problem) it needs to be sewn together and that requires a bunch of physical therapy. He was happy to see that I was taking time off to rest, trying to run, and then taking time off when it flared up again. Then he gave me gel heel pads and told me to wear both pads in my right shoe for three weeks, one pad for a week and come back in for a follow-up. His routine is that if you feel better before your follow-up you can cancel and go about your business.
Of course I asked about running: when can I start running again, did he think my conversion to Altra in September could have caused the problem, what are his thoughts of me wearing my new Lem’s Boulder Boots, and if I should forget about the Pittsburgh Marathon in May.
On the running front, if I do it “smartly” (his words,) I can start running after a few days. Back off if I think the pain is causing gait issues, and since Pittsburgh isn’t my first marathon, he suggested I either sell my bib or transfer to the half marathon.
On the shoe front, since I have a little over 350 miles in my Altras, he doesnt’ think the shoes caused the injury; however, he did suggest I wear the heel pads (I bought a second pair for my left leg to make walking easier) in my Altras during the healing process and gradually removing them over a few weeks when I’m healed. He has no problems with me wearing my Lem’s boots (also zero drop) with the gel pads, then removing them after a month. However, the Lem’s just aren’t built for heel pads, so I’m wearing my old hiking boots for now.
I decided to take the first three weeks of wearing the two heal pads off of running. I went back on the Ideal Protein Diet that I used to lose 177 pounds in 2015. Because the calories are so controlled and restricted, exercise isn’t allowed. I’m hoping to drop some of the weight I put back on over the last year and a half (amazing that you can actually GAIN weight training for a marathon.) I’m considering the diet as training–I run faster when I’m lighter!
After the three weeks of diet and double heel pads, I’m going to ease into running again. Take a few weeks to ramp my mileage up to 20-25 miles per week. If I can get in at least one 9 or 10 mile long run before May 7th, I’m going to transfer to the Pittsburgh Half Marathon; if not, I’ll sell my bib for the $75 I paid for it when registration opened. My “A” race this year is the Buckeye Trail 50K in July, so I need to ramp up my mileage and not re-injure myself. I think my plan is conservative and very doable–as long as my heel cooperates.
I’ll update on the training as it progresses.
A Very Cold Parade
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Firefighters’ Pipes and Drums marched this past Saturday, March 11, 2017 in the Annual Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade–the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country (Chicago’s is HUGE!) It was cold. And when I say cold, I mean 20 something degrees cold.
Being in our “kilted” Class A uniform in those temperatures actually isn’t that bad. Our hose come up to the knees, the kilt comes down to a few inches above the knee, and our Class A jackets are fairly warm (through an insulated shirt under it and it’s warmer.) I wore a very warm hood under my Glengarry and me head stayed nice and toasty–but my hands, oh my hands.
I cut the fingers off of a pair of mittens; this way, I could cover my fingers when we weren’t playing. I used a cheap pair of mittens and they didn’t help. By the end of the parade, my finger tips hurt. They were purple and stung. It took about 30 minutes for the pain to subside; two days later, my left finger tips are still kind of numbish (but they are getting better.
I’m proud to say, we took Runner Up in the Pipe Band category of the parade!!!