A Running Accomplishment & Setback!

Hey there! I hope you had a great weekend. I got in two runs this weekend: a 1 mile run/walk fartlek on Friday and a 3 mile long run/walk on Sunday.

The Accomplishment(s)

During the fartlek on Friday I tried to keep my pace during the run intervals at about 11 minutes/mile. A couple weeks ago I was able to hit 9:30 pace, but on Friday my legs were swollen which makes them feel extra tight. When they feel tight it’s really hard to run fast.

Story of my life!

Still, I felt really good being able to push myself. I know 11 minute pace doesn’t sound like the world’s best workout pace but for me right now it really is.

At the end of the mile I felt good because I pushed the pace but I still didn’t feel exhausted. That makes me think my endurance is slowly starting to return.

It’s so bizarre to feel like I’m a beginner runner again, but in a lot of ways that is exactly what I am after so much time off.

The weather Friday night was nice and cold which made me want to run longer, but I knew I would be doing my long run on Sunday and didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.

Sunday I went out for my 3 mile long run and made it all 3 miles. That’s an accomplishment because the last time I tried for 3 miles I only made it 2.

The Setback

That being said my calves were SUPER tight the whole run, and at about 2.75 miles in my right foot actually went numb. That’s exactly what my surgery was supposed to prevent from ever happening again …

Luckily last week my PT and I were talking about my tight calves and he said because I still have really bad swelling this might happen. He said once the swelling finally goes away issues like this should also go away.

Unfortunately the swelling is actually getting worse. For a while it was getting better, but now that I’m running again it’s come back in full force. This is also something my PT warned me would happen. It’s good to know in advance about these things so I don’t freak out, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

The swelling has come back to the point that my legs/feet feel numb again in some areas 24/7 because there is nerve irritation. Also two of my incisions popped open in the corners!

Not sure if you can see in that picture ^ but I’m back to wearing band aids on the two incisions that have re-opened. They didn’t open all the way of course, just a small spot on each, but still… very annoying.

I’m not totally sure what I’m supposed to do right now. My PT warned me that once I started increasing my mileage my calves would become irritated and swell up so I don’t think stopping would help. Once I start up again the swelling would just come back.

I think I need to just keep going, but maybe take a step back. Instead of trying for 4 miles next weekend I think I’ll go back down to 2 miles for a week and see how that goes.

Guys, I just want to run again!

I know, I know … I’m so much closer to having a normal running routine today than I was 3 and 6 months ago. I just need to have patience and trust the process.

But….

Haha I hope you have a great Monday! Leave me a comment and let me know what you got up to this weekend.

Best part of your weekend?
How many miles did you get in last week?
If you raced, how did it go?!

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7 comments

  1. Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    Congrats on making it to 3 miles! Thats so frustrating that there is still swelling and tightness. At least you know its to be expected. Hopefully your legs will adjust to running again and that won’t be an issue anymore!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…This is What Happens When I Don’t Have a PlanMy Profile

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    1. Kristina

      I hope so! I keep trying to remind myself that I’m still ahead of the game since some people may take 12 weeks or longer or return to running. It’s just frustrating because so many people told me 6-8 weeks is the normal time frame and that’s what I got stuck in my head as being MY timeframe!

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  2. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    An incision popped!? Eeeeek. Okay, question regarding this: “My PT warned me that once I started increasing my mileage my calves would become irritated and swell up so I don’t think stopping would help. Once I start up again the swelling would just come back.” Does your PT mean that even if you waited longer to increase the mileage, it would still swell? Like, say your legs aren’t ready for 3-4 miles yet, so you waited another two weeks or something until they are ready. (If that is the case?) Would they still swell then just from the initial extra mileage?

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    1. Kristina

      Yes, from what I understand no matter what the calves would swell again from the initial extra mileage. My PT warned me that the swelling would come back as soon as I started running when I first began seeing him, and he said it could last up to SIX months. He said when running the muscle rubs up and down against the inside of the incision which irritates it. That’s why the swelling and nerve irritation will/has come back.

      I guess if I waited like 8 months to a year before returning to running I might not experience the swelling, but that’s a Catch 22 because the movement of running (and being active in general) helps break up the scar tissue.

      I’m not totally sure that backing down to 2 miles will really help since the rubbing will still occur. I go to PT tomorrow night and will ask. I do know that I am definitely not supposed to run if my feet go numb because that means circulation is being cut off and it could lead to needing more surgery. I suppose next weekend I could say “I’m going to run up to 4 miles but will stop at any point if my feet go numb.” Although I feel like if I don’t make it 4 miles that will feel like a failure. That’s why I thought it might be better to tell myself let’s just do 2 miles. Hmm!
      Kristina recently posted…A Running Accomplishment & Setback!My Profile

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      1. Megan @ Meg Go Run

        Okay, the way you explained it makes a lot of sense and I see what you are saying now. That sucks that the swelling could last six months but I guess it is good to know what you are experiencing is normal.
        Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Trick or Treat Night on Cumberland Road!My Profile

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  3. Susan

    Ugh…that doesn’t sound good. Do you think you need to just give it more time to heal? I know you are following PT orders and he is the expert but I am sure it’s super frustrating! I am taking a month (or however long) to walk only (plus my other sports). I got an irritated left hip and walking doesn’t hurt it but running does so although I want to be running, I am actually rather enjoying the walks–like a lot. Who knows, maybe I will finally make the switch over and stop running 🙂 I doubt it but I tell you, my life would be simplified if I did because running beats me up more than any other sport.

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  4. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures

    oh man, how frustrating about the numbness returning. I cringed a bit when you said the incision popped open! I hope it heals all up and the irritation stops for you. It’s a good thing that you have PT to help you out. Fingers crossed they get you going back in the right direction, whatever that may be (hopefully more running!!).
    Lisa @ TechChick Adventures recently posted…Dude, where’s my stuff? and running with SandyMy Profile

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