On January 28th 2012 (two weeks after a successful 100K at Weymouth), I was running with my friend Bob Sites at Umstead park and my left foot starting hurting. It wasn't too bad and it didn't seem to get worse as we went along, so we finished the 11.5 mile run and I went home. Unfortunately, when I got out of my car, I immediately knew I had a problem as I was now limping at the walk due to the discomfort under the outside of my foot. I called my PT first thing Monday am and somehow miraculously got an appointment for that afternoon. My PT and the othopedist he sent me to later than week both diagnosed it as peroneus brevis tendonitis, likely a result of the multiple sprains I endured at Pine Mountain 40 back on December 4th. At the time, I thought the sprains were not such a big deal as I finished the race and following it, could run without pain. My training since Pine Mountain included a 41 miler at Umstead and Weymouth Woods 100k and my ankle did not bother me at all during those runs. But...apparently, I had stretched the ligaments out so badly that my ankle is now "VERY LOOSE" in the words of both the PT and the orthopedist and the peroneus brevis tendon was having to work extra hard to stabilize my foot. I was experiencing moderate pain where the tendon attached to the fifth metatarsal. Knowing I had only 5 short weeks before Umstead marathon and just 9 weeks before my goal race of the Umstead 100, I got myself in a walking boot and wore it all times except for when I rode my bike, showered, and slept. I iced and heat packed my foot at my desk at work several times a day. I also started on Ibuprofen at the insistence of my PT (I have been trying not to use it for running pain since I read of the adverse effects on healing), started applying Voltaren gel (a topical anti-inflammatory that is absorbed through the skin) four times a day, and started doing the PT recommended ankle strengthening exercises.
Prior to my injury, I planned to run 6 miles before the marathon to make it a last long run of 32ish before the 100. However, seeing as I was now coming back from an injury, I just hoped to get through the marathon without a relapse of my tendonitis. I needed to finish it in one piece to regain confidence for the long haul. If I couldn't make it through the marathon, I would be more worried than I already was about a successful finish at the 100.
|My favorite big green mossy tree on Reedy Creek hill|
|E and I on the Reedy Creek hill|
|Smiling for Gene on the narrow bridge|
|The creeks throughout the park were swollen from the heavy rain the night before.|
|Gene took this picture just after passing the Turkey Creek aid station on the way back. It captures the internal struggle I was having.|
We started down Cedar Ridge, arguably the toughest part of the course which was deviously placed by the organizers at miles 21-24. We saw Jimbo Plant looking strong and grinning on his way back up the trail.
|Jimbo Plant on Cedar Ridge|
|E and I at the bottom of Cedar Ridge|
|At the finish after changing into dry clothes|