Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Feet Don't Fail Me Now

I'm an injury magnet, there's no two ways about it. As hard as I try, I always seem to eventually hurt something. Up to this point, it's usually been my calves, either left or right. Recently, though, I had a foot problem, and I have to pat myself on the back for dealing with it the right way.

It probably started about a month ago; I felt soreness on the bottom of my right foot (the plantar fascia), but it would go away by the end of my run. I did a 12-miler on May 20th (the first day I remember feeling it), and it got progressively worse over the next 10 days. I did a 5-miler on May 30th, and afterwards, I decided I was going to shut it down for a week to see how it went.

But no, it wasn't that easy.

We recently bought a house, and our settlement was on May 30th; we'd be moving in on June 1st. Which meant a lot of standing, moving stuff, and to be blunt, no time for rest.I made it through the weekend, got all moved in, and by Sunday night, decreed that I would try a run on Tuesday, if it felt OK. Come Tuesday, it felt OK, so I got geared up, and headed out the door. I didn't even make it a tenth of a mile before I felt it, so I shut it down.

Come Wednesday, the foot felt good again, so I tried a run again. This time, I got about a mile before I felt a sharp pinch in my foot. Whoa. I turned back towards home and walked a bit. At a stoplight, I took my shoe off and massaged it, then ran the 3/4 mile back home. Now it's getting depressing. That afternoon, I bought a PF boot for sleeping, threw a water bottle into the freezer for rolling (I put one at work, too), and decided to start getting serious. Passive rest just wasn't going to cut it.

Complicating matters was the fact that my training group for the Marine Corps Marathon was going to begin work on June 16th - here it was June 6th, and I had this PF issue going on. So every day at work, every 2 hours, it was roll the foot on the frozen bottle for 15 minutes, then massage it for 5. Same thing at home, just not as often, and put the boot on for sleeping. Luckily, I was keeping somewhat fit by riding my bike for 10-15 mile shots.

And this aggressive approach seemed to work. I decided to give the foot another chance, with a run on June 13th - if it worked, I was gold. If it didn't, I was going to Physical Therapy. Luckily, I got a good 3 miles in with no issues, while continuing to ice and massage, and also taking Naproxen once or twice a day instead of Ibuprofen. The next day, I got 4 miles in, no problems, and continued the home therapy.

So it looked as if I was OK to run with the training group on Saturday. This would be the test - 6 miles, and I got through it feeling great. Another 5 on Sunday, with no problems, and I think I've beaten this nasty Plantar Fasciitis.

So now, I'm happy to say, I can start ramping up my training. I'm going to stay away from the track work with the training group for a while, just to not put too much stress on the foot, since I still can feel something, whether it's true or just in my sub-conscience. But I plan on running the Firecracker 5K in Reston on July 4th, for a dose of speedwork. If all goes well, then the track work beckons.

But what I've learned over these almost-4 years of being a runner, is that I have to be smart when dealing with an injury. Taking a couple weeks off to rehab isn't going to kill me (especially now that my bike is in working order). And what's the saying - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

19 weeks to MCM.

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