Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Achilles Follow-up - 50 mile training!

My Dr said my Achilles has the teeniest tiniest tear in it. I mean we are talking a minuscule, teeny-tiny-little-almost-not-there tear. That said he told me to continue going to physical therapy for 12 weeks (continuing after my race), and I will see him regularly (every few weeks) to followup and get more scans to make sure everything is progressing toward healing. After talking with my physical therapists, they are limiting my weekly long runs to 10-12 miles (rather than 20-22)... this has mentally been the hardest part for me. I want to trust them because I know they know what they're doing, but it's going against my training plan and that terrifies me. I want to be as ready as possible!

My longest weekend runs are back to back 12 and 10 milers right now. They reassured me those numbers will likely grow quickly as long as I continue with PT and regular icing/Advil (swelling reduction). Praying this doesn't derail my training too much. That's a drastic drop in my overall weekly miles (looking at 42 miles instead of 54 for example). I have been penciling in my "actual" numbers for each day of the week.

So here is the plan I have been following:

I'm having to make some tweeks on those long runs, they want me to keep my weekly mileage down a little more than I am but I am really scared to drop it too much more than I already have to. I'm hoping after a week or two of lower miles, PT and regular icing there will be an Achilles Miracle and I can get those 20 mile runs in again with no issues! I just don't feel like myself with 10-12 being my long weekly runs.

We use these stepper machines to warm up and cool
down my legs before and after each PT session. 
So far in PT I have learned so much about myself and my running form. I learned I waste a lot of energy swinging my arms a little too much so I have been focusing on trying to keep them swinging a little less. Also that I spend a lot more time on my right foot than I do my left. My push off is hard on my right with a long stride, my left foot hits and just rotates forward with minimal push off. I also am slightly knock-kneed. I have been trying to push off harder on my left foot, and keep my knees and feet separate. I never guessed I'd get so much
feedback regarding my form and looking at how I run. They verified all the feedback they gave me using my worn out running shoes showing me every strike and basically walking me through the fatigue of my runs and how I carry myself.

This is so difficult and my runs are making me more sore than ever! Hopefully all these little things will pay off in the end. They said strengthening my hips will help everything else straighten out as well. My hips are always "feeling the burn" in PT. Haha. I am learning so much about running and form, about all the different muscles and tendons and how they all work. It's crazy that working my hips will help so many other aspects of my running from correcting my knees to strengthening my Achilles. Hopefully all the "fancy footwork" they have me doing using an agility ladder, and the "hip-killer" exercises that burn my hips so badly will all pay off and I will be faster and stronger than ever.

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