Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Layoff from Running...Plantar Fasciitis???

Have you noticed how many people are jogging now?  Mornings, afternoons, evenings...pretty much all the time and wherever I am.  I know, the weather is cooling off, so it's typical to see more people outside, but since I can't run, it seems like all I see are people running. 

I started running, really running, about 14 years ago.  I've completed nine marathons, and have all kinds of goals for future races, like trail ultras, running a marathon a month, running a marathon in different countries, running with my daughter (might have to give that one up...she hates to run).  And even though I stopped getting faster, and started slowing down a few years ago, I came to terms with that, and still love doing it.  I love to run TO something, like to H's basketball games, track meets, soccer games, etc.  I love to explore new cities with a run.  I love to run.  It's almost the perfect exercise.  You only need a good pair of shoes, you can do it anywhere, it burns the most calories per minute, and you can do it in the shortest time of any other exercise that I do.  It releases all kinds of endorphins, helps me work through problems in my head, relieves stress, and gives me a natural high.  There's only one problem.  I CAN'T FRIGGIN DO IT NOW!!!!

I've got some kind of heel pain.  I think it's plantar fasciitis.  I had it a few years ago, and had to miss a marathon that I trained for, but it hasn't given me problems in many years.  Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fasciia, the tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects to the heel bone.  The weird thing about this is that usually, the pain is on the bottom of the heel, close to the arch.  But my pain is on the outside of my heel.  It's weird, I went to the podiatrist, who has helped me in the past, and he tried to palpate the pain by squeezing and pressing on my heel and couldn't do it.  So he said it's just a really  mild case, no need for any drastic measurements, and sent me on my way with instructions to stretch, take anti-inflammatories, and not to run.  NOT TO RUN, even when it starts to feel better.  But I'm a bad patient.  I haven't run in a couple of weeks (but I bike 150 miles a week and do the stair machine and elliptical with no pain), so Sunday I got on my treadmill to see how it felt.  Started running slowly, 10 minute mile pace, and it felt fine.  So I ran a mile, then walked a mile, then ran 2 miles at 9:30 pace.  Still fine.  Walked another mile, then ran 1 1/2 miles at 9:00 pace.  It felt really good.  I was so excited!  Until I woke up the next day and could hardly walk.  I barely made it on the mile walk around the block with the dog.

So I'm not going to run.  Even though every person in the bloody neighborhood is running.  I think they're running past my house, just to make me feel bad. 

I'm going to stretch, sleep in the night brace, take advil, ice, and just TRY to be patient.  If anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to pass it on.  For now I'm just going to live vicariously through some of the running blogs I've found, like Make it a Masterpiece