4 Injury Updates

>> Saturday, April 14, 2012

I'm posting this for 2 reasons: First, so I can look back and have notes on where I was at this point. And second, so maybe if you've been in a similar spot, you can give me your feedback.

Here are the 4 areas worth noting:


It's been a little tight a day after some long runs and some bike rides. It really hasn't been a big issue for YEARS (since IM WI training 5 years ago). I do different versions of the pretzel stretch quite often, and I foam roll it now-and-then. The rolling helps! Need to do more of that.


This was what KILLED me just over a year ago. It kept me from running for 6-8 weeks, and it kept me in this "night splint" for months:

After building a big base this winter (lots of longer, easier runs with Henry), things have been going great this spring. Sure, I still feel it after some workouts, but I make sure to give it PLENTY of rest after harder / longer workouts.

Oh, and I also still count footstrikes on about every workout. When I first saw a P.T. about a year ago, she noted that I was striking about 160 times / minute. That needed increase so I would stop heel-striking. By upping my strike-rate, I don't "reach" so far out in front of me with my heel, and I won't heel-strike as much. Now, I've gotten myself running around 175-183 strikes / minute without even having to think about it. (She told me 180 is optimal, so I'm happy with where I'm at.)


Something gave a weird twinge at the Human Race 8K about a month ago. Here I am with my right side in pain just before the finish:

It acted up a bit the next weekend at the Lake Johanna 4 Mile (that I ran with Henry) too. But "belly breathing" helps. I laid off the core work for about 10 days, and slowly started that back recently. I CAN still feel some "weirdness," but it's soooo minor. I'm not worried... I'm just keeping an eye on it. Or a rib. Whatever.


So I was trail running on a Wisconsin Island in late July of last year, and I turned my ankle. I THOUGHT I just hurt my ankle, but my foot was achy the rest of the summer. And it's just gotten a BIT better over the last few months. I may have tweaked something deep in my foot. Early last fall, I was pretty sure it was a stress fracture... I'm still not sure what it is. I can run FAR on it (I can easily do half marathon runs), but if I do some speed work, it might be sore the next day. (Oh, and it would get really sore after swimming a few months ago, so I stayed out of the pool for a while. I think it was sore from kicking. But now, after a few recent swims, that's not an issues anymore.) There's just ALWAYS a bit of a dull ache there. I make sure to ice it after harder / longer workouts, and that's been keeping it in check.

I noticed something in 2 photos from the Lake Johanna 4 Mile race... my sore right foot is landing with the toes pointing out quite a bit. Look at these 2 images:

Right foot on the ground just after the start

Right foot on the ground in my final kick

Since I've seen these 2 images, I'm trying to run with a "straighter" foot. I don't know if that was any of my issue at all, but I'm trying to watch my form.

Luckily, right now all my injuries are all staying in check. I can FEEL most of them, but they are "cooperating." I need to start doing my P.T. prescribed leg exercises more often so everything STAYS in check. (Here are most of the P.T. exercises that I still do, but there have been more added in.)

So, with all these little aches, I think some down-time at the end of the season is called for! I'll need a rest and some time to heal.

p.s. On this note of injury-related-things, I just wrote a little Examiner article about "overuse injury prevention" with tips from pro triathlete Sam McGlone. CLICK HERE to check it out.

p.p.s. I've just joined Instagram. Search for "stevestenzel" and follow me. You'll get funny images, photos of my kid, and athletic-related things. Here are 3 of my first Instagram photos:

Henry found the stairs and bookshelf!

In a good mood after a snack!
(Sorry for the snot, but check out his 4 bottom teeth!)

A VERY appropriate sign to see on a run WITH MY SON on Thursday night.


Michael 6:01 PM, April 14, 2012  


The IT Band stretch that did the most for me was something an Orthopedic Specialist passed along to me. Sit in a chair with both feet flat on the floor. For the affected leg, cross that leg over the other knee, by placing the outside ankle on top of the knee. Then gently push the knee of the affected leg towards the floor with your hands into the stretch.

Just something else to try...it worked wonders for me.

Steve Stenzel 12:06 PM, April 16, 2012  

Michael, I'll try that! It sounds like a different version of the "pretzel stretch" that my PT gave me. Thanks!

Jim Smith II 8:51 AM, April 21, 2012  

I too suffer from ITB issues (thanks for the stretch Michael), and you're right - You need to spend more time with your roller. Active Release Therapy is great too, but can be expensive, but the roller is the best thing you can do to help ITB...

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