Back to It

Back to it!

...the blogging, not the running just yet.

Since I’ve been dealing with injury the last 4 months, my blogging has gone mostly dormant. The race reports have obviously disappeared, and I had also used these reports to include general updates on my training and plans. Additionally, the Quick & Dirty column I started last year on my site has since moved to  I still archive posts here, but that doesn’t really qualify as fresh content on my site. :) To that end, I’m planning to get back to it, even sans race reports. So, first… some updates:

The Injury Dance
My injury has been a bit stubborn. The diagnosis (a bit confused at first, but later clarified by MRI) is flexor tenosynovitis in my second toe.  This is an inflammation of the tendon sheath.  This cropped up sometime last summer, likely an overuse injury (I can't pinpoint any single event that brought it on), and manifested itself as pain directly under my second metatarsal head and a swollen second toe.  The pain was only occasional, like when stepping on a rock, so I bullheadedly trained and raced on it through the fall.  But it gradually got worse, and by the 100km World Championships in Qatar, where it led to a DNF, I knew I needed to get it sorted out.

The fact that I blasted the inflamed tendon sheath for so long is probably what got it sort of “stuck” in a chronically inflamed and swollen state.  This also led to a collection of fluid inside the tendon sheath.  Treatment started with rest and therapy (ultrasound and Graston).  I haven’t run since the beginning of January.  The swelling has come down a lot, the pain has essentially vanished, but both were still present to some extent.  There were still pockets of fluid stuck inside the tendon sheath that weren't going away.  It's possible it would have righted itself with a long enough period of rest, but the timeline is hard to know.  It could be the bulk of a year, or the issue could have persisted even then.  As a professional athlete (or something like that), I thought it worth trying to speed things along. 

To that end, I saw the folks at St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis last Tuesday (specifically, Dr. Joel Kary).  We looked at the toe with ultrasound.  It seems the tendon itself is fine (or at least, if there is any tendon damage, it's minor, since it didn't show on ultrasound).  There isn't really any inflammation in the sheath anymore either, but the fluid buildup remained.   We talked over various options, and ultimately decided to drain the fluid with a syringe.  The fluid ended up being sort of a gel-like substance, and Dr. Kary thought that there was no way that it would have drained on its own (at least not anytime soon), so it's good that we drained it! 

We decided to do some PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy as well.  It's unclear exactly what was wrong with the toe at this point.  It's possible that the fluid buildup was all that was causing any pain/sensitivity at this point.  However, it's also possible that the tendon/tendon sheath had some minor damage that wasn't healed.  The PRP should help if the latter is the case.  Next step is to wait 3-4 weeks for the PRP to do its thing.  If all goes well, I'll be able to ramp up training through May/June, and I’ll return to racing at the UltraVasan 90k on August 22 in Sweden.

A recent bike ride in Bloomington.  One great thing about getting on the bike is my range of exploration is a bit greater than when I run!
Other Fun Stuff
Between now and then, I’m looking forward to a variety of other ways of engaging with my community. Last weekend, Quaff ON! Brewing Company furthered its involvement in the southern Indiana running scene by sponsoring the Hoosier Half Marathon on Saturday!  The Quaff ON! Racing Team and Bloomington Beer Runners had a great day and after party at Quaff ON! Bloomington.

Other upcoming events I might be involved with include the Salomon CityTrail Minneapolis race (5/17), a Salomon/Suunto event in Chicago prior to the Soldier Field 10 Mile (5/23), and maybe a Ragnar Trail Relay event or two.

Additionally, I'll likely be headed to Western States to help crew/pace my Salomon teammate Justin Houck.  Justin tore it up with a 26-minute victory and big CR at the Gorge Waterfalls 100k a couple weeks ago, and assuming I'm healthy, I'll help pace at the big dance in June.

Finally, there’s the Breckenridge Running Camp I’m working with this summer in Colorado (7/6-10). I’ve mentioned it in a few social media posts and a previous blog post if you’re looking for more info.  (Quick reminder, if you want to sign up, you can get a 10% discount with this code: FOM10.)  I’m definitely looking forward to meeting, hanging out, and running with the enthusiastic members of the ultrarunning crowd who attends the camp!  And sweetening the deal will be a trip down to the Hardrock 100 after the camp to watch Kilian, Frosty, et al. tear it up in the San Juans.

More soon...

Hiking on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia over Easter Weekend.