Friday, September 05, 2008

The leg bone IS connected to the ankle bone.

So, I've got this thing in my left ankle that I felt the first stirrings of when I was running downhill from the La Luz trailhead. Then I didn't feel it again until starting around mile 16 last Sunday at the marathon. It's like an electric shock, and I know it's a nerve thing.

I don't feel pain much, but when I do, I get all dramatic. I'm all, what's wrong? What's happening? Waaahhh! This isn't fair! Why should I suffer? Why me? I get all whiney. It's not pretty. Then I look up stuff on the Internet and get seriously hypochondriacal and anxious.

When I do have pain I don't push through it. That is not My Way. I don't stiffen up and hobble. Instead, the offending limb protectively goes completely limp and I go DOWN. So, in the marathon I would stop running at the aid station, the nerve would tweak, and I would almost fall over, and EMTs would rush at me shouting YOUOKAYOUOKAYYOUOKAYYOUOKAY?

Yes, I'd tell them. Thanks for being here, now relax and put that stretcher away.
It stopped hurting when I ran. But I couldn't run forever.

Right after the marathon I came across the finish line, stopped, grabbed my left leg and just about dropped to the pavement. I think Pirate has the picture. After the marathon, it was gone.

Then, yesterday, I did some sprints. I started out at the gym ran easy about 2 miles at a 11:15 or so pace out to the bosque. It was dawn, and it felt AWESOME.

I stopped, stretched a tiny bit, and then started the first of my 1-minute sprints. In these, I sprint 1 minute, and walk one minute. Rinse, repeat.

Then a really cool thing happened then: During the 2nd or 3rd sprint interval, suddenly I felt smooth and swift. I sped up. I glanced down at the pace meter on my Garmin, and it said 6:53. Holy smokes, for nearly a whole minute, I ran a a sub-7 minute pace.
Then, the nerve tweaked, and I was all like, Yay! Ow! Yay! Ow!

I did a couple more sprints after that and then jogged the last mile back to the gym. Ow, ow, ow.

Last night, while sitting, it tweaked again, and all day today it's been constantly there. I looked up stuff and knew that it wasn't shin splints, a pulled muscle, or stress fracture. There was no swelling or bruising, so what the hell was it?

I went to see Tiger Lily for a message and she pressed 2 places that made it tweak: the back of my hamstrings, and the muscle that runs down the outside of my calves. She also noted that my left leg, for some reason, was way tighter than my right. The tight muscles are probably pressing on this illiol tibulol fibulol some kind of nerve...So, that's what the pain is. Right now, it feels better.

The solution? Lots of stretching, no running for 1 week, and THE FOAM ROLLER.

Pirate, of course, is gleeful because if there's anything she loves more than an assisted lat pull-down machine, it's the foam roller. She's into pain and suffering, that one.

The rest of the rx:
Lots of stretching, every single day, after soaking in a warm tub to warm muscles. Stretch my ITB, hamstrings, and anything else I can access.
Lots of cycling and then stretching immediately after THAT.
No running for 1 week.
Wednesday, another message.

Then, I should be in good form for the Colorado Relay, which starts next Friday morning at 6:15 am. Fingers crossed. We've been planning this for 11 months, and I don't want to let anyone down.



  1. Glad you got that worked out. As for DPR and the foam roller - I've roomed with her twice and I can attest to the reality that the woman doesn't go to bed without killing herself on that foam roller no matter how tired she is. We should all be so disciplined - or not.

  2. YEOUCH.

    Glad you found out that is is not a HUGE deal to fix.

    Who doesn't love a warm tub and a massage!

  3. Anonymous7:03 PM

    I'm tellin' ya - there's a foam roller fetish trend ;)

    I haven't tried it yet.

    Hope the leg feels better soon!!

  4. Hopefully, the roller will get all the kinks out before your race. I'm sure you'll do great. The week of rest will probably be better for you, anyway.

  5. foam roller is not so bad.

    and anytime you have a massage on your therapy plan...

    hope it gets better soon.

  6. Ow ow ow.
    Hop on that roller and get well soon!

  7. Good Luck on your race! Hope you are getting well quick! Glad the leg thing was not something awful!! I'm still working out mine, but they all tell me these things take time.
    Be well!!


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