Easter, Change of Routines, and Plantar Fasciitis

A free day, a few minutes for myself, lots to say, and a good internet connection equals a long blog post (that should probably be three separate posts, but hey, I don’t get to do this very often, so will just take advantage of the situation)!

Long Weekend Fun

First, the long weekend – it all started on Thursday night with a rousing Body Attack class. Ten people chose to deliver a pre-emptive strike on their Easter weekend indulgences with this super-fun class! So good!

After class I headed over to T&Es where my cousin and his wife and kids were over visiting. The kids really wanted to go camping in their grandparents back yard. I used to love camping in the back yard 🙂

Friday morning the family came over for chocolate chip cookies and hot cross buns after church and we had a good visit. I then went to work and helped set up for a huge function at the Leisure Centre.

I worked both Saturday and Sunday, so didn’t really get much of a weekend out of the long weekend, but I was happy to do it – I was on-hand to help out with the event when needed, and I really got to apply my OCD tendencies onto my first draft of the budget. Some might think I am a little weird in saying this, but I really enjoyed doing the budget.

In addition to the cookies and buns, I obliterated two chocolate Easter Bunnies. One Saturday after work and one Sunday. Oh man, it was bad bad bad!! You know when you think “Oh yeah, I’m full and that’s enough” but your hand keeps putting more food in your mouth!? Yup, that was what happened to those bunnies. I could. not. stop. eating.

Thank goodness all the treats are gone and I’m back on a regular non-Easter eating pattern again.

Anyway.

Today, Monday, we were meant to take TK to the trainers for a week of refreshing, but due to brake failure on the float it was simply unsafe to do so. Instead we spent the day at home, slept in, Mat watched footy and did his paperwork, and we enjoyed sitting on our delightful deck.

It was a warm day, and unfortunately, it was warmer than I thought, when at 3:00, I decided that I was ready to go for my run. It had already cooled off some, but not that much it would seem and it was probably still just under 30 degrees.

It was too hot and I got too dry to run comfortably. I was okay for the first half or so of my targeted 5km run, but as I turned west into the beaming sun with no shade, I started to fade – fast. Once I hit the shade at the end of that lane, I walked. ALOT. My heart and lungs were well recovered, but my mouth felt like it was full of sawdust. Pasty, dry and hard to breathe. It doesn’t help I’m a total mouth-breather when I run. I tried to create saliva in my mouth to have something moist to swallow, but there was nothing…

Where’s that water station when you need it?

In the end I walked at least as long as I ran, and I took a short-cut back to the house. Total distance run, I would guess at 2.5-3km, and about 1km of walking… I don’t know for sure, but I will soon, when my Garmin arrives!! 🙂

Can’t wait!!

Change of Routine

Anywho, so, one of the things that is great about a long weekend, or even just a day off like today, was that I had time to *think* about stuff. And one of the things I was thinking about was my running routine, or lack-thereof.

You see, I created an AWESOME running program to get me to my Rottness Island Marathon in October (195 days to go), but the perfect program is no good if it’s not followed.

And I was not following my program because it was simply too complex, too big, too busy. I have too much else to think about. I needed to simplify.

My current goal target is a Half-Marathon in Albany in just over two months. I am not going to get there and be able to complete the distance if I don’t get out there and run. All the extra strength training, stretching, and core work will mean little if I don’t have the mileage in me. And I wasn’t doing any of the strength training I had scheduled for myself anyway.

True, all the running and drills and cross-training would make me a stronger and better runner, and they would improve my form and technique. But they won’t work if I’m not doing it. So, the solution was simple.

It was time for a change.

I just need to run.

So mow my schedule looks like this:

  • Monday – 5-6km recovery run
  • Tuesday – off
  • Wednesday – 6-10km mid-distance run
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – 5-6km recovery run
  • Saturday – off
  • Sunday – long run

Now, I looked at this a few times and had to ask if this was realistic – a 5km recovery run the day after the long run, with no full rest day between (as is highly recommended) might mean that I often skip that run in favour of a rest, but I had to consider what actually fits with my schedule.

Monday and Wednesday nights I get a great stretch-out with Body Balance in the evening. Thursday nights is Attack and I have previously tried to run and Attack in the same day and that is just an exhausting combination. Saturdays I am often at work and/or doing things around the house and really prefer the day for rest, where Sundays are days I am more often free and looking for something to do.

I have asked Mat to help me stick to this schedule by kicking my butt out of bed when my alarm goes off in the mornings, and I am confident that in 63 days I will be able to complete the distance, though not necessarily quickly – there are some big-ass hills in Albany.

If I had been sticking to my schedule and running regularly I would have preferred the Bunbury course, but it’s only a month away. I won’t be ready.

But Albany is a stepping stone to Rottness, and I fear that if I don’t make Albany, then my marathon hopes will be dashed…

Plantar Fasciitis

Pooh.

So, that heel pain complaint I kept going on about… well I finally decided that I needed to look into it. I suspected that it was Plantar Fasciitis, but since it kept going away and wasn’t interfering with my day too much, and I was busy with other things… well, I just kept living with it.

But today, having time and a decent internet connection, I actually came across an article that mentioned Plantar Fasciitis. And its symptoms were spot-on what I was going through.

Pain in the heel, that is worst first thing in the morning and diminishes over time.

Yup, that sounded just like what I was suffering from.

Further research confirmed and reconfirmed what I suspected.

Essentially, as I (without medical training or intervention and this is just my opinion) understand it is that the muscles in the feet get swollen, putting pressure on the fascia (the fibrous tissue that ‘contains’ all our insides), particularly when under stress of standing, walking, impact or weight bearing.

Further, overnight, as the foot sits in a plantar flexion (toe pointed down) position for most of the night, the muscles and the fascia in the base of the foot shorten. Then when you stand up in the morning, the weight of your body on your feet stretches the muscle and fascia out quickly, putting enormous pressure on the heel in particular, though this pain can spread right along the arch of the foot as the condition gets worse.

And as the day goes on, it tends to get stretched out and if its not put under too much pressure it goes away, or at least down to a dull throb.

Yup and yup.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Well, based on what I learned, here’s what I am going to try:

  • Stretch the feet (dorsi flexion) first thing in the morning before getting out of bed to avoid the ‘big ouch’ of first putting feet down on the ground.
  • After a run, spend extra time stretching the Achilles, calf and base of the feet (I stand with balls of my feet on the edge of the deck, lower my heels into a calf stretch, then bend over into a forward fold to get deeper and include my hamstrings.)
  • Use a ball to roll the bottom of my feet following a run or other impact. I did this today using a cricket ball – much firmer than a tennis ball – and it felt awesome. I had no idea how tender and bruised the bottoms of my feet felt, but I was also surprised at how much pressure I could put on them and feel that it was doing good things!
  • Massage my heels and roll my feet before bed

That’s my first plan of attack.

There are other things that can be done, like applying ice, anti-infammatories, orthotics, leg splints to sleep in a dorsi flexed position, ultra-sound therapy, and in the end, injections or surgery, but I don’t want to get to a point where I am needing to rely on medications or injections to keep active.

I would much prefer to switch to a non-impact sport (swimming, cycling, horseback riding) to keep active than to constantly be in pain.

This next month will be a real test. If the inflammation and pain increase with the increased running, and if the methods above don’t help, I will simply change sports, and horse riding will be what I do this winter.

I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Hope you had a restful, fun, and brilliant Easter break!

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2 responses to “Easter, Change of Routines, and Plantar Fasciitis

  1. I agree with your post absolutely and I am now interested in reading some more of your posts on your blog and see what you have to say. I just bookmarked this one and do you mind if I tweet your blog post out to my followers on twitter? I think they would also enjoy the blog post.

    • Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment on my post. I certainly wouldn’t mind a little more traffic, so please feel free to tweet me! I think I might be missing out, by not being on twitter! Maybe it’s time to start tweeting? 🙂

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