Not sure if there’s a word for it (dense? oblivious? stupid??), but I’m the type of person who is slow to label things. I can walk around for days blowing my nose yet until someone asks if I have a cold, the thought doesn’t occur to me. Or when my son, John, went through a phase a few ago where he would bite when he was frustrated, yet it didn’t occur to me to deem him a biter. Thus it’s taken me, oh, three--maybe even five--years to admit I have Achillles tendonitis. Yes, SBS, the uninjured half of RLAM, has an injury. (When I informed a disbelieving Dimity, I told her, “Can you blame me? All the cool kids have one!”) And then it took my friend Ellison to point out to me that, no, it wasn’t normal after a run to limp as badly as Tiny Tim.
Since E. labeled it, I sought her advice for how to treat my nagging left Achilles tendon--the one that has, fairly consistently now that I think back on it, always announced its presence at the start of a run, and now regularly continues to hurt the whole 5, 8, or 26.2 miles. Not enough to make me stop (the pain never gets above a 2 or 3 on the scale Dimity talks about in the book), but enough to slow me down and force me to cross-train more than I have since Bush left office.
Ellison, not a medical provider, recommended icing my ankle every two hours for a day, then every three hours the next, then alternating ice with heat each session. (“Always start and end with ice,” she emailed me.) I was skeptical, but figured it was worth trying. In my 25+ years as a runner, I’d never iced any body part other than my infamous ice baths. Yet I rarely take ibuprofen because of concerns of liver damage, so I was open to a non-pharma alternative. A mere two icing sessions later, sign me up as a believer! I was able to walk without eliciting winces (from me) or looks of concern (from others). Ice is nice!
Now, after about 10 more cube-encounters, my ankle is feeling nearly normal. Granted: I swam two of the last three days, and my lower legs didn't feel great on my one weekend run. But I’m optimistic. Monday was a rest (and travel-home-from-Atlanta) day, but I have my running week mapped out. Maybe I’m being premature, but I’m ready to label my icing-experience a success.