Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stats for the week / month so far, and post stress disorder? Confidence has taken a hit.

Day 22 of base building.  Monthly mileage and average paces (km/hr):

Oct 2013     180.50 12.1
Sep 2013     167.90 12.2
Aug 2013     172.04 12.4
Jul 2013     183.50 12.3
Jun 2013     129.35 11.5
May 2013     80.02 11.5
Apr 2013      69.02 11.6
Mar 2013      26.44 11.9

This month has been a huge ramp up in mileage. Still 9 days left of October and I have matched the highest month of the year near enough. If I manage to keep running for the next 8 days I will exceed 200kms in a month for the first time since July last year. That led to a complete breakdown eventually!! The biggest monthly total I have reached was 211km in June 2010.

The last 12 weeks:

14/10/2013 57.33 12.5
07/10/2013 63.42 11.7
30/09/2013 59.75 12.2
23/09/2013 33.36 12.2
16/09/2013 42.13 12.0
09/09/2013 36.68 11.9
02/09/2013 45.66 12.4
26/08/2013 33.06 12.8
19/08/2013 47.42 12.4
12/08/2013 25.00 12.7
05/08/2013 49.43 11.8
29/07/2013 35.54 13.0

So I have not quite done three weeks in a row of 60km +   but looking at the rest of the weekly totals its clear I have made a big step up. This week I expect to drop to probably 35-40km again. And the same next week in the lead up to the CoolNight classic.

I really do hope backing off a little will help the ankle recover enough to not turn into a real problem!!  In addition to the ankle pain which is totally new, I have now begun to feel hints of the old bursa's in both heels again.  Ankle has in fact almost completely faded away, no hint of a problem after Monday's complete rest day. No sign of twinges when I walk or anything like it..

It does seem though, that taking a rest day from the regular daily running has allowed things to change in bursa area of each heel, and its now suddenly flared a little. It is not too bad, just every now and then while sitting at my desk, I get a solid burning pain in the exact area where the old, original buraa problems were. Exactly where the MRI scans in Oct 2011 showed them, both feet !!  

When the problem was really bad, I had to warm up, massage, rub the area, before I stood up to walk, and when I did take a step I'd have to test it, walk awkwardly, like a bloody old man.. And the pain was really bad always when walking or standing.  At its peak when I was running with the injury it was frequently just agonisingly painful, especially at the beginning of a run.

Right now I actually don't have to do any of the warm ups just to walk that I used to have to do, and I seem to walk fairly easily. But I am just thrown back into that old behaviour of compensating for the heel pain all the time, because of the burning sensations I am occasionally getting in the heels. Its like post traumatic stress disorder almost !! I am actually re-living the pain even though its not really quite there (yet), and I am having trouble breaking the habit formed over so many years of testing before I walk and anticipating the pain of the first few steps.  

I know I am not imagining it though, the sensation is very real, there IS something going on there. If I rub or press the area, I certainly do feel tender in the places where the problem has always been.  Its vague enough but I recall that this is how it began in the first place, with vague burning sensations and localised tenderness on the back of the heels. A very slow burn, and eventually it turned nasty and became chronic and fairly intolerable pain pretty much all the time.

It has knocked my confidence completely I have to confess. I thrive on confidence, enthusiasm, and a bright future, dreaming of the possibilities that high volume base building brings, and finally being able to use the lovely basic speed I possess to do better 5, 10, HM and marathon races !!  It helps to motivate me to step out while tired and get the running done, having a brighter future.

I really want to train well, thats my greatest motivation and desire in simplest terms, my one and only clear goal these days. Train well and consistently because that will bring success and improvements in the races I want. Its just so frustrating to have been held back so long by these achilles tendon, bursa problems. Everything, and I mean everything else is fine. I am slimming down a little, I can FEEL the fitness coming again. To have the old problem appear again is a horrible thing to contemplate.

I feel bad now because I know its real and not imaginary, I am not over-reacting, the problem is always there, always will be, thats the honest truth. I have pretended it was not this way in the past.. Which is silly.  Volume based training is always going to trigger it. I knew it before I started this base building 22 days ago, but I am ever hopeful, I have to try to see if I can get the volume done and get fit enough.  Otherwise I may as well give it up !!

So here is my attitude and outlook. I will keep trying. I will maintain the volume, for as long as my heels allow. Precisely how I will cope with the future - and I know its going to be painful - I just don't know.  Do I get bloody minded every day and run through it? Its clear to me right now that backing off DOES NOT lead to a full recovery and never will. Its also clear that running through it, gritting through the pain day in day out is a misery, but I often wonder - can it get better from there?

Training was not really the biggest problem, I could do that for 1-2, 3+ hours in a run. There is a start, a goal time and an ending to it, I can cope with whatever pain happens during a run.

The problem is going to be real life, and it always was. Day to day homelife for example. Walking the dog?  If I am smashing through the pain barrier in a daily run because my bursa's, it will have profound effects on ordinary things like taking the dog for a walk,  going up and down stairs, the simplest things. It almost happened this morning. I was resisting taking the dog for a walk, he enjoys it, and thoroughly DESERVES to be out and about with me. I have a responsibility to do it. I owe it to him. So how can I justify ruining my heels, and my quality of life in general, and the knock on effects on people like my dog MAX, just to get a long run done  ?   This is the question I am now working on.

I did it in the past - compensating by actively avoiding doing things at home, always wanting to put my feet up, avoiding responsibilities, simply because my feet were agonisingly painful. All because of a 1hr+ run I wanted to do each day.

I know this is what is going to happen. So I am asking myself how do I manage it this time? I can medicate, but that has dire consequences potentially. Can I take anti inflams weekly? The day after a long run? I do know that its basically INFLAMMATION that is the problem. I have proven it in the past by taking the medication. Heels settle down in a matter of hours, its quite a dramatic effect.

So what to do. Backing off has failed, getting medical treatment worked up to a point but still it took 2 YEARS to get to where I am now. Pretty much at the beginning again but this time knowing fully what I am in for if I keep going. Perhaps that is better, knowing whats going to happen. Can I deal with the pain and somehow make it to the other side of it with grossly malformed haglunds lumps and bumps on each heel, and be able to keep running?  I may well end up never being able to fit a shoe again, that is how bad it can be. Its well known that it you keep running with bad bursa's in the heels, that the body reacts to repeated scarification with calcified scars. And THAT is what will make it all much worse. Eventually calcification forms hard bony lumps on the back of the heal. I actually have it clearly on right heel not so much on the left already, so I am pretty far gone in that regard now.

I think what I need it to get out and run again :)   And forget about the misery I have to face in the very near future!!

No comments:

Post a Comment