This is my ankle.
Looks healthy, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, when I’m running the inside tendon (known as the posterior tibial tendon) gets stiff and sore. That small scar is from when I accidentally smacked my ankle against the corner of the coffee table in our Shanghai hotel sometime back in July. I’m pretty sure I was trying to step over several toys on the floor. That boo-boo didn’t have any effect on my running in Shanghai.
The swelling on the tendon is so slight that I only notice it when I feel it with my fingers, comparing it to my other ankle. It doesn’t hurt when I walk. It hurts a little sometimes when I’m going down the stairs.
The tendon started bothering me a little in the week before I ran my first 5K. I took a week off from running after the 5K, thinking that ought to be enough. So one week later, I went out on a Sunday morning and did three miles and it felt stiff and sore. Moreso the day after. Again, I iced and rested it. I went out on the following Wednesday morning and tried running. I ran a quarter mile when the pain started up. I walked back home.
Then on the following Sunday I tried running again. This time I ran for a half mile before the pain started. I turned around and walked home. Okay, I told myself, this is going to need more time. I waited another week.
This past Sunday I planned for three miles but only made it through two and a half. The first mile and a half were fine. But then the stiffness and pain came and then after awhile my right knee started bothering me. So I stopped running.
I have never had these kinds of problems with swimming. The water is kinder to my joints. The chlorine is not kind to my hair. Though I never have to worry about the weather, swimming is far less scenic than running.
It’s very frustrating. But I keep telling myself that if I want to still be running 10 years from now, I’m better off not running for the short-term.