Molly Caughlan, PT DPT
Hello blog readers! I am writing this blog a good three or so months into my marathon training and wanted to give an update on how it has been going. Things started off rough: when just two weeks in, I rolled my ankle. Unfortunately, this story is not one of cool athletic prowess where I rolled it sprinting to save a child from a burning building. Rather, I was doing an silly move of “texting while walking the dog” maneuver that lead to a mis-step off the curb. I did a full tuck-and-roll, landed on the ground covered in dirt, and very much freaked out my doggo. I wish someone had caught this trip on camera, because I’m sure it was amazing. I took a minute to sit on a bench and assess the damage. Luckily, the grand theatrics of my trip did not equate to the severity of my injury and I was still able to put weight on it enough to walk home.
Two days later, I had a PT session with Tina Cardenia, where she worked to reduce the swelling and improve the mobility in my ankle. This helped tremendously to accelerate my healing and allowed me to return quickly to my running program. I was back on the pavement in under two weeks! Even though the sprain itself has fully healed, it continues to occasionally feel stiff during and after runs along with a little bit of swelling. Tina continues to focus on my right ankle mobility and stability to prevent future sprains. Pictured in this video below, Tina is performing what’s called a “thrust manipulation” that gives a quick stretch to my ankle joint to help it move more freely.
Disclaimer: This technique should be performed by a licensed professional and is not intended to be reproduced at home.
In addition to my right ankle, I will occasionally have left sided hip crease/groin pain and discomfort. This has come and gone even before marathon training. Based on Tina’s assessment, my left pelvic bone does not move well into extension and this causes some pinching in that area. Treatments have focused on releasing tight muscles and connective tissue in the front of my hip as well as building stability by strengthening my glutes and core.
Another challenge with training is trying to beat out this summer heat! Compared to Atlanta’s summers (where I trained for my first marathon), this season started out pretty mild. I had been doing well and progressing mileage, but once the end of June hit I knew things needed to change. I remember the tipping point when I set out on a 12 mile run and my poor little leggies could only carry me 10. I recognized afterward my mistakes in that I woke up too late, chose a trail with little shade, and that I wasn’t properly supplementing myself in restoring electrolytes. Since this weekend, I’ve added SaltStick Chews to my regimen and they have really made a big difference. I’ve also been more diligent about really planning ahead when I can get in my long runs.
I’m sponsored by an organization called Team Tisch MS that performs groundbreaking research to discover the cause of Multiple Scelrosis, understand disease mechanisms, optimize therapies, and repair the damage caused by MS, as well as offering patient access to the best and most advanced treatment possible. So far I’ve raised $555 and I’m only 11% towards my $5000 goal with just 3 and a half months left to go. Support Team Tisch MS by donating to my fundraiser here.
Beyond Basics will be offering matching donations throughout the marathon, so keep your eyes peeled on social media to see how you can make your donation go TWICE as far!