Monday, December 27, 2010

Straight kickin'

What better place to take time off and recover than Hawaii?

Sure, I've been slaving over my graduate school application essays and micromanaging my letter writers, but the weather swings from the mid seventies at night to the low eighties during the day. In other words, absolutely perfect. Plenty of light cloud cover to take the bite off the sunshine, sea breezes in the warm afternoon, pink and orange I making you jealous yet?

I saw a podiatrist in Kailua-Kona after unsuccessfully trying to run the day I arrived, talked to an ultra-extended/psuedo-removed uncle over Skype (he works with professional athletes), and was examined by a family friend who is also a physical therapist.


1. Tenosynovitis in the extensor digitorum longus, the tendon that extends down the anterior of the lower leg and attaches to the toes; it flexes the toes with the foot. The tendon runs through a sheath that spans the ankle and the top of the foot. Tight shoes likely compressed the sheath and irritated the tendon, causing the creaky feeling. That has been resolved with full rest, a prescription anti-inflammatory, and alternating ice and heat massages. Diagnosed by the podiatrist.

2. Minor strains to the peroneus brevis and possibly extensor hallucis longus. The former aids in plantar flexion, the latter is a sort of utility player that attaches to the big toe. Using shoes I've never run in, especially ones with a higher heel to toe drop than I'm used to (zero in the Vibrams!), changes the angles and ranges of motion in the foot - certainly enough to manifest as a strain after 25 miles. These have subsided as far as I can tell, thanks to some self massage, a tennis ball, and hot packs. Diagnosed by the "uncle".

3. High ankle sprain. Diagnosed by all three, this is most surprising, but in hindsight this makes a lot of sense. I couldn't put any weight on my right leg for days without evoking serious ankle pain, and when I did, it felt extremely weak - very obvious signs of a ligament problem. Further, the family friend manipulated both ankles, and found that the tibia and fibula were very mobile in the right ankle. I'm currently in a hard compression brace to allow this time to heal. I may try running around the 1st of January, given that the healing time has been about a month.

Now, pardon me while I work on this Pipeline Porter and fresh passion fruit...

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