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Problem management

The path followed around the edge of Cockrone Lagoon at
McMasters Beach during this morning's run.
My right Achilles was still stiff and painful this morning as I headed out for an easy and flat 7km across the Cockrone Lagoon sandbar and through McMasters Beach.  I'm still wheezing and coughing a lot, but there is a very high pollen count on these warm spring days, and allergies may be exacerbating the problem.  Despite these two significant problems, I did feel like I was moving a bit better this morning, but I need to get these issues to a manageable level.

In the past, prior to surgery, I have managed chronic Achilles problems through the use of heel raises.  I recently purchased some at a sports store, but they are softish and more designed to cushion the heel strike.  I wonder if they make the problem worse, because there seems to be greater friction between the heel and the shoe as the pad compresses.  Thirty years ago, I used more rigid heel raises and often wore them for years on end.  The theory behind these heel raises is that the heel is higher relative to the front of the foot and therefore, with each step, the angle defined between the lower leg and foot is less acute.  We are talking millimetres, but it does make a difference.  I used to make my own heel raises by carving up the heels of old thongs (flip flops) and velcroing them to the inside base of my shoes.  Sadly, the thongs of these days seem to be made of softer and thicker material, and making my own heel raises hasn't been practicable.  An alternative I once used were Sorbothane heel pads and I've found they are still available on the web, so have ordered some.  If they don't work, I think I'll be visiting Dr Jon and getting an MRI.  I suspect there is a heel spur that needs to be removed, and that will put me out of running for months.

Cockrone Lagoon from the Copa side
The breathing difficulties I have been dealing with recently may be a consequence from ceasing use of the asthma medication I have been on for the last few years.  I stopped taking Seretide because it was giving me headaches, and before that, the doctor recommended I stop taking Symbicort which has had some adverse findings concerning long-term use.  Ventolin seems to help a bit, but I'm only taking it on days when I race.  I'm not sure that it is wise to be taking it before every run although a web search hasn't revealed evidence of any long-term use side-effects.  Two other major considerations for me are that I don't like the idea of taking anything long-term, and I don't want to take anything that is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) or the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).  The latter has a "Check your Substances" facility that allows you to make sure you are not contravening the rules and the FAQ on the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC) also provides good information.  Both of these websites show the medications I have been using comply with the rules, but that leaves the problem of avoiding long-term use.  I've made an appointment with my doctor next week to discuss the best option.