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My First Half-Marathon Training Injury—And How I'm Fixing It!

Posted Mar 13 2012 10:00am

My First Half-Marathon Training Injury—And How I’m Fixing It!

I have a confession to make: I’ve been skipping several of my training runs lately. In fact, I haven’t ran a step since last Saturday. Yes, nine days ago! But I haven’t been slacking on purpose: I’ve been laid up with a malfunctioning foot. :(

The story begins just over two weeks ago during a triumphant seven miler. See, I only had six miles on the agenda, but was feeling so good, I talked myself into busting through the half race distance mark to boost my confidence. I was cooling down afterward thinking, “Gosh, that felt so great I could have kept going! But I don’t want to push it, so I’ll wait to increase more next weekend.” Sadly, my glee didn’t last too long. Five minutes later, my left arch started to ache—and even burn a bit as the evening progressed. I thought it was just a fluke, but after resting a few days it was still sore. Arch supports? No good. Icing? Temporary relief, but not as helpful as I would have wished.

I tested my foot with a run last weekend and it actually felt OK during the run, but was quite a bit worse after the fact. I resigned myself to the fact that something was wrong and visited a sports podiatrist last Tuesday. The verdict: tendinitis caused by feet that were too flexible . Who knew that could be a problem? 

During my running hiatus, I’ve been doing plenty of yoga and strength training, and have been attempting to keep the cardio challenge going with spin classes. I also stopped by a running shoe store to have an expert check out my sneakers and analyze my gait to see if it’s the shoes…Nope, just the wearer!

I’m hoping that a bit more rest, icing, compression and elevation will decrease the soreness level soon (the plan is to run at least once or twice this week). In the meantime, I’m doing these moves, prescribed by the podiatrist for my ailment, each day to help strengthen my weak spots and support my floppy foot. :) (While she only prescribed them for my sore foot, I’m doing these on both sides to stay even.)

And yes, part of the compression might sometimes involve a little hot sock action. It can’t hurt, and it’s a good look, don’t you think?

Resistance Loop Adduction

  • Place your resistance band loop (or a straight band turned into a loop with a knot) around the leg of a chair and the ankle of your left leg.
  • Keeping the band taut at all times, place your weight on your right leg and slowly sweep left leg in front of right until it’s just past the outside of your right ankle.
  • Return to beginning position, repeat until fatigued and switch sides.

Kettlebell Ankle Lift

  • Sit on a counter or high stool and place foot under kettlebell handle (or under a rope tied around the ends of a dumbbell handle).
  • Lift and lower weight until fatigued, switch sides and repeat.
  • Note: Wearing shoes during this move might make it easier to keep the weight on your foot.

Towel Ankle Twist

  • Sit on a counter or high stool and loop a towel, scarf or rope around your foot, holding ends at knee height.
  • Turn ankle to the inside, then pull on inside of towel and try to turn ankle to the outside against the resistance of the fabric.
  • Once foot is turned out as far as it will go, pull on outside of towel while turning foot back to the inside against the resistance.
  • Repeat inside and outside turns until fatigued, switch sides and repeat.

*If these moves don’t feel comfortable to you, please skip them. You can also benefit from the same motions without any resistance. And if your foot is sore too, please check in with your doctor!

Now I’m off to kick my feet up (for the sake of elevation, of course) and heal this body!

Have you ever experienced an exercise-related injury? If so, how did it happen and how did you overcome it?

Quote to consider this week:

“Top results are reached only through pain. But eventually you like this pain. You’ll find the more difficulties you have on the way, the more you will enjoy your success.” — Juha Vaatainen

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