After years of running, I’m dealing with my first real injury. I’ve had nagging knee pain and the usual aches and soreness that come from putting a lot of distance on your joints, but I’ve been lucky to avoid injury. Until now that is. I started having pain around my left Achilles and the inside of that ankle, so I did what any good runner would do, and just kept running through the pain. Duh. For several months I pushed through, until one day about a month ago I attempted to do a quick jog on the treadmill before teaching my Tuesday evening yoga class. I got .3 miles in to my run, when the pain became so bad I thought I was going to faint and/or throw up right there and then on the treadmill. Not good for me, or for the treadmill I imagine.
Luckily the pain subsided to the usual dull ache and I was able to pull myself together and teach my class with limited demonstration. The dull ache didn’t stop this time when I stopped running though. It persisted through every step I took for the next several days. Living in the city with one car, we pretty much walk everywhere. I walk over 2 miles to work most days, walk the dog, walk to the grocery store, etc. I love to run, but I NEED to walk. Therefore, I needed to make healing a priority, I couldn’t ignore it or push through it any longer.
I iced, I elevated and rested. I also finally bit the bullet and went to PT where I was diagnosed with small Achilles tear and Posterior Tibial Tendinitis (try saying that 3 times fast). I’m probably lucky that’s all that I’m dealing with, especially with ignoring it for so long. In my yoga classes, I am always encouraging my students to “listen to their body” – turns out this is actually really great advice. If I had started taking care of it when I first started feeling the pain (back in October)ie when my body first started talking to me, it probably would have been a lot quicker recovery. I haven’t run since that fated day on the treadmill, and I probably won’t for another several weeks.
Luckily with the help of PT and other self care practices I’m already well enough to walk and happy to say I’ve been commuting to work and walking the dog with no issues. I have also been getting my cardio fix through things I never do: A mix of rowing, StairMaster, Elliptical machine and long walks outside with friends.
Here’s some rowing workouts I found on Pinterest to totally kick your butt (while still sitting on it):
To be honest, I’m actually starting to love this switch up in my routine, and I’m learning I can get a great sweat on without necessarily beating up my joints. I’ll bring running back in eventually and can’t say that my racing days are over yet, but I actually think this change could be good for me, in the long run.