Where I’m At

11/25/2014

Howdy friends – I have not posted much on the blog front lately because frankly, there hasn’t been too much to write about.  A few weeks ago, I went ahead and got another MRI on the old foot because my ankle pain was persisting and getting worse.  :-/  Turns out, I don’t have broken ankle (I kid, partially) but rather, tendinitis of the flexor hallucis longus tendon.  “The whaaaat?”  The FHL basically runs from your calf, over/through your ankle and underneath your big toe.  This tendon helps to bend your toe down.

Anatomy of Flexor Hallucis Longus Tendonitis

The diagnosis on the FHL makes complete sense as my calf is always very tender and I have complained of pain my big toe forever now.  The tendinitis diagnosis was also a big of a relief!  I had been worried I had either a stress fracture in my ankle OR a torn medial ligament of some sort, neither of which would have been fun to treat.  I was also surprised (and annoyed) to hear that the MRI showed there is still significant signs of swelling and fluid in my heel (aka plantar fasciitis) which, if you follow this blog, you know I’ve dealt with for-freikin’-ever.  Thankfully, it does not hurt though but I am being mindful and treating it along with the tendinitis.

The treatment for tendinitis can be tricky as there is no blood flow in a tendon, rather they are just tough, fibrous tissue.  Blood is good for healing injury.  So I ended up getting a cortisone injection in the FHL basically into my ankle bone (ouch), took a week of rest, have two prescription medications (one tablet by mouth and one compound cream to put on topically), and have been using an at home Tens unit for therapy.  The combo seems to be doing well.  I’m not an advocate of repeated cortisone injections to manage pain, but they can  be very helpful to quickly manage swelling when combined with rest. I will see how my FHL feels in about 2-3 months, when the cortisone is technically worn off.

So, if everything goes as planned, my foot will be “better” by the first of the year.  I’ve also gotten a new pair of running shoes, Newtons, and I am easing my way into those very slowly to try to avoid any further injuries!  The verdict is still out on how I feel about them.  They kind of make the soles of my feet feel like I have hot spots, but not sure if that’s just my imagination.  Anyone else run in Newtons?

So other than truly focusing on getting my foot 100% before next September, I’ve been running 10-15 miles a week, keeping up with my 2-3 times a week swims, keeping up with my athletic conditioning workouts, taking 1-2 yoga classes a week and teaching lots of cycling classes at the Y.  I haven’t been outside on my bike a lot, primarily due to traveling and crappy weather, but I’m trying not to stress about it because I’m sure I’ll make up for it next year leading up to Ironman.  🙂 We got out a few weekends ago on a beautiful, chilly day, and did a nice long ~12 mile trail run / hike at Crowders Mountain. I was sore for days after but it was worth it.

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I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I’ll be out at the turkey trot with my family and hope to see some of you out there!  Thanks for checking in everyone!