9.5 months update (running in snow)

It’s been a little while since I updated my blog. Like most of us this far into healing, I’m mostly back to normal. (of course, “normal” is a subjective term! )

Just a quick re-cap: I’m a woman in my mid-forties who is a trail and ultra runner. I work as a Spinning and Fitness Instructor, and High School Track Coach. I had Debridement and Repair Surgery with Bone Removal (with the tendon reattached to the calcaneal bone with a nice, big titanium screw) in my right foot back in April. I feel the surgery was a success and worth the few months of “down time” to heal from it. I have run two 50K trail races since surgery, one of them in snowy/icy conditions. I am currently training for a huge goal race in June. This training cycle is different for me as I am learning to NOT ignore pain in my foot. I had AT issues for 3 years prior to finally having the surgery– It’s been a bit of a challenge to pay attention to the sensations in my foot instead of ignoring them.

This brings me to “Running in Snow”. Here on the coast of MA we have had a bit of snow. Not deep enough to be useful–can’t snowshoe in it. It IS just enough to be slippery and make for challenging conditions for running (heck–even for walking! I slipped on black ice just walking into work last week and hit my tail-bone. OUCH!) There was less snow and a bit more ice a couple weeks ago when I ran my last 50K. It was actually easier to run inthe crunchy icy-snow than it is the 4″ or so we have right now. I have found that the constant lateral sliding and slipping in this snow on the trails is the one thing that will make my AT hurt and my foot swell. Even the old pain in my forefoot and toe comes back after an hour or more running in the snow. I can feel the weakness in my right foot and how I favor that side a bit… and am so much more cautious with running things I never gave a second thought to in the past. I actually think this is good in a way. It’s helping me to know what to focus on to get stronger again. I’m back to being “good” with my PT exercises!

Since the trail running on the snow is proving to be a bit of a challenge for me right now, I’ve added some road running back into my weekly mileage. The roads are quite clear. This is helping me to even out my stride and I’m regaining something sort of resembling speed. Yesterday was a long run on a hilly road course, and I was able to run up the steep hills on the balls of my toes for the first time since surgery! (honestly, it was the first time since before surgery I was able to run like that) That feels like a major accomplishment to me! (and yes, my calves did feel it–in a good way!)

Today was back on the slippery trails. I shortened my run to about half of what I planned to do because I could feel my AT and my calcaneal screw in a way that I will pay attention to. Maybe I’m learning…..

~karen

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Darryn said,

    January 20, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

    Wow, the fact you are doing trail runs on snow/ice after only 9.5 months is amazing. I am not expecting to trail running by that stage, let alone on snow or ice.

    I can see how paying attention rather than ignoring foot pain will be a challenge. My experience with ultra running / training involves ignoring pain. But I guess that is how I ended up having AT surgery.

    Please keep the posts coming.

  2. 2

    kkirk said,

    January 20, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    I’m not an ultra-runner, but do enjoy short(er) trail running and hiking. Your Posts always give me hope that I to will be back doing the things I love soon, with a new found ability to sense “better” what my body is telling me. Kudos to getting back to what you love to do. Your recovery is amazing.

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