Sunday, August 27, 2006

Heel Pain and The Miracle of Ice

I have a confession to make: I have had a heel issue for about a month. I think it started at the Escarpment Trail Run. This is a 30K trail race in the Catskills, over 3 major mountains, with about 10,000 feet of climbing. The trail is continually rocky, and it was wet this year. The rocks were slippery. Though it was cooler this year than in 2005, most people that ran it last year and this ran slower this year. I ran a little faster: 4:09 this year, 4:15 last year. I really wanted to go under 4 hours, but I saw that slip away. The down hills hurt more than the up hills again, but after going out much too fast in 2005, I learned to walk the hills much earlier this time.

Anyway, I kinda ignored the little twinges in my heel at that time and continued with 3 more races over the next week. The following Tuesday night was the RVRR Summer Series 5K XC race, which I ran fairly fast. Then the very next weekend was the River To Sea Relay. In that, I ran both of my major legs fairly fast, plus stepped in for half of another guy's leg. Totaled about 17 miles of race-pace running on that day. By then the heel pain was increased a bit. I continued to ignore it, though, and my training had not been too heavy for a couple of weeks after that. Yet the pain persisted. I am fairly sure it is not PF, but just some Achilles tendonitis. The pain was kind of moving around. And it would hurt less when warmed up. By the beginning of this week it was hurting with every step, which isn't good.... So I decided it was time to do something about it!

This week I am happy because I shot my mileage up, but paid attention to the pain. All I did was ice it a couple of times per day, and I have been able to both increase mileage and reduce the pain. I will have a 60 mile week and an almost healed heel.