Boston and Trouble

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 14 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #1341


    Hi everyone … I would love some help here … I am currently training for Boston — and it will be my first Boston. My training has been going very well … until Sunday. I did something to the outside of my right ankle and have been unable to run since 13 on Saturday (which was a painless and strong run). Woke up Sunday and could not run. I saw my doctor and had x-rays … nothing’s broken. I’m seeing an orthopedist today. I figure he’s going to tell me to stay off it … it’s slightly swollen and though I can walk and do the elliptical with only mild, mild discomfort, it is quite painful once I start running. I’m supposed to do a 20-miler this weekend but that seems quite unlikely at this point. My training has been pretty solid with three runs over 20 and other strong long runs. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to run this race. The frustration I feel now is overwhelming and it’s hard not to be entirely discouraged. But I’m not going to give up Boston. The bottom line is that I WILL be on that starting line on April 19 … any advice on how to cope with these circumstances and run the best race I can would be greatly appreciated.

  • #13939


    First off, don’t worry about your last 20 miler. It sounds like you can cover the distance, with 3 20 milers under your belt.

    Right now you want to focus on 1) healing and 2) maintaining aerobic fitness without aggravating your injury.

    As for healing, ice the crap out of it and take some ibuprofen to reduce the swelling.

    For aerobic fitness, I believe Double has spent some time on the elliptical trainer before. There was a guy here 2 years ago who had a stress fracture but was an animal when it came to water running. That’d probably be my first choice, since it’s low impact, followed by biking.

    See you in Boston. I’ll be the one with the replica Larry Bird jersey.

  • #13940


    First off, listen to your doctors. It’s good to see that you are going to get medical help immediately. I made the mistake a year ago of not doing the same and not pushing my doctors once I did go for real help other than “rest it for a month and let me know how it goes.” Remember, even in the worst case scenario, Boston will still be there in the future. It has been around for nearly 110 years, it’s not going away. If you run Boston with a serious problem, you could jeopardize your running future.

    However, let’s hope it isn’t that bad. If your doctor tells you that you can still run Boston but you may have to limit your training going in, consider cross-training alternatives. Number one would be pool running if that doesn’t bother your ankle. Also up there on the list would be swimming, cycling, elliptical trainers, stairmasters, and all those other fun pieces of gym equipment. They won’t do as much as running but they will help you maintain fitness so you are going to Boston with adequate fitness to finish. Of course, the key is to find the exercises that don’t aggrivate the ankle.

    Once you are cleared for Boston, if you have to adjust your training, also don’t forget to adjust your goals accordingly. If you had a time goal, you may have to throw that out or you may just have to adjust it depending on how much training you can do.

    Best of luck. I hope you can run Boston and remain in good health.

  • #13941


    (I just registered … that was my original post).

    Thank you both for sound advice. Looks like I will be hitting the pool and the “fun” machines at the gym.

    One last question … any recommendations for training from now until the race — especially since I will most likely be missing two longer runs. I assume it’s safe to say that I won’t be on the elliptical for three hours at a time. There is no substitute for a 20 mile run … what, if any, are alternatives (or second-best options)? Should I be doing double sessions?

    Thanks again. Much appreciated feedback.

    See you in Hopkington!

  • #13942

    CV6780 wrote:
    One last question … any recommendations for training from now until the race — especially since I will most likely be missing two longer runs. I assume it’s safe to say that I won’t be on the elliptical for three hours at a time. There is no substitute for a 20 mile run … what, if any, are alternatives (or second-best options)? Should I be doing double sessions?

    I’m not really sure how this is different than your original post, unless you’re looking for specifics. My first option would be to get one of those water running belts (some clubs have them) and do water running. A long workout will test your mental toughness. You might not want to spend 3 hours on an elliptical trainer, but 3 hours outside on a bike would go by fairly quickly. You could always mix things up – 1 hour on the elliptical trainer, an hour on the bike, then an hour on the stairmaster. Get creative.

    Also, I don’t know exactly what your injury is, but I think with a little down time, you’d be able to bounce right back. It seems we tend to hear lots about knees, IT bands, achilles, etc. Ankle injuries seem to be more related to lateral sports. So my guess would be that 2 weeks from now you won’t even remember you were injured.

    At this point in time, I think you could afford to take a week off if you think it’ll help you heal. That’d still give you 2+ weeks to get your running legs back. You could even squeeze in a medium-long run like 13-17 (if you are healed) miles during those last 2 weeks.

    What you don’t want to do is take 2 days off, think you’re healed, then reaggravate your injury by running on it. This will only force you to take more time off and possibly miss Boston. Nip this in the bud now and you can still toe the line in Hopkinton.

    5 weeks ago I had to take 8 days off because of my achilles. I kept telling myself to cross-train, but I never did. I started to question whether or not I should even run Boston. 1.5 weeks after that time off I ran 20 miles and all those negative thoughts have disappeared.

    Stay positive.

  • #13943


    Again, I’ll ditto Zeke. Ankles are interesting. 6 years ago, right about this time of the year, I was running on a paved trail near a river that had flooded. I was running through shin deep water when I hit a pothole. I didn’t brace for it at all and my ankle took the full force as I went down in a heap. I couldn’t even stand on it for a few minutes and I had to walk for a while before very gingerly jogging back to where I parked. Later that evening, I couldn’t put any weight on that foot. I was sure I did severe damage. The next day, same thing. The day after, it was feeling quite a bit better and tried to run. I made it about 2 steps before stopping. The following day, I was very cautiously running and I was back to normal within a week.

    As for training suggestions, I’d suggest trying to mimic your planned running schedule by time and effort as much as possible. If you had a 20 miler at 8:00/mile planned, try doing something or a combination of exercises for 2:40. If you had 800s at 3:30 planned, try 3:30 pool running or cycling repeats.

    Again, hopefully you’ll bounce back quickly and this will be something you laugh at worrying about so much by the time Boston rolls around. If not, focus on your health first because that’s what is really most important.

  • #13944

    Sorry to hear about your injury. Can you give me a little more information on the mechanism of injury? If the pain is inferior to the lateral malleolous (the prominant buldge in the ankle) and your Xray shows no fracture likely this will be some form of tendonitis. Agree with everyone about seeing a medical provider and an orthopedist is never a bad choice. In terms of self care “RICE” (rest, ice, elevation) is reasonable. For tendonitis I often prescribe topical NSAIDs rather than oral NSAIDs. NSAIDs are the “antiinflammatories” that are available over the counter or by prescription (examples: advil, aleve, Vioxx, Bextra, Celebrex). Orally taken NSAIDs are not benign meds and need to be used with extreme caution in endurance athletes because of potential renal and GI side effects. When compounded by a pharmacist into a topical preparation and applied just to the site of injury they are minimally systemically absorbed and still very effective. You may need to even specifically ask the doc about topical preparations as some providers just dont use them enough to have them in their mind. I like ketoprofin 4% in a cream, 4 oz goes a long way and any full service pharmacy can compound this (produce on site) with a prescription.

  • #13945


    Evets, not sure if you inadvertently missed one or if the version of RICE I learned is different than the one you learned but I learned RICE as rest, ice, compression, elevation. Now that you bring up RICE, I remember that I actually found neoprene ankle wraps to be quite useful in the past when I had occasional ankle problems.

  • #13946

    Gads what a dunderhead, left off the work compression from RICE!

  • #13947


    My orthopedist believes that I have peroneal tendonitis. I’m seeing a foot/ankle specialist in a few days as well. I’ve done some research on my injury and NSAIDs are mentioned but your post was intruiging. I definitely will talk to the specialist about topical NSAIDs. I also asked my orthopedist about compression and wrapping and he seemed to shrug it off — I’m curious about that now. Also wondering if you have any feeling on the benefits of massage and PT?

    In the meantime, lots of ice and cross-training has my ankle feeling a lot better (although I’m bored out of my mind). I’m optimistic about Boston. Thank you for your posts.

  • #13948


    I’ve been there. Right before New York in 2001 I had accute hip pain due to my IT band rubbing the wrong way. Different injury but from a pschological point of view I know what your going through. I had some active release massage therapy one week before the marathon. The massage therapist told me my timing was poor. Yours may be better. I would do a little research and try to assess the pro’s and con’s before your visit. I also had a cortizone shot. This helped me but has it’s plusses and minuses (you’ll want to consult your dr).

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