After struggling with calcaneal bursitis for over a year I decided to have surgery after struggling in November 2009’s JFK 50 Miler making 2010 a very long year. The reason for this statement has been my recovery from Haglund’s Deformity Surgery which occurred on February 10, 2010. My recovery was not looking positive for the amount of bone shaved from my heel and that my achilles was detached, cleaned up, and reattached to give my achilles/calf some slack to reduce tension. The process was long and difficult, as it was 6 weeks before any cross-training could take place. Finally in late March 2010, I was able to get into the pool and begin aqua running. Shortly thereafter, I was able to begin weight bearing and the difficult process of hiking and working on ankle flexibility.
Long story short, I was able to being running by the middle of May and had entered a road 5k on Memorial Day weekend running a 20:59 for my first ‘hard’ effort since November 2009. My training up to that point consisted of hiking 20 minutes, running 10 minutes, then hiking 20 minutes again. I continued training and by the end of June 2010, I entered another 5k and ran a 19:52. My doctor was so impressed he wanted to know if I would consent for him to use my case for a presentation in South America where he was a keynote speaker.
Later in the summer however, I ended up pulling my hip flexor doing lunges and pinched a nerve in my thigh causing severe burning and numbness. It took eight weeks to subside. I was able to finally begin serious training in September and this past weekend ran my first trail race; the Seven Sisters Extreme 10 Miler in Wytheville, Virginia. A local chiropractor and myself ran the trail section extremely hard and could not shake each other and ended up tying for the First Place Finish in 1:21.17 on a course with 1634ft of climb.
The process of recovery has been difficult but I have learned some great lessons:
1.) Believe in your recovery process and believe that it is working. Ensure you go to a facility that has success in cases with someone with an active lifestyle; I had surgery at the University of Virginia.
2.) Search for alternative treatment modalities and do not give up until you find relief. I am getting rolfed on a regular basis which is assisting me with greater flexibility and awareness of my body.
3.) Surround yourself with a positive support system (family, church, race team)
These three things have assisted me in attaining a much faster recovery than normal.
2010 Rock/Creek Race Team Member