If last January I made reference to Rocky IV and getting fit in the dead of the winter, than Sunday began my imitation of Rocky Balboa (VI), where a fat, ancient Rocky takes baby steps to eventually regain his mojo. It’s amazing how long it takes to get in race shape, but how fast it can go away….
After quite possibly the least productive doctor’s visit last Tuesday, I was left with the knowledge that I should take some prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and give my achilles a “little” time off. X-rays showed that there was not any calcium/bone buildup in my heel, which was a good thing, but didn’t show much else (shocker). The doctor also used her 4+ years of medical school and all her time as an intern and understudy to inform me that I wasn’t very flexible and should stretch more. Eureka! Why didn’t I think of that!?!
Luckily I ran into my normal doc and my go-to physical therapist in the next couple days, and in my opinion got a better diagnosis in the parking lot than I did in the office several days earlier. In a nutshell it seemed like less was better, but they thought that the odds of avoiding a rupture were in my favor. Flat surfaces were better than hills, bikes and ellipticals would avoid the impact angle that aggravate the condition. Treadmill in the pool would work like a charm. That pretty much put me on a “fish or cut bait” schedule, so “fish” it was….
For the record, after a Budweiser and peach cobbler bender Saturday night, I officially tipped the scales 13 pounds heavier than I was for the world meet and Harrisburg Mile. Some of that was certainly liquid bloat, but I was avoiding the scale during my down time for this very reason. Ugh – looks like I let that slip a little farther than I would have chosen – is there a Clydesdale Division at 5th Ave?
Sunday was Day 1 of Operation Crash Course. Got in the pool for 45 easy minutes – have to start somewhere. Went to work that afternoon, got to visit my sister and brother-in-law in Milwaukee for an evening and a day. 6 miles on Monday morning on a trail behind their house, have definitely had easier runs but I guess that comes with a big layoff. Think I have only run about 3 or 4 times on land since the world meet not counting races and the accompanying warmups and cool downs, so I definitely have my work cut out for me. I’ll have to go back and check out how things went last year, as I was kind of in the same boat – laid up, pool-heavy training, fighting the clock (calendar) to get ready for 5th Ave.
I think the risk will be worth the reward in this case, so hopefully the achilles will hold up and I can get ready for and be competitive for a couple of the fall road races I have had on the schedule for quite a while. I plan on being as smart as I can, but realize that there isn’t a lot of ‘middle ground’ on this – I’ve either got to shut it down entirely or slowly but surely get back to where I was 6 weeks ago. I think I can do that and not overdo the foot – I’ll be on the track and trails some, but there’s also going to be a ton of gym equipment and even more HydroWorx miles. And some stretching, of course….