Friday, June 5, 2015
When I decided to take up running two years ago, my Achilles heel immediately started hurting. I bought me new shoes and some heel orthotics and the pain settled down. When I started running in earnest this spring, after a winter of easy running on the treadmill, that Achilles started acting up again. I bought new orthotics. I also made an effort to switch off running on each side of the road, since it was just my left heel and if you have ever looked at a country road, it slopes off to each side. Which means if you only run on the left side of the road, the side facing traffic like you are supposed to, your left leg is always running on lower ground than your right one, which can cause various problems. It may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, you will feel it.
With these few changes, the heel continued to ache, so I consulted my running coach (Ok, he’s not really my running coach, but he’s a doctor who runs, so he should know what he is talking about). He thought the things I had tried already were reasonable, and his next suggestion was to buy new shoes.
Argh! I am cheap and the old shoes looked just fine. Until I bought the new shoes. Then you could see the wear. Unfortunately, the new shoes still didn’t make a difference. I decided I would just power through. The heel didn’t hurt when I was running, it only ached at night and I could barely walk on it in the morning until I got I stretched out. But I am a bullhead.
Then the hip started. I suppose it could be from favoring the left heel, but the right hip started aching about a week ago. No big deal, just that ache that keeps you awake at night. Until yesterday.
It was okay when I got up, but then after sitting in an hour- long meeting first thing in the morning, I could barely walk on it. I took some ibuprofen and kept walking on it until it stretched out. It was even good enough that I went for a half-mile run on it last night.
Then about two hours later it really locked up on me. Hubby’s like, “are you sure you don’t need to go to the ER?” as I limped around from piece of furniture to piece of furniture.
Argh! I managed to sleep okay and it only hurt a little when I rolled over. Today, it’s not that it is even that painful. I just plain cannot walk on it sometimes. I may have to rethink the whole running thing and go back to aerobics and calisthenics.
You may be tired of hearing it, but there’s a good reason why the experts recommend you see your health care provider before starting an exercise routine. If you are fairly healthy already and don’t have any medical conditions, you are probably okay to start working out as long as you start slow and listen to your body. If however you are overweight or have a sedentary lifestyle or any medical condition whatsoever, you really need to get checked out before you even buy that first pair of running shoes.
Once you get a clean bill of health, pick a couple activities (such as biking and swimming) that you enjoy and switch off. Your body will appreciate it more and you have a better chance of sticking with it. And if the first activities you pick turn out to be ones you can’t tolerate (such as running on a bum heel and a bum hip), find something else. Just don’t quit!