Running injuries & PT parties

Since I have quite a few new readers, (hello!) I thought I would talk about my experience with running injuries.  I’ve dealt with Plantar Faciitis, tendonitis, IT band burning/pain and now misaligned hips.

It’s been a party, I tell ya.

So let’s start at the beginning.  I started running in 2009 and ran for almost 2 years completely injury free.  I hardly ever stretched, iced or strength trained.  I just put on my running gear and went. I thought that was just how you did it. Stretching and all that stuff was for pansies.

So begins my journey into running injuries.

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(You can read my race recaps for every one I’ve done here.) 

In May of 2011, I completed the California Classic, which was a metric century ride on Saturday and a half marathon run on Sunday. I trained for it since January.

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Then in June, 2011, I felt a pop in my right arch as I was running downhill during a normal training run.  I was about a mile & a half from home and somehow my gimpy, 80 year old self made it.

I took a few days off initially, that quickly turned into a few weeks.  I Iced like a champ and took Advil.   It was so painful to even walk, especially when I got out of bed in the morning. 

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I finally went to see a podiatrist, who diagnosed me with Plantar Fasciitis.  He made custom inserts and advised me to keep resting, icing, wearing wedges (!) and taking Advil.  Then he had me start running very slowly.

When I moved to the bay area a few months later, I just knew something wasn’t right.  At that time both of my feet were in pain and the toes on my right foot were tingling and going numb.

Then I found Dr. Saxena.  I knew immediately I was in the right place when I walked into his office and saw signed covers of Runners World magazine covering 2 walls.

Turns out he works with famous & Olympic runners like Shalane Flanagan. (Click on her name, she is a badass!)

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I thought if this guy can’t help me, then I give up.

Well that’s a lie.  We all know I’m too stubborn to give up.

A long story short, the custom inserts I had were made wrong. You can enter “inserts” or “podiatrist” in the search bar on the right side of my blog to read about it, but really it’s a long story so I’ll try to reduce it down for ya.

Over time, they made the plantar fascia worse by causing my arch to overcompensate. 

Yep, still a party.

Dr. Saxena made me a new pair of custom inserts the right way and sent me to physical therapy.

At PT I met Jeff and worked with him for 3 months.  He broke up the scar tissue, and strength trained my hip and thigh muscles that were contributing to the muscle imbalance.

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Wait, the fat lady isn’t singing yet.

While I was unable to run, I took up cycling on my road bike.

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And tweeked left hamstring pulling a hill.

The PT party started all over again.

But I never gave up.  I don’t feel like I had a choice after the thousands of dollars that were spent to get me this far.  Thank goodness for insurance!

Just when Jeff thought he got rid of me, I came back.  Like a bad rash, you can’t get rid of me that easy.

My left IT band started burning after a run.  The back of my thigh was tingly with a little numbness.

Turned out, my leg was about a thumbs width longer than my right.  Which means my hip was out of alignment. 

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We think it’s because I run on the side of the road towards traffic.  So Jeff adjusted it, which wasn’t painful at the time, but killed me for 2 days.  I am sure that made him happy.  😉

He taught me how to self adjust it and advised me to start running out & back on the same side of the road.

As I write all this I want you to know that running is like air to me, I think about it all the time. I actually felt depressed when I couldn’t  run due to these injuries. I know that someday I might have to stop running, but that’s not today or tomorrow, so I will run until I can’t. Then, I will go see Jeff!

So that brings y’all up to date.

Have you had or have running injuries?

What did you do to overcome it/them?

Have you ever been to physical therapy?

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