Ginger’s Training Log – 3-25-12

My week was pretty jam packed, a sneak preview of sorts to life as a full time employee. The dishes started to pile up in the sink and I failed to read Huffington Post crime stories.ย As for running, I was on pace to hit close to 50 miles, which would have been my highest weekly mileage to date and then this happened:

Notice where I struggle with the razor, too?

For the last three and a half weeks, I had been dealing with some weird heel/achilles discomfort. It was a manageable discomfort because it only really hurt after running or walking in certain shoes. However, this week, I started to notice the swelling. When I have a nagging pain for a few days, I head over to to scour the message boards. My theory, stolen from my boyfriend, is that you can gather 100+ different opinions to forumlate your own. All of the aches and pains I’ve had in the past six months, I have been able to train through. But 100+ different opinions all pointed in the direction of taking at least a few days off with a swollen achilles. Apparently, it’s not a muscle to play around with. And given that I’ve been trying to manage it for three weeks now, I figured the smartest thing to do is take a few days off.

The hardest part of being a runner is listening to your body, especially when it’s saying, “give me a break!” Part of me felt kind of weak for having to report that I am taking it easy right now. This is only my second weekly log and it’s already filled with an inj– no, I’m not ready to call this an injury yet. In fact, if I have to take a week off to let the swelling subside, I am mentally prepared to do so. I haven’t even taken three days in a row off yet since last summer, so maybe this is my body’s way of saying it needs a little vacation. More importantly, I’m reminded of the importance of daily stretching post run, foam rolling, eccentric calf raises, and icing.

Sunday: 10.1 mile long run on the towpath. Slow and painless.

Monday: 6.5 easy at night on the towpath with James. Our definition of romance.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles, track workout. 2 up then 4 sets of 800, 600, 200 and 1.5 down. Averaged 3:16, 2:22, and 40.

Wednesday: Easy 3 cut short due to pain throughout run in achilles area.

Thursday: 6.5 miles, track tempo. 1 up then 2 x 2 in roughly 14:46. 1.5 down barefoot, ala Camille Herron’s approach. (Don’t worry, I have minimalist experience. This cool down felt sooooo good!)

Friday: Off, massage. Deep tissue to the calves. Not long enough! Have another one scheduled for next Friday.

Saturday: Off. Don’t feel fat and sluggish yet. Actually feels well earned. Trying to stay positive!

Total: 33.6 miles

Everyday essentials: foam roller and rubber band stretcher thingy
I also invested in a pair of compression sleeves from Dick's Sporting Goods for $15. Best $15 I've spent in quite some time.










Feel free to add to the 100+ opinions with any tips or experiences with achilles issues!

I write about mindfulness, mental health, and the professional sport of running with the occasional poking fun at the sport. When I am not running, I'm either helping people as a counselor or trying to make them laugh as an amateur open mic comedian.

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  1. Ginger (or is it Jinger – so confused), I think Salty may have already pointed you in this direction, but I’ve been dealing with my own Achilles issues of late – Rest is definitely in order – the problem with the Achilles is that it doesn’t get good blood flow, so healing can take some time. I’d definitely recommend getting a splint to sleep in, and starting the eccentric calf strengthening exercises (heel drops). I started running again within two weeks, but that was too soon – now been back down for ~10 days, and probably have a bit more rest ahead of me. Good luck.
    And if I’m going to keep commenting here, I need to come up with my own spicy nickname I guess. Maybe Cumin, with a “k”?

  2. Thanks for the tips, Greg with a G aka Cumin with a K. I checked out your recent post and it was very helpful. I will definitely be sure that I do eccentric calf raises now and even when it’s healed, which it seems to be. I’ll be taking a cautious approach this week, hoping to avoid more time off. But if so, so be it I guess. Good luck with your recovery! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Oh and yes, I love the night splint. I had one from a long bought of plantar fasciitis, which may explain this current issue. nonetheless, the splint is “kumin” in handy now!