I would have been…

As of today, if nothing had gone wrong, I would have been a marathoner.

I was going to run the Rottnest Island Marathon.

Four laps of a beautiful island.

Today’s weather on Rottnest Island: High 23 C, partly cloudy, wind 16kph, with gusts to 24kph.

Katanning’s weather today: High of 32 C (which we hit well before lunchtime), no clouds, winds 37kph, gusting to 59kph.

Guess where I’d rather be?

I’m not there, and I’m not a marathoner.

I have not run 42 consecutive kilometers — yet.

Easter was when things started to go pear shaped. And after this big run in April, I really fell apart. I was pushing to get to the 10km mark for a race. And not only did I want to run 10km for the first time in about 18 months, but I wanted to do it in a sub-60 time!

Truth is, I did too much mileage, too soon, with too little consideration for the build up I needed to give my feet the strength they needed to meet this goal safely and injury free.

I ignored the niggling in my feet.

I skipped the advice I got.

And eventually, I just went down and didn’t get back up.

Although I had a positive attitude for awhile, eventually I just started to feel sorry for myself, and then I didn’t even look for alternatives or ways to fix the problem. In fact, I often ignored the information I had.

“I will never be able to run again,” I had decided, and just decided to accept that as gospel.

After finishing up with that ‘woe is me’ phase, I’ve decided to get a little more proactive again.

It occurs to me that there are two general schools of thought on treating PF:

  1. Get as much medical help as possible. Take drugs, get shots, get orthotics, get strapped, get extermal physical support for foot structures
  2. Build up the strength in your foot structure and avoid external supports

I prefer to start with choice 2. It’s less invasive, and what I had done previously to work the foot did seem to help (massage, toe scrunches). Granted, I still have constant heel pain in my left foot, but I have almost no pain in my right unless I’ve done high impact work or just been in my shoes and on my feet too long.

Also, as I started developing the foot pain, I bought ever-more supporting and cushioning shoes, and this seems to have led to even sorer feet… This suggests to me that barefoot/minimalist/strengthening is the direction I want to go.

But I was also thinking I need to get some medical advice. Afterall, if I have developed a heel spur from the PF, then I am not going to have much success in getting rid of the pain while the heel spur is left to re-aggravate the fascia…

So here’s my plan of attack:

  1. see doctor, get x-ray of my left heel to check for heel spur – make treatment decision from there
  2. speak to physiotherapist to see if ultrasound treatments might help with healing
  3. buy minimalist shoes. I went in to Sportspower the other day, and they only had two choices. I liked the Saucony Kinvara 2, but they didn’t have it in my size. I tried on the other, and it was okay, but too narrow, and I felt like my feet were being squeezed into a sausage tube.  But look how many other minimalist shoes are available! Why don’t they have places like this in WA? Hello new ‘everyday shoes’ 🙂
  4. routinely massage, roll, stretch and scrunch, like I promised I would ages ago. Morning and night.
  5. routinely walk barefoot on the treadmill, like I promised I would ages ago. I think 30 minutes a day is not an unreasonable request, even after a long day of work, I can walk for 30 minutes rather than blob out on the couch.
  6. develop a safe, slow return to running, with as little as 10 strides of run per 1o minutes of walking until I develop the foot strength to run without pain.
  7. treat any acute pain immediately with ice and rolling and rest until the pain disappears

Anyway, this is getting long, but I thought I’d share a bit of the advice I’ve been reading on PF and treating it, if you’re interested.

Priority Number One towards a new Blackwood Marathon underway! 🙂 YAY! 🙂

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