For a few months now, I’ve had periodic sharp pain in the center of my right ankle. At times it turns into a continuous dull ache. Sudden jarring movements cause the most pain though I sometimes wake in the middle of the night with pain.
About 10 years ago I had pain in this ankle that started when I was at mile 19 of my second full marathon. Recovery included wearing heavier shoes with more support, among other things.
Over the last few years I felt great, so I started wearing progressively lighter and more flexible shoes with the goal of improving my racewalking form and getting faster. The result is, I have better racewalking form and I am walking much faster!
An unintended result is that my ankle hurts again.
My family physician is fantastic and has a strong background in sports medicine. He has never once laughed at or discounted any of my walking injuries. (Though he did diagnose me with “girl legs*” once.)
After X-rays came back negative, I was sent to PT to strengthen my ankle.
The exercises are not easy and I’m getting stronger, but I can tell I still have a long way to go. During yesterday’s 6-mile walk, the dull ache was back and my foot slapped the ground instead of rolling. (The slapping was loud enough Deb could hear it.)
Both my doctor and PT say that I will not do more damage by continuing to walk, so I will keep training. (I’m doing a half marathon in March.) In the meantime I will just have to accept that real racewalking form might not be possible, there probably will be (tolerable) pain, and I have to wear stiff, supportive shoes.
When put into perspective, as long as it keeps me walking, that is not so bad!_____________
*Girl legs, according to my doctor, is what causes my knees to swell when I start to increase mileage at the beginning of each racing season. Typically a woman’s hips are wider than a man’s. The angle from the hip to the knee puts more pressure on a woman’s knees. In my case, because of that angle, when I don’t exercise my muscles don’t hold my knees in place correctly. That in turn causes them to swell. At the end of race season, when my legs are their strongest, my knees rarely ever swell.