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Runner With Achilles Tendonitis

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by GTfan, Apr 19, 2022.

  1. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    I figured I would move this to the Support Section since its more appropriate. Its been awhile since I've had a TMS symptom that got me this down, but I've been here before so I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    I've had various TMS symptoms over the years, with TMJ being the most constant now. I pretty much accept the TMJ now since it really isn't all that bothersome. It really just serves as a "red flag" to me that something is bothering me.

    But anyways, in the last year I have really gotten into running. I have worked very hard and put myself through some pretty strenuous mileage and trail difficulty. And I'm finally two weeks away from my first mini marathon race. I've dealt with many aches and pains along the way. I get a sharp pain in my left knee sometimes that I usually just ignore and it goes away on its own.

    I set out on a 13 mile run with some friends, and my energy levels are great. I'm on pace for a new PR on half marathon time. My knee starts hurting, but I'm not worried because I can always run through the pain and ignore it. Then my left foot/heel starts hurting. A dull pain at first, but then on around mile 6 the pain is excruciating. I eventually have to start walking after 8 miles and get my friends to go get the car and pick me up. I was extremely frustrated about this for quitting.

    This happened literally the day after me and my girlfriend's 6 month anniversary dinner. And my back was doing all kind of crazy spasms on that day, so I'm thinking its too much of a coincidence not to be connected. Something for to do some digging on. With the ID, it can be something as simple as repressed rage from not speaking my mind more to her (being a jerk) or anger from not being able pursue any female I want as a mating prospect anymore (animal urges). Or something deeper or even unrelated. I've read that Steve O has talked about the ID throwing temper tantrums about not wanting to run or use too much energy and acting out in this way. Its possible that its a combination of all these things. Being out of my comfort zone athletically and in a relationship.

    So I lay off it for a few days, and then I'm feeling better so I set off for a easy, 3 mile run with the running club group. After only 2 miles the pain is awful again, I finish the 3 miles in agonizing pain in the heel on every step. After I sit down to rest for a few hours, I can not even put pressure on my left heel. I'm literally limping down the street to my car like the cockroach alien guy from Men in Black.

    At this point, I break down and make an appointment to see an orthopedic. They do an X-ray, see nothing wrong with the bones. She immediately diagnoses insertion Achilles tendonitis, and gives me a boot to wear for two weeks. She says to just wear the boot until race day and then I can give it a go even though she is sure that I will be in a lot of pain after the race, but I can come in for PT after.

    I wore the boot for a couple of days like a good boy, but now I'm back on the TMS trail and reading many success stories of people healing Achilles tendonitis with the TMS approach. I took the boot off yesterday and walked around as normal. It still hurts to put pressure, but I'm powering through. I wasn't going to run this week, but I made the decision to go ahead and go for a run after work now. I'm afraid that I'm going to get that excruciating pain again. And I'm terrified that I will "reaggrivate" it to the point that I will have too much pain to race on race day. But I think that fear is what the TMS is feeding off in the first place. I think I have to get running again as soon as possible and kill this fear ASAP, before it sets hold.

    Any other runners who have experienced similar issues?
  2. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Well I went for it. My plan was to run 3 miles. I got to about 1 mile and I stopped because I couldn't handle the pain anymore. Every step is just excruciating when I'm running. I walked another half mile then stopped and sat on a bench to collect my thoughts.

    I was ready to scream in rage, angry at myself for quitting again. But then, I realized that the fear of not being able to finish the distance (whatever the distance happened to be in my head at the moment) was what was driving this.

    I decided, ok so what if I can't run the whole 13.1 miles in this race. So what if I have to limp and walk the whole damn thing. Sure it will be disappointing, but it's not the end of my existence. My goal then just became to finish the 3 miles I had set out to do walking. Then when I got to the last .20 miles, I ran and the pain came back with a vengeance. I slowed down and just told myself, it's ok if I don't run at my normal race pace. Just jog and take it step by step.

    I finished the 3 miles, and I feel like that's the big point to take from today. Don't put deadlines on myself. The perfectionism in me is surely driving this.
  3. Mr Hip Guy

    Mr Hip Guy Well known member

    I am a runner (20+ marathons or longer distance) and I've had every "runner's injury" in the book. Some of these I look back on and realize they were just TMS (I didn't learn about Sarno until 4 years ago), but there were some that were legitimate overuse injuries (stress fractures being the biggest bugaboo).

    I think that, even being a student of TMS/Sarno, there is nothing wrong with having respect for what appears to be an injury and giving it a proper time to heal (a couple of weeks to see improvement). It's when things become "chronic" and don't resolve after weeks or months of treatment (whatever that might be) then it's certainly reasonable to look at it from a TMS perspective.
  4. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Yeah I immediately thought stress fracture, but the X-rays came up negative. Tendonitis was the diagnosis.

    From Steve O's book: "Tendonitis(inflammation of the knee, shoulder, foot, etc., tendons) - I had all of these pains and it was never from swelling or so-called tendonitis. It was always from tension-induced hypoxia - aka TMS."

    I understand what you are saying though. I have only been experiencing this pain for a little over a week. It's just beyond frustrating with this race that I've been looking forward to for so long being less than two weeks away.

    Is it possible to treat symptoms as 50/50 physical/psychological? I'm not going to lay up on the couch for two weeks in a boot like the Ortho says, but maybe I can just walk instead of run for a few weeks and see how I'm feeling on race day. I can simultaneously be thinking of TMS triggers and do some stretches as well.

    If this persists for weeks on end then it is 100 percent TMS.
  5. Mr Hip Guy

    Mr Hip Guy Well known member

    I would say if this persists, EVEN WITH REST, then yes it is probably TMS. But if you keep "testing it out" then it's also possible you have a legitimate "strain" and just need to allow it to rest.

    Running, the kind you're doing anyway, where you've shocked your body from a previously-sedentary state to running (I'm assuming) 25+ miles per week is stressful on the body and you have to allow the tissues to absorb and adapt to the stresses. It's possibly you just did too much too soon.

    I find evidence sheets helpful for me in these situations - so make a list of pros/cons on why or why it isn't TMS. Just some examples:

    Does it hurt at nonsensical times? (like upon waking when you've been sleeping all night and resting)
    Does it get better with activity? (sounds like worse)
    Does the pain ever go away?
    Are you obsessing over the pain/situation?
  6. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    I want to say thank you for your support. I took your advice and did not run for two weeks. It would still start to get sore when I walked and what not, but I still decided to go for it on race day for the mini marathon.

    Amazingly, not only did I finish the race but I set a new PR with under 2 hours on the half marathon!

    And ever more amazingly I felt barely any pain besides a dull soreness and have had ZERO issues with this foot pain since that day.

    In conclusion, I think it was real strain that I was stressing out about and making it a "TMS" issue since I wanted to do the race. I have started visualization meditation, and I think that helped a lot. I would sit in meditation and visualize me running the race and finishing victoriously in order to train my brain into already experiencing what I wanted to accomplish.

    Anyway just wanted to say thanks and give you an update!
  7. Mr Hip Guy

    Mr Hip Guy Well known member

    Hey that is a pretty great outcome. Congrats on the PR!!!

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