Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dealing With An Injury Close To A Race

While an injury can send an endurance athlete down a gradual spiral of doom and gloom, an injury with a race on the immediate horizon is categorically apocalyptic.

When I first felt a little bit of an ache in my right Achilles tendon I did what any other athlete would do - I ignored it and hoped it would go away.  I'm not very injury-prone and I figured it would work itself out.  However, 1-2 weeks went by and it was slowly getting worse, not better.  The next weekend I set out on a 20 mile run and my Achilles immediately started barking.  But, I otherwise felt so good physically, that I kept going and ran the entire thing at a good pace (it actually felt easy, that's how fit I was getting!)  Needless to say that really pissed off my Achilles and it was swollen the next day.  I had to face the fact that I had an injury a mere 11 weeks out from Ironman Texas.  I saw a sports med doc and he informed me that healing Achilles tendonitis is a slow process because the area is not very vascular.  NOT what I wanted to hear.  He did give me some ideas and I have been:

*Icing every night
*Wearing compression socks to bed
*Using anti-inflammatory patches during the day
*Putting a turmeric paste on it
*Doing calf raises to stretch & strengthen at the same time
*Using my Compex on my calf and foot

I also bought some KT tape today and plan to start taping it.  Another friend suggested alternating between soaking my foot in a bucket of ice water w/ a bucket of hot water on 2-minute rotations.  I'm even going to try my coach's "magic smoothie" tomorrow which she swears promotes faster recovery, though it doesn't sound very appetizing to me, hence I've been avoiding it:

Sharon's Magic Recovery Smoothie
V8 juice (8 oz)
Spinach or other greens
Turmeric (1 tsp)
Ginger (1 tsp grated)
Nutritional Yeast (2 Tbsp)
Pepper (dash)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Beet (1/4 - 1/2 of a whole)

I'm trying to stay positive but it's so difficult.  I'm trying to tell myself that this is allowing me to focus on improving my cycling and swimming (which are both getting better).  But it still doesn't change the fact that I haven't run in over 2 weeks and will be running a full marathon in 9 weeks! Couch to marathon program anyone?

So, what else can I do????  What has worked for you?  Any suggestions to heal this thing quicker or strategies for mentally coping with an injury this close to the race would be greatly appreciated!

On a lighter note, I rode an awesome century today with 135 amazing local cyclists from Pensacola to the Battleship in Mobile AL and back.  Some pics from the day :)

Pre-Ride Pep Talk
Aid Station #1
Turnaround Point!

Zoot Teamies!