Crossing the finish line of the Edinburgh marathon was one thing, but one of my biggest worries was how my leg would be afterwards. I had the ok of both my physio and my podiatrist to go ahead as I wouldn’t be doing myself any particular damage (the problem in my tibialis posterior is muscular) but they also both told me that I would be sore afterwards and boy were they right!
Immediately after the race, I was still fairly mobile (as far as one can be after a marathon) but my leg felt a bit stiff and was throbbing. I was moving ok, but this was probably due to my endorphin levels still being high and masking the worst of it. Added to the tib post problem was the blood blister I had acquired on the same side and I foresaw an uncomfortable week ahead.
I made sure to have some ibuprofen that night, but couldn’t have a bath due to the dressing on my blood blister. I knew I would have to get this checked by the practice nurse at my doctor’s surgery, but with the Monday being a bank holiday, the practice would not be open until Tuesday morning.
Awaking on Monday morning, I discovered that walking was pretty interesting! Not only did I have the usual post-marathon feeling that someone had put my legs on backwards, but I also had an injured leg to contend with. I couldn’t step all the way through on my left foot so was walking with a most definite limp. I spent most of the day sitting at my desk and took a full dose of ibuprofen to start settling the inflammation, as well as icing as soon as I got home.
Tuesday set in motion a period of various medical treatments. I had my blister checked and properly dressed then had an appointment with my physio in the evening. She did some light massage and ultrasound treatment which meant that on Wednesday, a day spent largely on my feet as I accompanied a school trip to the Blair Drummond Safari Park, my walking gradually (and noticeably) became easier as the effects of the ultrasound began to take effect. And I got to see some animals too which was pretty cool!
Wednesday evening saw me back on the massage table for a sports massage to begin releasing my tight calf muscles. I was still finding it a little uncomfortable to step all the way through on my left foot, but this was partly due to the fact that my calf muscles felt like rocks!
On the Friday afternoon, I had a follow-up visit to the nurse to check my blood blister. Remarkably, it was still intact, but she was concerned that leaving it alone could lead to infection from the old blood “stuck” there, so, without getting into too much detail, she treated it so that when I left the surgery I no longer had a blood blister! I had to keep a dressing on it for a day or two, but at least that problem had been resolved fairly quickly.
Throughout the week I had kept my leg taped, but the lack of breathability in the tape meant that the skin on my leg and foot was starting to suffer, so as the weekend came round and I could rest, I opted to stop using the tape. There was still a bit of inflammation, but ice and rest helped and by this point I was able to walk like a normal person!
My recovery has continued this past week with a second sports massage to make sure all the tight spots in my legs have gone and I began to build up the use of my new shoe inserts. The advice from the podiatrist was to start with having them in my shoes for an hour of standing and walking around on the first day and increase this by an hour each day. I’ve also been doing loads of calf stretching and doing my exercises with the Theraband to strengthen the muscle so it will have the endurance that it needs.
I saw my physio again yesterday (Saturday) morning and she was pleased with how well the muscle has responded to treatment so far. She did some more (slightly deeper) massage and ultrasound treatment and told me how to tweak my Theraband exercise to target the muscle even more.
Over the next week I need to continue to wear my shoe inserts as often as possible. Basically, I’m aiming to have them in my shoes all the time (so long as they fit) and next weekend try a really short run to see how it feels. If that’s ok, I can run a couple more times during the week and gradually begin to increase my mileage again. I’ll be seeing the phyiso in a fortnight, and hopefully she’ll see further improvements.
All in all, I’ve been really good. I’m desperate to run again (I’ve even started dreaming about it!) but I know that my body needs the rest. In the meantime, I’m going to the gym to use the bike and swim as these are not weight-bearing activities. That gives me some degree of exercise but without putting too much stress on the affected muscle.
Fingers crossed it won’t be long until I’m out there again clocking up the miles!
What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had (running or otherwise)?
Have you ever had a really bad blister?