Big news, I went running this week! Just 5×1 minute, interspersed with one minute of walking. Everything felt great. It’s been so long since I ran (maybe September?) that I was almost surprised I could actually do it.
The next evening, I was walking my super aggro dog, and to make a long story short, ended up sprinting to get past a dog before she could see it and react to it. My Achilles definitely hurt after that. The next morning, Piper seemed to realize that running was a Thing Mommy Could Do, and wanted to randomly run down a hill and across a street, then through a McDonald’s parking lot. I probably shouldn’t have done that either, but when you have a dog like mine, you’re willing to do a lot to see her happy.
A friend and I practiced self-arrest at the Alpental parking lot, then took advantage of the low/moderate avalanche conditions to snowshoe to Snow Lake. We got a little lost and ended up at a waterfall instead, so not so bad of a consolation prize. 🙂 My Achilles hurt a little bit when breaking trail in snowshoes, but it wasn’t a constant.
I also drove directly to my massage therapist afterwards (after a change of clothes!) and I think the work he did releasing my calf definitely helped with recovery.
Skiing (in the rain, of course)!
Today, some friends and I tried to ski to Copper Creek hut in the Mount Tahoma Trails System. The gate above the lower sno park was closed, necessitating a mile walk just to get to the lower sno park. Just below the “upper” sno park, we were able to put on our skis for the first time. There would be many more times of on and off.
Even above the upper sno park, the snow was pretty thin. We got confused by a sign about midway through that made us think we needed to go on a trail to the right, but that dead-ended into a cliff. It was also pretty icy, so when I took my skis off, they sometimes slid backwards. By the time we got to the old upper sno park, we knew we only had about an hour before the sprinkle turned into a downpour. So we went on something advertised as a trail to an overlook. We knew we wouldn’t see anything, but at least it would be a destination. Turns out the trail was more like a small thicket. When the thicket got too thick, we just turned around. It was not the most inspiring day, but my “beginner” friend handled the bad conditions well.
Also, so did my Achilles! It continues to be a little sore, but not too bad. Pretty good for everything I’ve put it through this week. Next week I go into a recovery week, which I’m hopeful my Achilles will appreciate.
Note: I’ve edited this since initial posting. Through some Facebook discussions with MTTA volunteers, I’ve learned that the location signed as the “upper sno park” was an old sno park that is no longer in use. So where we parked was the lower sno park. There was no signage indicating that it was a sno park. It was just a mud lot with a small sign that a Discover pass (not a sno park permit) was required. The sno park with the bathrooms, where we put on our skis, is what is currently called the “upper sno park.”
Maybe it’s the night splint
Last week, I started wearing a night splint to keep my ankle at 90 degrees while I sleep. These are marketed for plantar fasciitis, but I have heard anecdotally of people using them for Achilles tendinopathy. Research hasn’t shown a significant difference in outcomes with a night splint in addition to eccentric heel raises (which I’m doing). I also don’t usually wake up with Achilles stiffness. So I’ve held off on getting a splint for about 5 years.
But, at this point, I figured I may as well try. I don’t know if it’s the splint, but my Achilles does seem to be showing an improved ability to recover between workouts this week. I’ve had no problems sleeping with it, despite being a very sensitive sleeper. I’m hoping the trend continues.