Tere Zacher

Today is Wednesday. Wednesday is generally the day that I go to the track (generally because it varies according to how my body feels, however most Wednesdays I am there). Instead of going to the track I ran 12 hilly miles and then I went to get a PRP shot. Why? well,  about four weeks ago (the week of Mercedes Benz Half Marathon) I went out for a run before heading to Alabama. I noticed that my right achilles was hurting a little but I thought "must be the socks I am wearing" (note that i have been wearing swiftwick socks for years and they have NEVER bothered me... I knew it wasn't that but I was looking for a scapegoat). I came back, stretched and it went away. The week of the race I got sick (pneumonia) so I didn't really run much. During the race it didn't really bothered me (maybe it did but I was so into not coughing that I didn't pay attention to it?) and coming back I was so sick that I took a day off. I went running on Tuesday and my body was feeling awful and my achilles was hurting too. On Wednesday I ran and the achilles was in pain again. It didn't get worse and the pain went away after I stopped. Thursday I ran and felt better but then I felt really sick and ended up in ER where I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Since I had to take some days off I realized this was a blessing in disguise since I would leave my achilles rest as well. 

I disobeyed one day (it was my 45th birthday) and I went running despite being sick. My achilles was fine when I ran but after I stopped I got a funky feeling. I went to see Dr. loreman -my lung doctor- (she is awesome, she is in charge of my asthma and has helped me greatly) and she told me I was improving (now the pneumonia was only bronchitis) but that I shouldn't run for at least 5 more days. I thought again "good, this will help my achilles" (I like to see the glass half full and I know things happen for a reason). 

As an "injury survivor" I made a decision: Being proactive before this turns into something serious. I have learned the hard way that when something hurts a little or flares up it's a sign of something not working perfectly. You can ignore it and tough it up so you keep with your planned schedule only to find out later that you made it worse or you can prevent and take care of it before it becomes bigger. Yes, this means some more off days, but I have also learned that is better to take two or three weeks off than two or three months.

I called my favorite doctor in the world, Dr. McJunkin at AZ Pain Specialists and I came to see him on Monday. Since I haven't run my achilles was fine but I explained to him how it gets when I run. We decided to do PRP (platelet rich plasma) on it to help speed the healing process. He said I have tendinitis in the achilles tendon and by taking care of it now we were avoiding a future rupture. At 45 years old I can't afford do go through another major injury!

I went running on Monday (10 miles) and my achilles was fine. I ran yesterday 12 miles and at the end my achilles was sore but it never got worse and, as the day progressed it improved. Tis morning (I had PRP scheduled at noon) I went running (12 hilly miles) and I struggled a little. I could feel how it was flaring up a little so I was glad I was being proactive about it.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has worked for me in the past greatly. It helped me heal from a stress fracture, a herniated disc, tendinitis in my hip. Basically they drawn blood from you and they spin it really fast. this separates the good plasma from the red blood cells and then they shoot you back the good plasma so it increases the blood flow to the injured area. this accelerates the healing process and it's great for tendons and all these areas that don't get a big amount of blood flow


(in this picture the yellow stuff is the plasma they shoot you back)

I was very confident going into this even though Dr McJunkin said the shot in the achilles generally hurts a lot. The nurse told me she saw a football player crying from it so that gave me motivation to be tough. I mean, runners are tougher than football players right? and, after all, I gave birth naturally so i was sure this was not going to be that bad


The procedure was really fast and it really didn't hurt that much.  It hurt more after the plasma got into my tendon but it's not really pain as discomfort.


I asked Dr McJunkin how long did I have to wait until I went back running. He said 4 or 5 days would do. So I decided 5 days it will be. Not because I don't want to go back running right away, but because I want to keep running for a long time.

I was very happy Kevin came with me because I didn't want to drive (and to be honest it felt weird just putting weight on my foot). He said to take it easy today so I decided to just sit and do nothing (well, I have two classes to teach but I will be seated for that, I love my students so I wouldn't miss them for anything!). 


Of course I had Kevin pushing a wheelchair with me on it. I mean, Who doesn't like to get pampered right?

I will keep you all posted about how this progresses but I am very confident everything will go in the best way for me. Hopefully the way I want it to be, but, you know, life has always your best interest in mind even if the best interest is not necessarily what we want :)

Have a great day!

Follow me on Instagram (insightfulrunner) and twitter (@terezacher) for daily mental tune ups 

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