Archive for the ‘ankle’ Category

Rest days, rolled ankles and a quick return to running

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

As is often the case it has been awhile since I wrote here. It has been an interesting month or so of running or not running as the case might be.

At the start of the month I found myself taking several rest days in a row. Between laziness, weather and music I ended up not running for 12 days straight. I was surprised to discover it had been so long, I had figured it was 5-6 days at most a week. But the diary reveals all. So after a few false starts, I managed to go beyond just thinking about running and actually doing it. My first day back was a little rough but not that bad. I was slow and feeling sluggish, but I managed to push myself through it at a reasonable pace. The following day I got back on the horse and found myself running a pace close to 10 min miles, actually just over. I had initially intended to try to do four days in a row to get back into running form, but I ended up taking a day off before running back to back a second time. The second pair of runs was a lot better in terms of pace, well I should say the first one was, cause right at the start of the second run I…

Rolled my ankle.

It was pretty dumb actually. There were two cars coming towards me in the street. I was running on the asphalt to make life easier on my knees and staying close to the edge of the road to allow the cars to easily get by me. All of a sudden the front car stopped in the middle of the road. I kept an eye on them to see if they were upset I was running in their street or if they were just being a crappy driver, neither option was all that great. So distracted I managed to step right into a pothole and down I went. As soon as I face planted both cars sped away, it was weird. Not even a rolled down window to ask if I was ok or even to laugh at me. I tried to walk it off and decided I had better end my run (I hadn’t even gone a mile) so I turned around and headed home. About a block later the pain subsided and I foolishly decided I could finish my run. And I did without any problems or pain though I was a little gimpy. Pretty quickly after I stopped running my ankle swelled up nice and big. I strapped on an ankle brace and headed to band practice. I got around fine but by the time I came home and got the brace off my ankle was pretty angry, swollen and hot. The brace was a far infra-red brace that might have been partly responsible for the heat as that is what they are supposed to do (somehow, I don’t actually get it…) The next night I played a Go-Go show and though I didn’t dance, I was up and about on it until 4 in the morning, again swollen! For the next couple of days I took it easy and even though I really wanted to run I didn’t. But today, I couldn’t hold back any longer and I did…

A quick return to running.

This morning my ankle seemed quite a bit less swollen. The weird thing over the last couple of days is I had very little pain in my ankle. The swelling was occurring on the outside of my left ankle. IIRC my usual ankle problem area has been on the inside of my right ankle, which is my shorter leg (I’d always partly blamed the shortness on my past ankle sprains.) But this was on the outside of the ankle and didn’t really hurt to boot. I had found myself running after the dog in the front yard without even realizing it on several occasions. So I figured I could try a short run today to get back into things (once again). Well the short run started out really well, no pain or discomfort at all, so I extended it into a base run of 6.2 miles and it felt great. I didn’t push the pace so no major success on that end, but just running again so quickly and pain free after the roll was a success all on its own. And now after as I type I feel no extra pain or swelling.

Winter sluggishness

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Well actually my winter sluggishness has been more about my blog than my actual running. Though to be honest I have been somewhat sluggish with running as well. A little improvement in the running and blogging categories would do me much good. Part of the running slowdown has had to do with my schedule and me not wanting to over do it. I think this is a good thing (not over doing it) until it becomes an impediment to actually getting a decent amount of running in. Tough balance. The schedule thing has been more of an issue. I don’t really like running on the days when I pay music as I get too tired to really be able to focus on the music. I am finding that I can run on days when I have rehearsals though it is hard (especially the Brownish Black rehearsal nights as I have a long bus ride home.) But it seems doable so I think I have checked off one of my excuses for not running (in theory anyway, now on to practice…)

Today I ran for the first time in 9 days (other excuses of cold rain have been in effect this week.) It felt good to get out there and move. I ran pretty slowly, but I had pretty solid energy for most of the run and kept adding more and more on. I ended up doing 7.5 miles and felt strong afterwards. We’ll see how I am doing later in the evening when the soreness sets in. I am sure I have some stretching in my future.

Running this time of year is good for strengthening the ankles as I keep finding myself having to adjust my footwork to avoid puddles and wet leaves. This makes for an interesting sort of random dance step routine!

Don’t do as I do

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Even though I said my ankle felt ok after I walked off the twist and even though I said I felt ok the day after when I went for a run, I am now paying for rushing an injury. I should know better. I have taken the last three days off from running and it has been really good for me. My ankle still hurts, but it is better. Still I should have stopped running and not run the following day. But I was run happy. Good when you are healthy, but dangerous when you are hurt.

I have talked a little bit about apitherapy (bee sting theraphy) as an alternative ms treatment. well today I disturbed a hive and got stung five times. Hopefully I’ll be surprised and see improvement in my thigh!

Hobbling along

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Yesterday I great run got interrupted by me rolling my ankle about a mile into it. Fortunately I have ankles of rubber! And I am usually ready to continue after walking off an ankle roll. This time it really hurt and took me a couple of blocks before I was able to continue. But I was soon moving along although at a slower pace. This is another one of those do as I say not as I do moments. Really I should have stopped running and called for a ride. But I also know my ankles and their ability to bounce back. I didn’t hear/feel anything pop (not a good sign!) so I wasn’t too worried about it. I have noticed when I roll an ankle and continue on I usually don’t feel any pain until I stop running and get home. That is when the swelling starts in.

Here is a a “do as I do” for you. After getting home I immediately put some ice (cold wrap actually, bag of frozen peas works well too) on it. I also iced it again later at night. I woke with it being a little swollen and sore, but not too bad. Which is a good thing as I committed to another run today with my long distance running partner (long distance in terms of her being 1000 to the south in CA, we’ve been talking over our miked headphones while we run which has been fun). I wrapped my ankle with a special compression wrap that uses Far Infrared heat “to naturally promote healing. Nano-sized ceramic particles with the fabric emit far infrared rays to generate thermal energy, deeply penetrating tissues, tendons, muscles and ligaments in the affected area to promote blood circulation, for pain relief and speedy healing.” I am not sure how effective FIR really is, but I seemed to be able to make it through my run with no problems. I am not going to wear the wrap when I am not running, but maybe I should. Hmmm.

So today’s run/hobble went pretty well. My pace was pretty slow, but that’s ok. I worked up a good sweat and enjoyed my six miles. Pretty crowded out on the roads this morning, mostly I think cause it is the first day of school and all the kiddos where out with their parents. Good start to the week, two 10k runs and it is only Tuesday.

Natural running and speedwork at the track

Friday, February 18th, 2011

At risk of being ostracized by the popular running community I’d like to add my two cents about the barefoot running/natural running phenomena. I have been an advocate of Chi Running for many years. I think the principals behind it are solid and I have run relatively injury free for years, much of which I attribute to adopting a Ch Running style. Since the barefoot running fad broke out with the publishing of Born To Run, its theories have been adopted by Danny Dreyer, author of Chi Running. While I really enjoyed Born to Run, I wasn’t swayed to try it until Dreyer embraced it. With his endorsement I have thought more and more about it. I have figured I wouldn’t be able to do it because of the heal lift I wear to offset my shorter right leg. The barefoot folks says we should base out stance on our natural stance by not wearing any sort of orthotics whether they be in the base of running shoes or additional devices. I believe my leg correcting lift is necessary to make sure my spine is properly aligned. Doctors convinced me at an early age that I needed to keep my spine properly aligned in order to avoid back issues both in my youth and especially into old age. So barefoot running seemed like it wouldn’t be for me, Vibram Five-Fingers also seemed interesting but I had my doubts about whether they would work with my lift (they are really low on the ankle and my lift made this an even larger potential issue). So I was really interested to hear about the concept of Natural Running and this book.

So I got the book from the library and have been reading it. The author feels that barefoot running is best, but that there are pitfalls to running without protection on the feet: rocks, hot or cold pavement, glass etc. He thinks that shoes are ok to wear as long as you do a mid or forefoot strike rather than a heal strike. He says most running shoes build up the heal to such an extent that it is hard to do the fore or mid strike. He says the elevated heal causes most runners to hit the heal first (which brakes you) before rolling to the ball of your foot. My heal lift in the one side makes this even more of an issue. But despite that I have been striving for a mid-strike for years since reading about Chi Running and I think I do a pretty good job of it.

When I first started to run on the dirt roads on Pendleton, OR I was told that I should rock my foot on each step. Land on the heal and roll my step through to the lift off on the toes. At first it took so getting used to landing on the mid portion of the foot. It was good to read scientific basis for what I have been doing for years.

The book had a number of exercises to help the reader develop this mid-strike. Most of them were based on balance (so far anyway) and this is an area I could use a lot of work on. Between the shorter (and smaller) right leg and the ms, I have my issues with balance. I have been working on this and probably overdoing it as my ankles have been sore as well as my knees. I think I will back off on doing the balance stuff a bit and try to more slowly incorporate the work into my workouts. I do think better balance will have large benefits for strengthening my core and therefor bettering my running. Not sure what is happening with my knees, I rarely have issues in that area. It could also have something to do with the new shoes.

Today, I went to the track to do some more straights and curves. The track was mostly empty so that was good for my multi-paced workout. My knees and ankle soreness didn’t seem to bother me, but I did slow down my sprinting in order to respect the potential injury. Seems to have done the trick. I also added on some miles to boost my weekly totals. Ended up doing a 2 mile warm up, 2 miles at the track and 4.5 mile cool down. Good run.

Rubber ankles

Friday, November 19th, 2010

I have rubber ankles and seem to roll them often, he bulk of my running injuries. The good thing about it is I seem to rebound pretty quickly. This afternoon I tried to run before the rain hit. I had a nice start, but a half mile into my run I stepped on a rock and felt a the sharp pain of my ankle rolling. Fortunately nothing snapped, but I did give my ankle a good pull. I hobbled to the corner and realized my run was over. I was really bummed because it looked like I was going to beat that rain and I wanted to get a run in today especially with the coming cold weather.

So I headed back to the house feeling kind of irritated with myself. As I rounded the corner past the park I noticed my ankle felt a lot better. I think the cold air on my bare ankles (still wearing my summer ankle socks) kept the swelling down. I tested out a short run and just kept going. Back through the park and on with the original 5 mile route. I kept my pace down and concentrated on my foot strike. I didn’t feel any pain until I went up a particularly long steep uphill and I could really feel the lack of strength in the offending ankle.

I am of course doing the best for it RICE – rest, ice, compression, elevation. I also took three acetaminophen and strapped on my ankle brace. I also rubbed in some arnica gel which I have been using as a liniment. I doubt it will have any effect, maybe some pain relief. I have been able to walk on it but I am moving slowly. Tonight more ice and elevation during the Blazer game, who should commiserate with me.

I am curious to see how this change of running regime affects my injury level, so far not so well…

Rolling ankles

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

I have a tendency to roll my ankles occasionally. Last week I did just that on my long run with 6 miles to go. I also have an ability to heal pretty quickly from them, maybe they are just so elastic that they expect to roll over. I do think I need to find some ankle strengthening exercises. So tonight on another night run in the rain I ran over something in the dark, and away the other ankle went. I walked it off for a block or so and was able to get back into the run. As I type it is a bit sore, but I plan to elevate and ice it tonight and see where I am. I think it will be ok. As I was thinking back to previous ankle injuries, I believe they came in pairs as well. I imagine it is because I tend to push my return to running and my gait is off.

After rolling my ankle I though that my still as undecided choice of base vrs. long run had been decided. I was wrong, I did a long run after all…

Last night I watched a basketball player roll both of his ankles in a single game. Andre Miller has played in 500 or so straight games and apparently rolls his ankles all the time. Tonight he played again, started no problem. But then he rolled one of his ankles again. He sat down, but managed to get back in and play. Pretty impressive if not stupid.

Three days to go

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Today I am not running in order to rest my ankle more. Bums me out because I love to run on thanksgiving for some reason. My ankle still hurts and I am a little worried about it. Not much I can do other than what I am (or not) doing. I feels a bit better, I just wish it felt a LOT better.

I am going through with my pre-marathon eating plans and getting stuff ready for the trip to Seattle. Last night I got all my running candy out, Sport Beans, Gels and Clif Blocks. It looks like Halloween instead of thanksgiving on my desk! Regardless of how my ankle feels, I will have snacks!

On Friday after I arrive in Seattle I go to pick up my chip and bib. The chip allows you to start at any time by triggering your timer when you cross the start and stopping at the finish. Two years ago I got stuck in the bathroom lines and got a 5 minute late start, but my chip allowed me to get an accurate measurement of my time. My bib is my number, unfortunately they don’t let you customize it like Portland, so no “Besaro” this year. I loved hearing people yell out “Go Besaro!” but that’s ok, I’ll settle for “Go 8734” or whatever I am.