I've been dealing with a lot of these recently! I'm extra-sensitive to any aches and pains I feel in my legs since I've been injured several times in my very brief running career. From fall 2009 to fall 2010 I had an ankle/lower leg injury that kept me from running much at all (well...and I was also planning my wedding for part of that time. I'm really only good at being obsessed with one thing at a time). After a few months of PT this past fall I was finally able to train for a half marathon and remain healthy, which was great! I had a brief bout of IT band syndrome but that was easily fixed with a foam roller.
For the last several weeks, though, I've been having some pain, particularly in my joints (ankles and knees) and the outside of my lower calf. If I had to guess why, I'd say it might be one of the following reasons:
1. Lack of cross training: During half marathon training I tried to go to yoga at least twice a week. Since the half marathon I've fallen off that bandwagon a little bit, averaging about once a week. Last week I didn't go at all. I don't know if this really has a correlation, but it's interesting. I love yoga anyway so going more won't be too bad! I also really need to add in strength training in order to keep from getting injured. I'm thinking of joining the Y when we move to Charlotte so I can finally go to BodyPump!
2. Neglecting a good post-running routine: My PT gave me some great stretches to do that would hopefully keep me from re-aggravating the same ankle injury that brought me there in the first place. Sometimes, though, when I'm busy the last thing I want to do is spend extra time stretching, foam rolling and icing. But I know it's important and it really helps, so as I type this I'm sitting here with frozen bags of peas on my ankles. Crossing my fingers that it will make a difference!
3. A change in supplements: OK, this one's a little sketchy, but when I started training with Team in Training in 2009 I had some knee issues and I started taking glucosamine chondrointin. Being a good public health professional, I've read a lot of studies about the affect of taking this combination and it's iffy at best. However, a MRI (x-ray? not sure) of my ankle last fall showed some evidence of arthritis so I'd rather take it and be safe instead of sorry! Also, every time I stop taking it I've really noticed a difference in my knees. Anyway, when I ordered it recently I accidentally got glucosamine only (glucosamine combined with chondrointin is likely to be most effective if any of it is). I didn't worry about it because I didn't think it would make a difference but I have to wonder if it's playing a role. It may be a placebo effect, but just in case I think I'll order some chondrointin and take it together!
A couple of things I'm pretty sure it's NOT:
1. Upping mileage too quickly: Yeah. I can promise this isn't it. In fact, quite the opposite over the last couple of weeks. ;)
2. Worn-out shoes: My shoes have less than 200 miles--- this better not be the problem!
So I'm going to try to fix the three things I mentioned above and hope for the best! Achy joints are scary.
In other news, I had a great night tonight because I got to catch up with my wonderful friend Kimber! She is such a dear, dear friend (since I was in NINTH grade!) and I'm thrilled I'll only be living a little over an hour from her soon!
Also, had a great night last night with some of my great work friends who had a good-bye dinner for me at Vapiano. The food was so good (and yay for leftovers tonight!) and then afterwards we had delicious cupcakes from Red Velvet. I got home much later than usual but it was totally worth it. I'll leave you with some pictures of the fun!