Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2-Week Shutdown

Happy holidays to all my readers! It's hard to believe, but this month marks four years of blogging! Thanks to everyone for your continued readership.

Last Thursday I was diagnosed with posterior tibial tendonitis, affectionately known by runners as "post-tib," in my right leg. I know exactly how it developed. When I was fighting Achilles discomfort, I wore heel lifts during my run, and my heel lifts slipped around quite a bit in my shoes, stressing my right posterior tibial tendon. The posterior tibial tendon runs along the inside of the leg and basically connects the arch to the calf muscle. It is a key stabilizer of the lower leg. When the tendon is inflamed, as mine is, you often feel pain in the ankle and up the inside of your calf. If the injury is ignored, eventually the tendon may fail altogether and the arch collapses, often requiring major surgery. If the injury is treated early, the prognosis is good.

My doctor, who is a foot and ankle specialist, recommended that I shut down completely for two weeks. That means no running, walking, cycling or swimming. The two-week shutdown started last Friday and will end on January 6th. In almost eight years of long-distance running, I've never experienced a shutdown quite like this one. When injured, I've always been able to cross-train. But not this time. I'm set to begin physical therapy sometime next week.

Fortunately, my leg seems to be improving, thanks to lots of rest and icing. The pain in my ankle is subsiding. The discomfort and stiffness in my leg is still there, but it's improving. I'm hopeful that by January 6th I'll be ready to resume running, albeit gradually. I've been in contact with a few runners I know who've had this injury and they all said it gets better with rest, ice and time.

I'm sure to lose a decent amount of fitness during this two-week shutdown, and that indeed is unfortunate. But it's fitness I'll quickly regain with patience and perseverance.

As with many things in life, I see a silver linking in this two-week shutdown. It'll allow my body to heal and hopefully all the lingering issues I've been dealing with--achy muscles, an achy Achilles, etc.--will heal, setting me up for a great 2012 racing season. However, a PR effort at the Georgia Marathon on 3/18 is now pretty much not going to happen. I may still run the marathon, but without any expectations. Ultimately, what matters most to me is being ready for the Leadville 100 in August. I still have lots of time.

Here's to a healthy 2012 racing season!


  1. Wishing you the best Wyatt! I had to shut things down a week before a 50 miler this fall for two weeks because of peroneal tendonitis, but ultimately after some consistent PT I am back at it and recharged. Some good takeaways for the daily routine as well. I was planning on giving my entire body full rest for at least a week anyways after the race, so ended up not being too bad of a thing. Looking forward to seeing you back running soon!

  2. I think you'll enjoy how your body feels after the rest, and you'll get the fitness back quickly.

    2012 resolution: to have no injuries!

  3. To Leadville!!!

    A two week break is not horrible when you think about it. I do know what you are feeling though, but moving on . . .

    Let's see a solid sub 20 at Leadville.

  4. Ugh, that sucks. But I think you're right - whatever you lose will be gained back quickly. Definitely not worth doing anything that would risk Leadville. Hang in there!

  5. I'm so sorry to hear this...it seems like I'm reading blog after blog where the people are either sick, injured, or both. Here's to hoping that yours will improve greatly (to complete healing) with the prescribed rest.

    You're doing the hardest thing possible for an endurance athlete right now....no physical activity and maintaining a positive attitude !!!

  6. Sorry to hear about the grizzle. I bet you could do core work ... :)

    And happy blog birthday. I think I just past three years.

  7. Just checked. Hit four years at the end of November (started in 07).

  8. Just started reading your blog. I am really enjoying it!!! Heal quickly! I look forward to reading more from you!

  9. Wishing you a speed recovery Wyatt. I myself am just getting over an ankle / tendon problem and I too had to shutdown for 2 weeks but it has done wonders for the mind and body (albeit at the expense of fitness)

    I wish you and your family a happy new year and a great 2012 ahead.