When I think about my training over the past few months, I feel very up and down about it. When my training goes well, it goes really, really well. When it goes poorly, it goes especially poorly.
For example: December. I was sick and ran all of 22km in an entire month. No joke. December was a super, duper crappy month.
January was much, much better. I was healthy (yay!) and was able to train for the Glass Slipper Challenge and I felt pretty good about my runs. (Total mileage 100km).
February was better than January, with the exception of the cold that took me down for a few days – I managed 127km in February.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because if you look at my mileage for January and February and then I tell you I ran 54km in seven days in March, it’s pretty easy to see why I have some lower leg pain. I ran more than double of my December mileage, over half of my January mileage and 43% of my February mileage in one week.
I think that’s probably the definitely of too much too soon. Whoops.
And so this week? I’ve been resting and researching.
I’ve struggled with outer lower leg pain for a quite a while. When I first experienced it, I mentioned to my old massage therapist and my chiropractor that it felt more like tendonitis than what I thought shin splints would feel like, mainly because the pain originates near my ankle bone.
After doing some research with Dr Google today, it seems it might actually be tendonitis. Peroneal Tendonitis to be exact.
So, what the heck it is?
Symptoms of peroneal tendonitis include pain and swelling on the outside of the ankle just below the bony bit or lateral malleolus. Pain is often worse during activity but gets better with rest. There may be pain when pressing in on the peroneal tendons on the outside of the ankle. Pain may be recreated by stretching the peroneal muscles by inverting the foot or turning it inwards as well as attempting to do the reverse against resistance.
In my highly non-doctor opinion, this very much sounds like what I’m experiencing, and not actual shin splits. This can also be caused by high arches (check!) because additional pressure is put on the outer edge of the foot.
I first started experiencing this pain in yoga (weird, I know) because in wide-leg poses, I tend to put more pressure on the outer edge of my foot and not equally over the 4-corners of my foot (in yoga-speak).
Lucky for me, I have a massage therapy appointment this evening, so I’ll see what my therapist thinks and what she recommends for rehab. Having a crazy insane race scheduled in 11 weeks is a tough balance for me. I have a lot of high-mileage weeks coming up, so taking a lot of time off scares me, but so does injuring myself further, so I need to come up with a good plan of attack.
The last time I saw her I asked what her feelings were about the Graston technique (and, if you remember, I think my therapist is pretty awesome) and she’s not a fan. Her reasoning is that it’s similar to massage, but can create additional swelling and scar tissue due to the intensity of the procedure, thus increasing the risk of injury. So, while I’m intrigued by it, I think I’m going to hold off and try some other rehab techniques instead.
What rehab am I looking at?
First off, massage. I’ve used both massage and chiropractic techniques to treat the majority of my running pains and it’s always worked very well for me. My massage therapist uses both massage and cupping to treat tight areas and it’s worked very well for me.
My chiropractor uses active release and electrotherapy and is very encouraging when it comes to running and not stopping (so long as it won’t make it worse).
For at home recovery, I’m a big fan of ProCompression sleeves for recovery when at work (they hide well under pants!) and KT Tape. When my legs are quite bad, I find taping works wonders and I’ve been using KT Tape for years without issue.
I’m also considering purchasing a PowerPlay compression wrap. I first heard about these from Danielle and given I’m a fan of compression for healing, I think a wrap that includes both compression and icing is a great idea.
What’s holding me back? The price tag. Since I’m still in saving mode (and I should probably write a post about this since my debt free timeline has been moved by about 3 months, and not in the good direction) I’m hesitant to pay $350 for this, but if it works, it would definitely be worth it!
I’m also, not-very-seriously-but-it’s-in-the-back-of-my-mind, considering a Compex electrotherapy device for at-home use. These guys are also pricey, so it would certainly be purchased after the wrap (possibly well after). The Compex Edge (the lowest model) is $399 and while I’m certain it would be helpful, I can also see my chiropractor eight times for the price of the Compex.
I’m definitely a bit bummed that I’ve missed my scheduled Monday and Tuesday runs, but I know rest is the best way to approach this. I’m hopeful I can come up with a plan with my massage therapist this evening and maybe dial down my mileage a tad so I don’t keep injuring myself – this one was definitely all on me.
Tell me: How do you approach injury? What do you use to recovery quickly?
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