Adventures In Running

Monday, May 27, 2013

Back on the Trails - finally

Running has not been fun since the day of last year's St. George Marathon. That was the first day that I realized I had something seriously wrong with my left foot.

In November I had surgery to clear up the Plantar Fasciosis. In January, my doctor cleared me to start running and assured me that I would be able to run the Buffalo Run 50K in March and the Big Sur Marathon in April. I wish. Things didn't go as I planned.

In April I went back to the doctor in an effort to discover why I was still constantly in pain and why it was getting worse. We suspected a tear in the Plantar Fascia – but an MRI ruled that out. Doctor Steve looked at the MRI and found that my Medial Calcanial Nerve and Superior Calcanial Nerve in the left foot were more than twice the normal size. This nerve ran from the inside of the ankle, under the foot and over to the outside of the ankle. This explained the pain in those areas. He gave me a cortisone injection (ouch!) in the ankle and for the first time in months I remembered what it is like to be pain free. Eight days later the pain started up again – but I sure enjoyed the break. I got another cortisone injection three weeks later (even more of an ouch!) and this time it did not appear to take.

I started researching the option of doing a heat treatment on the nerve that would block the pain for 6-24 months. This did not thrill me. Then a minor miracle happened.

Last Tuesday I was out finishing up a 3 mile run. I was to the point that I figured if I am going to be in pain, I might as well run. Not running was not stopping the pain. I turned off of 8400 South onto 700 East and a voice in my head, clear as day, said – "See if your chiropractor is available." I was right in front of my chiropractor's office at that point in time, so I walked in and asked him if he could look at my ankle. He replied that I might have to wait since he had a patient scheduled to come in right then – but the phone rang and that patient cancelled.

After explaining the problems I was having, Dr. Awerkaamp said he thought he could help me. He began to work on my lower back, knee and ankle. When he looked at my ankle, it was very stiff and I heard a huge pop as he manipulated it. He said my Calcanius was out of place and could have been putting pressure on the nerve.

Walking home from the chiropractor, it felt like I was walking funny and my foot striking totally different.

Wednesday night – 5 miles. No pain until about mile 4.

Another adjustment Thursday afternoon. We could both tell that the ankle had loosened up significantly already.

Thursday night – headed up to Little Cottonwood Canyon and did the Little Cottonwood Trail. Walked up to the top and ran most of the way down. No pain until about mile 5. 7 miles total between the Little Cottonwood Trail and the Quarry Trail as a cooldown. Felt wonderful to be back on trails! I missed them so much.

Friday morning – 9 miles in Dimple Dell. Walked up for 4.5 miles (ran any downhills) and then ran the downhills back down and another cooldown. 7 miles before I felt any pain. Spooked a deer about 10 feet away from me at one point.

Saturday – rest day.

Sunday – hiked the Mueller Park Trail up to Elephant Rock with my son. Rolled my left foot a couple of times running down and the pain started about mile 5 because of that. Used a neoprene brace the rest of the day to be safe. 7 miles.

Monday – walked (and ran downhills) Jeremy Ranch Road almost to the pavement and back. 14 miles total. No pain until mile 11. Burning started at mile 12. I have not been able to do over 11 miles since the surgery – so this is a huge improvement for me in less than a week.

The endurance is pretty bad and I am not running a lot of the time, but will start picking up my running more this week. It feels so good to be out of pain and I hope that these adjustments will allow the ankle to continue to heal.