Saturday, December 7, 2013

Medicine Ball

So the little bump in the road was nothing more than that. When my Achilles flared I thought the worst and prepared for a long time off the roads and trails. I googled and browsed and researched and came up with the Strassburg sock and the Foot Rubz ball, $40 and $5 respectively. The sock is a bizarre contraption that is supposed to keep your heal slightly 'raised'. The instructions suggested you wear it in bed, but it looked and felt odd and my toes cramped! So I ditched that after a day (available on Craigs List for $20, any takers?). The Foot Rubz is a spiky ball that you roll around under your foot, and I quote "simply roll the 172 stimulating fingers under feet for fast relief". As a sales pitch it takes some beating.

The Strassburg Sock - bizarre
Trying to find the ball in REI (for South Africans think Cape Union Mart) was more of a challenge. The computer said 38 units in stock, the shelves said zero. So after much hunting around in the store room they found one. AND it seems to have worked. I sat at my desk and rolled this funny ball under my foot, and hey presto, no more Achilles pain. Who knows if it helped or if the injury was receding anyway. Combined with regular icing and heel raises and drops, there's no pain after 4 consecutive days of running.

The miracle ball

As before, having a break of a couple of weeks is an odd experience. I found I got out of the habit of running pretty easily and found cycling, walking and generally keeping busy filled that running time. In two weeks I seem to have lost a lot of fitness! Runs are hard work and my muscles are sore afterwards! How can that happen?? Doesn't the last 2-3 years of injury free running count for anything :)

Also when you aren't running every day you quickly forget what a simple, pure joy it is to just run, especially off road. Maybe I need that day to day confirmation that running is the best medicine available? Although I wasn't consciously aware of it all the time, the 11 days off over 2 weeks made me grouchy and more than usually sensitive. Running time is my space for trying to logically think through situations rather than just reacting, which with my lack of patience I do far too often without completely thinking through the consequences. Running often acts in a similar way to the 'sleep on it' idea. That it's better not to act rashly before spending sometime working through the solution.

I'm glad I have access to the medicine cabinet again....

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear you are on the road again, there is after all nothing like running. I've been very lucky over the last 2 years and 3 days, and haven't missed a day of running, yes the Achilles pain and the calves cramp, I've had the odd cold and all, but nothing bad enough to stop me popping out for a slow 5km...

    As for you, maybe that little break will do you more good than harm, and you will come back stronger than ever!!!