First, Happy Holidays (and belated Christmas and Hanukkah wishes)! I meant to post a happy holidays post in time for, you know, the holidays, but between being super busy at work, dealing with foot woes, and getting ready to host two Christmas dinners, I guess I just couldn’t find the time. Better late than never, right?
Second, thanks for all the well-wishes about my silly foot! Injuries that prevent me from running at all certainly are a bummer – especially when I have races coming up, like I do right now – but thankfully I got some good news and things don’t look quite so dire as they did at first.
I got the email with my MRI results as we were driving to my cousin’s house for Christmas Eve, which was an awesome surprise! I wasn’t expecting to hear back until next week. Even better, the results say there’s no stress fracture!!
However, there are “signs of tendonitis,” and, on top of that, I looked back at my x-ray results and saw that the radiologist noticed a “plantar calcaneal spur” on my right foot that hadn’t been there the last time my foot was x-rayed (about 4 years ago). So, I don’t have a stress fracture, which is awesome, but it looks like I’ve got a case of peroneal tendonitis plus a heel spur. And the peroneal tendon is the same one I injured back in April… now it just hurts in a different spot. Basically, my foot is a mess.
So what now? Immediately, I’m serving a sentence of no running for 2 weeks, ordered by my doctor. Two weeks really isn’t all that bad! (It does mean I have to miss my next race, but it could be much, much worse.) But, if my foot still hurts in 2 weeks, I have to see the orthopedist to figure out what I should do from there. In the meantime I’ve been googling both peroneal tendonitis and heel spurs and they both look like overuse injuries (heel spurs are apparently caused by chronic inflammation of either the Achilles or plantar fascia), that can be made worse by inadequate shoes (like the too-big ones with no support I was wearing, maybe??), overpronation (got that), tight calf muscles (got those), not warming up properly (um… guilty), having a mostly sedentary job (got that too), etc. etc. etc.
My long-term plan, then, is to fix that stuff. During this two-week layoff, my plan is to rest, ice my foot, and see if ibuprofen helps (all prescribed by the doctor). However, I also plan to make a conscious effort at stretching my calves (which have been scary tight for, well, ever) and making sure I get up and walk around more at work, and not just sit at my desk. I may even give Simon another chance at fitness tracking, to prompt me to get off my bum at healthy intervals.
Also, I’m going to take the plunge and work at changing my running style, which is currently very improper. Julie recommended a sports injury prevention clinic to me quite a while ago, but its cost – and the scary fact that I’d likely have to change my entire gait – put me off for a while. Swooping in like the hero he is, Drew got me a gift certificate to the clinic for Christmas, saying that he wants me to be able to run without getting injured because he knows how much I’ve come to love it. How awesome is he?? Hopefully this clinic will be awesome and I’ll be less injury-prone after working with them!
So then. Rest, ice, ibuprofen. Stretching, less sitting. Maybe some cycling/elliptical time if it doesn’t hurt (did I mention I finally joined a gym? Yeah, that happened). Getting it through my thick skull that warming up before and stretching after are important parts of running. Running clinic. Will this combination be the silver bullet needed to fix my ridiculous foot/my penchant for injury? Only time will tell, I suppose. Cross your fingers for me!
Have you ever had peroneal tendonitis or a heel spur?
My uncle called it “perennial tendonitis” when I was talking about it on Christmas Eve… sounds about right!
Have you ever used a sports injury prevention clinic, or something similar? What was your experience like?