So it was all going so well. I had a storming first marathon of the season, and was happily trucking along with my in-between plan – all was rosy in Rob’s running garden. Or was it? You see the thing is, like many runners I know, I’ve developed a well-honed ability to avoid those little niggles and pains that crop up from time to time and to push on through, with the assumption that I can take two Advil and all will be well in the morning.
The trouble is, sometimes those pains don’t go away, and occasionally they actually get worse, which is where I’m at with my ankles. Without going into the boring details, they are ‘sore’, with symptoms ranging from hobbling around for five minutes doing the old geezer shuffle when I get out of bed in the morning, to general pain and irritation after a run, which has bothered me to the point of doing two things I hate to do; a) stop (OK, cut back on) running and b) go to the doctor.
The good news is that all indications are that it’s nothing serious. Nothing that a bit of rest (boo!), some ibuprofen, exercises and a bit of icing shouldn’t sort out in due course.
If you want a technical explanation of the benefits of icing from someone who knows what they are talking about, then this blog post is as good a place as any to start, and I recommend bookmarking the RunningPhysio blog because there is a ton of useful (if technical) stuff on there, which will help when those inevitable aches and pains take hold.
Personally, I like icing because it feels good (once it stops hurting!), and provides pretty direct and immediate relief from whatever affliction I’m using it to alleviate. Typically I either grab a few ice cubes in a paper towel and rub them over the injury site for about fifteen minutes, or (as per the photo), submerge the area on and off for a similar length of time. If I’m in an especially brave mood, then I fill up the bathtub with cold water, add ice, and cry like a baby as I’m getting in. It’s called suffering for one’s art.
So, being one to always look on the bright side, now that I’m having to dial back on running frequency in the short term, I really have no excuse whatsoever not to apply myself to kickstarting my strength training, which in all honesty, will likely just give me more body parts to ice in the coming weeks.
I want to give a shout out to Dr Justin Rothmier at The Sports Medicine Clinic. He’s seen me right for a number of issues over the years and always got me back on my feet after injury quickly, with good and practical advice. If you happen to be in the North Seattle area and you want to see a sports injury specialist, you won’t go far wrong with Justin.
Do you have any good ideas or favorite treatments for localized injury, swelling or soreness? Let me know – I’m always up for trying something different.
Right, I’m off for a run, just as soon as I get the feeling back in my feet.
Keep moving my friends.