Achilles tendon illustration from

I haven’t run a step since last Sunday when I jogged a gimpy 3.5 miles.  Wait, I take that back – I ran a quarter of a mile yesterday before the throbbing pain in the left Achilles told me that running was a bad idea.

I started a little hobbling jog around the Davidson football practice field, the well-manicured grass offering a nice, spongy-yet-flat, forgiving surface.  But 1 lap around, pain ensued, and I knew it wasn’t happening.

Now is not the time to press the issue.  I’ve already conceded the Savannah Marathon.  My singular focus is now on Boston 2012.  I cannot risk jeopardizing the Boston Marathon – I’ve worked too hard for too long to blow it now.

Instead of running, I’ve been riding the stationary bike, more to burn calories and prevent weight gain than anything else.  I tried the elliptical machine for a while, but that seems to exacerbate the achilles pain nearly as much as running does.  Maybe the stationary bike will help me maintain some modicum of fitness until I can start running again.  At our weekly runners’ lunch on Friday, Kevin showed what an understanding, supportive friend he is when he called out to me, “Hey!  This is runner’s lunch, not stationary bikers’ lunch!”

For now, I’ll stick to the stationary bike and follow this advice from Nathan:

I’d recommend stretching to the first point of pain, but definitely not beyond. Do some eccentric calf raises, and do some heel and toe walking (toes forward, then in, then out for 1 set of each). Try to foam roll the calves and rolling the arch of your foot with a lacrosse ball if/when you can, and then end with some contrast therapy – alternating ice and heat a few times, ending with ice. For me Achilles pain is always related to tight calf and/or plantar muscles.”

I bought 3 lacrosse balls that I use to practice juggling when I’m not using them to massage the plantar.  Maybe I’ll switch from running to joggling.  (I think I can take these guys if I can just learn to juggle 5 balls.  I’m strictly a 3-baller.  No comments from the peanut gallery, thank you very much.)

And though I’m not running at the moment, I’m reading about running and letting the Boston dream continue to grow.  I’m currently reading Duel in the Sun, the novel about the phenomenal battle between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley in the 1982 Boston marathon.  I’m enthralled and cannot wait to follow in the footsteps of these 2, and so many other, legendary runners!


5 Responses to “Sidelined”

  1. Scott Says:

    This blog entry proves how smart of a runner you are. Hang in there and GET WELL SOON!

  2. Belle Says:

    Sorry to hear you are so uncomfortable! But pedal, pedal, pedal until you heal. I have a spin bike in my living room and I supplement my running with it whenever I am injured, it really does help to maintain your fitness.

    I am with you on having tunnel vision toward Boston 2012, I dropped a can of beans on my food today and was fretting over it for about an hour before I realized no harm was done.

    26 weeks to go!


  3. Anne Marie Says:

    so sorry to hear it, allen :(. at least misery loves company and a TON of us are injured right now. i hope the pain eases very, very soon. if you need company on the bike, let me know!

  4. jay Says:

    oh, I know that feeling all to well. Stay patient and you’ll be back out in no time. “Duel in the Sun” is an incredible book. I read it on a weekend and finished it in two days. I couldn’t put it down.

  5. Ken Says:

    Thanks for mentioning I found all the information very helpful too!

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