A.R.T. for M.E.

>> Thursday, July 02, 2009

So that 13.1 mile run on Sunday at WIBA wasn’t the smartest. Before the run, I was thinking, “Last year I did the full 13.1 at WIBA, and I was fine.” But I forgot that last year, I was trained for a marathon 2-3 weeks before. Oops.

With about 20 minutes left in the run, my heel had a little sharp pain. It was my achilles ready to give up. I got through the run OK, but my heel was SORE. Dang.

Monday morning, I called Dr. Folske ASAP, and made an appointment for some ART on my heel. I’ve talked a little about ART before (Active Release Techniques) - it’s a way to “dig out” tight/sore muscles and tendons. Some of it hurts a little. The final thing Dr. Folske did hurt MORE than just a little. To end our session, he had me stand up, with my left leg bent back at the knee resting on the therapy bed. Then he straddled my sore heel, dug in with his fingers and thumbs using his body weight, all while flexing and releasing my foot. That SUCKED (but it was a “good” suck - that sounds weird...).

It doesn’t show up too well in this photo, but my lower calf / upper heel was all red when he got done:

That was Monday. On Tuesday, was it was still a little sore, so I took it easy. It felt quite a bit better yesterday, so I was able to swim (just a short 1000 yards in 16:17 [1:37.8 / 100 yards]). Today it feels even better. I hope to go for a bike ride after class. Then I’ll rest tomorrow.

If all goes as planned, I’ll be doing a 4 mile road race at Harriet Island on the 4th. (A few members of the tri club are going to do it too!) I think with my iffy heel, it wouldn’t be smart to wear my racing flats. I REALLY want to try them out in a road race, but this might not be the best time. Anyway, here's to a healthy, pain-free heel!

p.s. I don't mind visiting Dr. Folske because I get to talk with Michelle Lilienthal who works for him. Yes, THIS Michelle Lilienthal:

Yeah, I might be a little star-struck. She just did the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (part of Grandma's Marathon in Duluth) WITHOUT tapering, just as "another training run," in a week that she had run 90 miles, and still finished as the 6th female in 1:18!! WHAT?!? That's crazy talk!!


Carolina John 8:16 AM, July 02, 2009  

I can admit i've never gotten a good suck from a doctor. but i have been married for 10 years.

Steve Stenzel 8:30 AM, July 02, 2009  

You're twisting my words, John! Twisting my words!!


CoachLiz 8:30 AM, July 02, 2009  

Ok, my question to these issues is,"Are you a heel striker?" I have a feeling from looking at race photos of you running, that you are a heel striker.

I wonder if starting to modify your strike pattern would ease that heel pain and inflammation. It might be helpful to do a little barefoot running the next time you go to the track so that you can take photos and make observations about how you run in shoes and how you run naturally without hard pavement and risking running through an ant hill in the grass.

This is not a big workout, just enough running to make observations and then to see if you can replicate that form with your shoes on. It is hard to change running form and you will find yourself reverting back to your old strike patterns. Your calfs and peronial muscles will be sore, but in the long run (HA!) your heels , knees, and hips will thank you.

You are still a young whipper-snapper, but you want to be running fast when you are my age and beyond and running with minimal injury and damage.

It is worth playing around with and if it does nothing for you, you can toss it out the window. I just know I have gotten faster and had less fatigue in long distance running by running with a mid to fore foot strike and my legs feel good the day after a race rather than feeling beat up.

Oh, have you considered orthodics for your shoes? You said you had a wonky right foot strike. It may help control the pronation and stability.

Just some ideas to consider... :)

B.o.B. 10:24 AM, July 02, 2009  

hehe John is funny!

Seriously though that sounds painful.

Good luck on your 4 miler.

Jen Feeny 10:51 AM, July 02, 2009  

Ouch and yet... I want to be abused like that so I can feel better! LOL! Good luck on your run!

Julia 11:33 AM, July 02, 2009  

that sounds painful and good at the same time. How is it different from a sports massage?
Good luck on the race, treat your heel with some TLC, and yeah, I'd be starstruck too :)

GoBigGreen 11:35 AM, July 02, 2009  

Coach Liz is onto somethings..I was trying to watch your video of the tm session in Wi, but the angle wasnt good to see what your left foot was doing.
Other ideas ( horrors, sit down) are to do some more of your speed work on the boulevards...I know the Track is "soft" but i have seen far too many folks injured from running speed at the track.
I would avoid the running flats and get ice on that puppy right after the race...
Good luck to the CVA team! WOOT WOOT!

Steve Stenzel 11:38 AM, July 02, 2009  

Thanks for the advice, Liz! (and GoBigGreen) Seriously, I'll have to try that. THANKS!!

And Julia, it's more of a mix of physical therapy and massage. Is hard to imagine unless you have it done to you. That's what she said.


LaVonne 6:08 PM, July 02, 2009  

I heart ART. Painful, but so worth it.

GoBigGreen - question, what is you're reasoning behind this? I don't understand, and am always looking for ways to improve my running and be injury free!
"do some more of your speed work on the boulevards...I know the Track is "soft" but i have seen far too many folks injured from running speed at the track."

Carly 7:57 PM, July 02, 2009  

I think I need to give ART a try. I keep hearing good things about it. Argh....Michelle Lilienthal finished that darn race even before I hit the 10K mark. *crying*

Michelle 8:51 PM, July 02, 2009  

That is crazy talk!!

Glad your heel is almost all healed!!!

Happy 4th!!

The Boring Runner 3:31 PM, July 03, 2009  

You know, I feel like heel pain is going around. I did a 7 miler on some nasty Georgia hills and am paying the price for it today. Blah.

Irish Cream 11:32 PM, July 03, 2009  

Ouch . . . that sounds seriously painful, but I do hear great things about ART. I hope it helps and you can run pain free!

Have a happy 4th!! :)

Anonymous,  12:55 PM, September 22, 2009  

Crazy ankles!

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