Lately I have been thinking a lot about fitness and running. For years I would dabble in running but then I would always get shin splints or my left ankle would start to hurt and I would have to stop running. I used to LOVE going to races when I was young, and that is something that I have not done in a long time. I even went to an orthapedic surgeon about 5 years ago so see if there was anything I could do about my ankle pain, and he recommended surgery…which I was not prepared to do.
So lately I have been seeing a sports medicine doctor about my shin splints. He put me on a regimen of home physical therapy and stretching, saying that my core and hip/ ankle muscles were weak, making me run in a way that was putting way too much stress on my shins. I skeptically did the physical therapy, and recently got to go back to the doctor and let him know that my shin pain was way better than it had been just 4 weeks ago. I was so happy. I think if I keep doing the exercises, the shin pain should be a thing of the past.
Next, we moved onto my left ankle pain…the pain I have been having for years. 🙂 He started messing around with my ankle, and noticed there is not much stability in the ankle, meaning he can wiggle it back and forth really easily. He thinks that when I run, my ankle joint is moving all over the place and irritating the muscles. He took x-rays which were fine and gave me a lace up ankle brace to wear for 2 months. If it’s not better by then, then I’ll have to do an MRI. Here’s hoping its better!
So, last week Monday was the first day I wore the ankle brace all day. The brace does not look like much, but it really works to stabilize my ankle joint. No moving it from side to side. I decided I would try to run with it when I got home…because,you know…there’s no time like the present time to irritate things a little more 🙂 I am happy to say that I had very little pain in my ankle while running. That is HUGE for me! I always have pain when I run, so I had to hold back and not go crazy and start sprinting all over town 🙂 I wanted to do an easy 2 miles on the treadmill just to see how things would go. The brace is a little cumbersome at first and it puts a little pressure on my left shin. I think that as I get used to it (and run with a proper gait) that should get better.
So I am on the lookout for a couple of races to do this summer. If anyone has any thoughts on 5K and 10K races in West Michigan, let me know. I briefly toyed with doing a half marathon but will wait on that for later!