Finally get to start running … slowly :)

Yesterday was my first try at running again. For the next month I alternate running for 15 minutes max one day with walking for 1/2 hour the next day. The first time out I ran for maybe 6 minutes, alternating running and walking as my foot and lung capacity could handle it. At around the 11 minute mark the foot was feeling a bit sore so I finished off by walking. Today the foot is “there” but it seems to be achilles stiffness rather than heel soreness. Hopefully the running continues to go well and maybe by the time the month is up I’ll be running for the full 15 minutes - LOL! Once it cools down I’ll move from the treadmill out to a field so I can at least dribble a soccer ball as I run. I just don’t like running and doing nothing else, it is incredibly boring.

Another ortho visit (1 year + 3 weeks)

So I saw my doc today and he said I could s l o w l y ramp up to running. I get to start by adding 15-20 of exercise walking every other day to my exercise regimen. I do that for 3 weeks. Then for another 3 weeks I can do light running for 15 minutes (when I’m running just to run I ONLY do light running - I hate to run unless I’m playing soccer) one day and then 30 minutes of exercise walking the next. I alternate the running/walking for another 3 weeks. Then, if nothing is hurting, I start a slow return to my normal exercise regimen and slowly ramp up for soccer. Once I’m at the light running stage I’ll check to see if I should do anything with my PT.

I’m hoping that the bone is calmed down enough and that adding more activity won’t get it annoyed again. I’m also going to try the exercise bike again to see if that bothers my foot anymore. Would like to do something in addition to the elliptical for aerobic exercise.

Just passed the one year mark!

My one year mark was 8/17. My achilles is fine as far as I know but I’m dealing with bone issues. I have no idea why but my heel bone was inflamed and I’m trying to get it to calm down still. When it’s bugging me I go back into my boot to reduce the pull on the heel by the achilles. I can do heel lifts and eccentric drops and elliptical but no running or high impact activities - so no soccer! :( I see my doc again on Tuesday and have no idea what the plan will be. I think the bone is still inflamed even after 1 month of low impact activities and wearing the boot when needed. I have to say this is REALLY annoying!!!!

Still have an inflamed heel bone

Saw my doc for a follow up on my heel.  He showed me the MRI and the heel bone definitely does not look like the surrounding bone.  In one view good bone shows as black, but my heel bone shows as white due to the inflammation.  I still have pain from relatively low impact activities like biking and he squeezed places on my heel that shouldn’t be painful and they still are.  So … no high impact activity for another month.  The summer soccer season is now a total bust.  I played 10 minutes in one league, 70 minutes in another and 0 minutes in the third league I normally play in.  It’s definitely a bummer!  However if I don’t do as told I could end up with a stress fracture and that would be much worse.

On a good note the achilles looked really good in the MRI!

My doc also "prescribed" new tennies.  He wanted me to get some asics gel kaynos.  Those have a steel shank in the bottom of the shoe which will minimize the pull on the heel bone by the achilles caused by shoes that flex too much.  I did try Hoka’s but those had very little padding at the top of the shoe on the heel.  I can see inflammation there and any shoe that presses there causes pain.  So I have a new pair of Asics.  Hopefully they’ll keep my foot feeling OK during our trip to Italy next week.

new tennies!

PT visit

I saw my PT today for my shoulder problems and we discussed my foot.  He checked the MRI results and said the marrow and the bursa area of the bone are both inflamed.  He emphasized, again, that if things are hurting BACK OFF!!!  So I’m taking his advice to heart and won’t be going to the gym today.  I went yesterday and didn’t do anything that I would call high impact but the foot is aching today so something I did made it unhappy.  I really have to be patient and let my foot get to the point where it has no pain.  That is incredibly hard to do when I’m at the 11 month mark and want to be out playing soccer and going to my exercise classes.  I also spent over a decade doing things despite my foot pain so it is hard for me to get in the mindset that I shouldn’t feel any foot pain anymore.  My PT also reminded me that if I don’t back off I could end up with a stress fracture and then I would REALLY be hating life.

So I’m going to try real hard to be easy on my foot.  I’ll hit the pool this week and hopefully that will be exercise that doesn’t bug my foot.  My next doc visit is on the 25th and I would love to go in there and tell him there is no pain … only time will tell!

In France for the Women’s World Cup

After 10 days in France we’re heading back home.  We were there to watch 5 World Cup games - 3 from the group stage and the semifinals.  We saw the US play France and England.  Those were great games.  The semifinal between Sweden and the Netherlands was pretty boring.  I averaged about 6 miles a day.  Some days much further, some days shorter.  At the end of every day my foot was swollen.  I was able to ice sometimes, but not always.  The bone is still sore and I know running on it isn’t a good idea since I had to do that once to get on the metro that was about to leave.  Needless to say my foot was unhappy about that.  I did wear my boot part of the time but if I did a lot of walking in it then it started to cause a sore and bruise on my calf bone.  I’m bootless today for the plane rides.  Once I get home I’ll see how I do with some of the early stage exercises - heel lifts and heel drops.

I see my doc at the end of July so we’ll see if all that walking annoyed things even more.  He did tell me to minimize walking but he also knew that would be difficult in France.

Ettie (World Cup mascot) and me in my boot

Back in a boot at 44 weeks after surgery

The pain I got at my first soccer game had my doc a bit worried so he had me come in.  When I described that the pain was more along the outside of my foot he did an xray to make sure I hadn’t fractured something.  The xray did show that my bone density was not back to the pre-surgery level so he was concerned I was getting microfractures that won’t show in an xray.  He squeezed my heel and that caused a shooting pain up the back of my foot and the fact that I was still getting swelling and my foot was still sore most of the time concerned him.  So he told me to wear the boot again until I can get an MRI.  An MRI can verify whether there are microfractures.  Hopefully I can get it scheduled before we leave for France next week.  So no more soccer or HIIT classes this week.  I’ll also eat more calcium rich foods for the next several weeks just in case :)

It was a good thing I did get in to see him since I had a soccer game tonight, a HIIT class tomorrow night, soccer training on Friday and then soccer games on Saturday and Sunday scheduled.  Any of those might have resulted in a full blown fracture if the bone is still weak right now.  I’ll bring my boot with me to France so I can wear it if my foot is bugging me.

This is definitely a setback but I’m glad I went in to see him.  A few extra weeks in the boot is much better than months of recovery due to a fracture.

2nd soccer game was better

On Sunday I had an hour training with my soccer coach and then played 70 minutes of soccer.  I warned the team I might have to bow out early if things started paining me but my only limitation was I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) sprint real hard.  I warned them about that too - LOL!  I did make some good plays so I haven’t forgotten everything I knew last August.  I did hope to sub out but we didn’t have enough players for subs.  The achilles is still sore today but I think the KT tape has helped.  I definitely was more cautious as I played to make sure I didn’t push off hard to accelerate again.

No more games until next week so the achilles will get some rest.  I do have another training session scheduled tomorrow and I’ll make sure to do more of my strengthening exercises in the interim.

First soccer game lasted 10 minutes

Well I tried playing soccer last night.  My time on the field was about 10 minutes - tops.  I warmed up before the game (not something I always do :) ) and things were going well initially.  Then a teammate sent a fast pass my way.  I cut right with some force to accelerate quickly, since it was moving fast and about to go out of bounds, and felt a sharp pain on the outside of my surgery foot.  I did manage to get the pass and send it down field but from that point on I was limping.  I walked and tried to jog to see if it was just a temporary pain and it wasn’t.  So off the field I went.  Quite a bummer since we were short 2 players!

I happened to have a PT session scheduled for a shoulder problem today so I had him check out my foot as well.  He saw the same swelling I did and said that was the bursa.  I did some checks to make sure the tendons/ligaments on the outside of the foot weren’t the problem. They weren’t.  So I’m back to icing/advil and I put on some KT tape to see if that will help with the pain and maybe relieve the inflammation faster.  KT tape helped a lot when I pulled my IT band.  I’m trying the tendinitis method of applying it and if that doesn’t do much by tomorrow I’ll try some alternate patterns for applying it.

Needless to say I am NOT a happy camper!  10+ months and this dang foot is still causing me issues.  It’s painful to do heel raises right now so I know something is pissed.  I also emailed my doc to complain - LOL!  I don’t see him again until the 1 year point but I asked him if seeing him any earlier might provide some insight as to what is taking so long.  I had games a soccer training session scheduled today (I have had NO problems from all the moves/work I’ve done in my training classes) and then a game on Saturday and another on Sunday.  I have serious doubts I’ll be able to play in either game.

On the plus side my PT gave me some exercises to use for my shoulder/arm issues.  I was doing about 15 exercises initially and I cut that down to about 5.  He gave me 4 more focused exercises based on where I’m still having issues.

Soccer training @ 39 weeks since surgery

My old soccer coach (from 3 or so years ago) is still doing 1-on-1 training sessions so I set one up.  It went pretty well.  Before he got there I did some 1 footed jumping tests and I was able to jump the same distance on both feet.  So that’s one more thing to check off on my PT list.  Now I’ll do diagonal jumping for distance and see how the left compares to the right.  We just did basic warmup, some dribbling drills, shooting drills, 1 footed rebound drills, …  I was winded after the warm ups - LOL!  But I already knew aerobic capacity was an issue.  My quads got tired before my feet which made me happy.  I started out in my old, soft backed cleats and after warm ups my coach asked how old they were.  I took that as a subtle hint that they looked pretty worn.  So I switched to some old, but hardly used, hard backed cleats and did the rest of the session in those.  I was happy that for the first time in 13+ years I had no heel pain with a hard backed cleat!!!

My foot still feels good tonight and I didn’t feel the need to ice it.  I see some swelling but it is pretty much the same swelling I’ve seen for many weeks.  I’ll do another training session on Saturday and if that goes well I’ll start playing with the over 57 league.  That is 8 on 8 and on a smaller field and at a slower pace than younger leagues so it will be a good starting point my soccer playing.

Nothing like finally getting some real ball touches to make a gal happy!

I had training session #2 on 5/18.  This time the calves and lungs were the limiting factor this time - LOL!  The feet are fine!  I will definitely start playing in June since my achilles is not having any issues.