A bump in the road

All taped up and no where to go

Just when things were plugging along so beautifully, I have hit a little bump in the road. My Achilles started complaining to me on Thurs. afternoon, post run. When I tried to ride the bike trainer on Friday, it was pretty painful. So I did the smart thing (for once!) and got off after just 15 minutes.

I went in to see my massage therapist at noon and he did some work on the area, including some kinesio tape. When I told him I had 18 on my schedule for the next morning, he warned against it. I immediately started shuffling things around in my head. “Ok, if I can’t do 18 tomorrow, I’ll just do 10 on Sunday.” By the end of the massage, I had talked myself off the ledge, though, and decided to rest it until at least Tuesday.

Saturday I did nothing. Ugh, that’s hard for me! Saturday morning is my favorite time of the week, my long run with friends. A little wine on Saturday might have helped the sting a bit (thank you, friends).

Sunday I decided to hit the bike trainer to check things out. It felt good, but I stayed on for only 30 minutes, just enough to take the edge off my mood but not do any damage. However, by last night, it was pretty tender again. I was hoping to run tomorrow, but now I’m thinking a few more days are probably in order. I just don’t want to mess with an Achilles.

I think I can pretty much trace this back to my hill repeats on Tuesday. Remember I told you how badly I was sucking wind? Clear indicator my fitness was not there for the repeats yet. And those are the indicators we all need to give some credence. Sometimes we can get away with it, but sometimes not (especially when you’re a master’s runner like me).

I’m pretty bummed to have my training derailed, but also hopeful that, since I stopped everything as soon as I had an issue, it will be a minor derailment. Wish me luck tomorrow!

For any of you who have had Achilles issues, what do you find helps the most?

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  1. says

    Good luck… I feek your pain of Achilles, my wife is down to running onle 5km every 2nd day, my friend Eddie has just had ops on both of his, and mine are tight, and take a couple of km in the morning before I can really get running.

    I find that lying in bed helps!!! I should just stop there, but I need to say more: so before I get up in the morning I ly on my stumic and hang my feet over the end of the bed and then pull my toes towards me useing the matrus as resistance… I find that loosens them up.

    Good luck, hope other people have other ideas, because I will be useing them….
    Coach Dion recently posted..RED HILLMy Profile

  2. says

    Hope this works out for you – so glad you did the sensible thing and took the time off. Love your mental process where you were shifting things around – don’t we ALL do that? – but you were right, this is crazy.

    Keep us posted!
    Petra recently posted..BHAGs.My Profile

  3. says

    I hear you Amanda. Bumps in the road are no fun but good for you for being smart early on! I’m getting passed my bumps for now and thankful for stopping and going slower when I didn’t want to. Thinking of you.

  4. Emily says

    For my Achilles, the keys have been minimal shoes, using the massage stick on my calves and lots of yoga – the good hard kind with lots of warrior 1, 2, lunges and balancing. I would like to say the balancing exercises the Speed Clinic gave me, but I can’t motivate to do that, hence the yoga. And resting when things get “chatty”. I know how hard it is to take a day off. Good job listening to your body!!

  5. says

    Hmmm…from a psychological (and my own exp) standpoint-accept that it happened, get really mad if you have to, then channel that into productive healing-knowing everything you are doing: resting, icing, and XT when you’re ready are part of the big picture of getting back out there.

    When I messed up my achilles last year, that was my way of dealing too. Once you can stretch it without pain, things progressed pretty quickly.

  6. pudgy-mudgy says

    ASTYM by a physical therapist and lots of calf raises/stretching.
    I was back running/walking in a couple weeks.
    oh, and back in non-minimalist shoes!

  7. says

    It was my achilles that took me out of the game for over a year :-( When I finally found the help I was needing it was with a chiropractor. She had me doing lots of ankle exercises – 30 foot circles out, 30 foot circles inward and 30 toe points for each foot. I would then do a shin stretch 3 x 30 seconds.
    Then I move on to 30 second static stretches – 3 each of a regular calf stretch against the wall and 3 each of a low calf stretch followed up by all my other leg stretches for hammies and quads and then psoas. She also moved me to my Nike Frees from Asics. I can’t handle the higher/stiffer achilles support in running shoes anymore. Well…I haven’t tried in awhile because I’m so happy with my Frees, but for some time, just trying on shoes with a stiff support would hurt…let alone running in them :-(
    Julie recently posted..Monday Morning Dance PartyMy Profile

  8. says

    dang it ! yes, I did the shift and pushed to hard this weekend (post crud). I was smart on Sat. and canceled my 20 miler, but couldn’t manage 2 days of smart in a row, so Sunday, I went for 16. I survived, but it was HARD, and too much, and dumb. Thankfully, I think I “got away with it”. This is why we tend to always push the limits because sometimes we do get away with it. I’m glad you are being smart. Stay Smart my friend!
    ginny recently posted.."America’s Toughest Road Marathon"My Profile

  9. says

    oh i’m so sorry to hear this!! the damn achilles is horrible! i’m trying to nip some heel pain in the bud right now myself. rest up and be smart, it will get you back out there faster!
    Denise recently posted..Rough StartMy Profile

  10. says

    Smart girl – way to shut it down before you hurt yourself. That is a hard thing to do!

    I can think of something that could really help with achillies issues? This something might be incredibly ugly and one seen be worn by Neil Armstrong (-:
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Running is Perplexing …My Profile

  11. says

    ugh…that is frustrating! But I am EXTREMELY proud of you for backing off. You won’t regret it! Good luck with the recovery. Keep up posted!

  12. says

    I have my fingers crossed for you!! I had a friend who had an Achilles problem and he had to take a week off. I had a bit of it too when I was running hills in my barefoot shoes. It was tender!

    Love the Rock Tape! Boy if I had a nickel for each time I ran in that!

    Resting is hard. I get it, I completely get it.
    Coy recently posted..Planet Adventure Winter Trail Half MarathonMy Profile

  13. says

    You did the smart thing — good for you! I struggle with that, so bravo!

    I hope this goes away with rest and you return to running soon. Heal up!

    (I am planning on doing some hill repeats outside this week — any tips to avoid achilles issues?)
    Kate @ Run with Kate recently posted..Boo Ya, Hills!My Profile

  14. janae@hungryrunnergirl says

    NOOOOOO I am so so sorry that you are dealing with your achilles problem and hoping you are back to running in no time. Good for you to stop immediately and I bet that will shorten the recovery time big time!

  15. says

    It’s never any fun to be forced to take time off for illness or injury. It’s even worse when you have goals and a training plan laid out before you. You were wise in easing back. Best wishes and fingers crossed for a quick bounce back to normal!

  16. says

    dang. hoping it is definitely a small derailment!! Good reminder though for me right now, to not push past my fitness level when I know I’m pushing it. Have had a couple of those moments lately!! Have a great week!

  17. says

    I hope you get well soon. This is a frustrating situation. I am also off for a deep pain into my knee. Instead of resting yesterday I ran a terrible hilly race a bit longer than a half and now I cannot walk. I understand very well your feeling. Good luck.
    Black Knight recently posted..11 ThingsMy Profile

  18. says

    Ugh, being de-railed is always frustrating. I’ve often found speed work brings some twinges, and I have to be so careful when adding it back in. My achilles was bothering me off and on this fall, and I one of my dr’s recommendations was a heel boot that keeps your foot flexed at night to speed up recovery… mine wasn’t too serious so I never bought one, but it might be worth a try.
    Laura recently posted..Sunday tidbits…My Profile

  19. Holly says

    I had an achilles issue last winter that I chalked up to running minor hills + running in yak trax. They just threw my gait off enough to strain my achilles. I took a week off + foam rolled my calves like crazy. I stopped running in the Yaks and the route that included the hills. It still tightened up – but not major pain- after long runs for a couple months. It helped if I iced immediately after for 15 min or so. Good luck…not fun!

  20. says

    Well, shoot. But I am glad you caught it in time! My Achilles has been a bit tender since my marathon and my coach recommended that I *not* wear the shoes I wore in the marathon for 2 weeks. Are you donning any calf compression sleeves? I seriously am addicted to mine now.
    Allison Johnson recently posted..Adapt And Overcome Part 2My Profile

  21. says

    I hear what you say about Master Runners, or veterans as we’re called in Britain, it’s even more important to listen to our bodies and take heed of what they’re trying to tell us – pdq. Our injuries can take longer to heal, and lost fitness can take an age to recover.
    So take care. Sending you healing vibes for a speedy recovery.
    Runningfox recently posted..An excellent weekMy Profile

  22. says

    Kudos to you for backing off at the first sign of acute problems!

    I’m sorry to say I am very familiar with AT…have to watch for it all the time and keep it at bay. Here’s the laundry list of stuff I have picked up:

    Ice is your amazing tool. Not some weeny cold pack either. put some ice cubes in a basin or bucket and some water and stick your heel in there as long as you can take it. Then remove and let it warm up a bit, then do it again…repeat 3 times or so.

    Do that a few times a day. Ibprofen is ok but Ice is much more important.

    ICE REALLY helps the acute problem….to go with that don’t piss your AT off any more until it’s happy happy. Wear shoes with some lift when you go running..this is NOT the time for the zero drop…wait until it’s all good. Buy some Dr Scholls lifts and stick them in your shoes under the innersole if you don’t have any shoes with more drop than your normal ones)

    If you are really hurting (i.e. not able to run) wear slippers with lifts even when you get up at night so you don’t stress it. Don’t do ANY stretches during the acute phase!!!

    Once it’s heeled up THEN is the time for prevention: do one legged eccentric heel lowerings , both bent-knee and straight leg to strengthen the calf (and hence reduce stress on the tendon). You don’t have to do the lift part with your one legf ..you can use both on the up part. Do the lowering part sllooowly..if you are quivering after 10-15 you need this exercise 8)
    Also do rear – bent leg standing stretch (a normal calf stretch) but do it one-legged to get some dynamic ness to it.

    And of course run in low or zero drop shoes with a flexible sole to strengthen the entire system (I’m not able to do zero)

    HTH and get better soon!
    Paul recently posted..Weekly recap: 13 weeks to EugeneMy Profile

  23. says

    SO sorry to hear about your achilles :( Unfortunately I know all too well about injuries, my left shin just does not want to get better. You did a great thing by resting, I know how hard that can be…good luck with your training!!!
    Toni Church recently posted..Man vs ShinMy Profile

  24. says

    I hope you feel better, there’s nothing worse than your body being the reason you can’t workout. I HATE being injured. I am pumping positive achilles vibes for your workout tomorrow. :) xoxox
    Ali Mc recently posted..Monday 5My Profile

  25. says

    I hope you are able to run ASAP. I know how tough it is to have to not run – especially when you are up to your knees in training for Boston…A few extra days won’t make a huge difference (that’s what I told myself this weekend too when I couldn’t run). My fingers are crossed for you!!!
    Michele @ nycrunningmama recently posted..11 Random ThingsMy Profile

  26. says

    Oh bummer!! I’ve had achilles issues myself. Unfortunately this comes with no great tips. All that really seems to help me is staying off it…for awhile. Hopefully yours feels better soon! I’ll be interested to hear if you discover a secret remedy!
    Laura recently posted..PaperworkMy Profile