|Right foot splay as seen from the rear - the foot is relaxed, but does not hang straight down|
I iced the front of my foot for 4 days after the race with little relief. I was seriously jonesing to run, had normal energy and felt great within a few days after the AR50M except for my foot. I was getting desparate to recover from the pain. I had been talking with Mary Lindahl, ChiRunning Master Instructor and one of my bestest friends, about my recovery and she encouraged me to consider that trigger points may be the problem and not necessarily injury.
|Trigger Point Therapy Book|
Within 24 hours the pain in the front of my foot had lessened significantly. Enough so that I was able to do a hilly 13 mile training run with little, if any pain only 36 hours after I began massaging the trigger points. I haven’t iced since. I have continued to massage the trigger points which I’ve discovered to be in the entire length of the Anterior Tibialis muscle. I’ve also discovered the same ones on the left side so I’m massaging them, too as preventive maintenance/therapy.
|Trigger points in Anterior Tibialis Muscle of right leg (that's trail dirt tan)|
As a Registered Nurse and believer in traditional medical cures, the use of trigger point therapy is a big shift to believing in something that could work that is not part of that paradigm. I'm intrigued with the possibilities for me and for others who might be willing to be open to them. Wow, ice didn't work, but massaging a muscle above the point of pain did.
I know that we’re supposed to be pain free with ChiRunning, and I'm a ChiRunning Certified Instructor. What could admitting that I have pain or am possibly injured do to my reputation as a credible Instructor? But I think it would be disingenuous to say that ChiRunning has solved all my problems for someone who wants to run long miles for many hours per week. I also think that anatomical dissymmetry can contribute to biomechanical problems that eventually lead to pain and injury despite good technique especially if someone is running long distances every week. I don't know anyone who is anatomically perfect on one side let alone both sides. As a result of the “tibial torsion” (thank you David Stretanski, CR Certified Instructor, for identifying the problem and assisting me with some corrective exercises), my body is now showing the effects of dorsiflexion after putting in many miles.
ChiRunning has given me the gift of running. Learning about Trigger Points is keeping me running while I sort out the anatomical problems and focus on the Chirunning focuses that can keep me injury free.
This pain has a message for me and that is to:
- focus on rotating my pelvis more on the left side so it's equal to the right,
- focus on a full foot landing directly underneath me and my center of mass,
- don't over stride by doing the above,
- relax the lower legs more, and allow ankle lift to happen consistently especially on hills
- focus on movement from my center
I'll be running the Escape from Prison Hill Half Marathon on April 28, in 4 days. It has about 2500 feet of climb. Most of the uphills and downhills are barely runnable, so it will be challenging to keep relaxed lower legs. The following weekend on May 5 is the Lone Pine 50K, another hilly trail race.
So, I'll keep massaging and focusing. The process and learning is fascinating. And I get to run and be grateful for concepts like ChiRunning (for focuses), Trigger Point Therapy (for resolving pain) and western medicine (for ibuprofen).
On my short trail run today, I once again thanked God that I am able to run.