This week’s training marked two things: a transition back into training after a couple post-race recovery weeks and a diagnosis of minor plantar fasciitis.
I experienced some tightness in my heel over the past few months. The tightness kept returning on and off over a few months, although never during a run and never severe. I was fairly convinced that the tightness in my heel wasn’t plantar fasciitis, as I didn’t experience the telltale symptoms of pain in the foot upon rising from bed. During plyometrics (single leg hops) one day at the gym a couple weeks ago, the tightness turned to an ache and so I decided (ie Ryan talked some reason into me) to make an appointment with my podiatrist. We figured that it was better to be overly cautious than wind up with a full-blown injury.
My podiatrist ruled out any spurs or fractures with an X-ray and concluded, based on the symptoms and how my foot felt, that I have a very minor case of plantar fasciitis, likely related to damage to the ligaments on my arch after I sprained my foot and shifted my cuboid bone last spring combined with high arches and neglecting to stretch my calves enough. It’s an early case and with at-home treatment, I should be able to nip it in the bud. Since I didn’t have pain during running, I could run as long as I didn’t drastically increase my mileage and didn’t experience any pain while running. I have a checklist on my phone to remind me to follow the recovery protocol each day, including icing, stretching, taping, wearing supportive shoes all day, and caution in my mileage for now.
My treatment is conservative, but I am being diligent in following it in order to prevent the PF from becoming a full-blown injury. I have a checklist on my phone to remind me to follow the recovery protocol each day, including icing, stretching, taping, arch strengthening, wearing supportive shoes all day, and caution in my mileage for now. That’s all fine and good – I’m just excited to get that low dye tape off so I don’t have to blow dry my foot after each shower.
Monday: 7 mile tempo run & 30 minutes strength training
After two weeks of just easy running, I was eager to do a hard workout again. Despite being the first day of spring, it was cold on this run! I did a tempo run with intervals at the end: 2 miles up, 3 miles at tempo pace, 5 minutes easy run, and 4 x 1 minute at 1 mile to 2 mile pace sprinkled over the remainder of the cool down.
My strength training workout was more haphazard since I forgot my kettlebell at home, but overall I got in a good weight lifting session. It feels really good to be back in the habit of regular strength training!
Tuesday: 35 minutes Pilates
Pilates is my favorite workout for the day after a hard run and two-a-day workout. It’s low-impact and low-intensity and provides just enough stretch for tight muscles, but the hard core work also keeps a rest day from feeling too sluggish.
Wednesday: 7 mile run
Ollie and I ran 7 miles together – his farthest run yet! He’s taking to distance running very well and he looks incredibly strong on the run. I’m already excited to have him as a running buddy for mid-week longer runs during marathon training in the fall!
Thursday: 3 mile run + 40 minutes strength training
Ryan and I began our day with a short recovery run. Later in the day, I had my podiatrist appointment. I was so relieved when the X-rays showed healthy bones! Even with the news of minor PF, I was relieved to know what was wrong, glad to have a plan of action, and super happy that I could keep running as I was.
After the appointment, Ryan and I went to the gym to strength train. I substituted kettebell swings for plyometrics but otherwise did the same resistance band strength routine that I shared last week. I finished up my strength training with a short advanced Pilates routine. Even though I’ve been doing Pilates for 10 years now (longer than I’ve been running!), I finally was able to touch my toes to the floor during the rollover.
Friday: 4 mile run
I wanted to run 8 miles, but I decided to keep my run short once I started. The low dye tape felt tight around my foot during the run, so I opted not to push it. The nurse who taped me up cautioned that the tape might feel tight the first day or so. I wasn’t 100% sure though if the tightness could be linked to the plantar fasciitis or just the tape, and mentally I was extra paranoid about my foot, so I played it safe and cut my run in half.
For all my optimism the previous day, I had some mild panic about my PF on Friday. I spent way too much time reading about it online, which is never the solution. Everyone’s case with an injury is different, especially because inflammation can range from minor to debilitating.
Saturday: 6 mile run
The tape on my foot loosened up and I was able to comfortably run on Saturday. Ryan and I took the dogs out for a 6 mile easy run through the wine valley. I love the hints of spring that are emerging: sunny skies, warmer weather, and the cherry blossom tree blooming.
Sunday: Rest Day
We ended up delaying our final snowboarding day of the season by another weekend. Ryan ran his highest mileage week ever and I wanted to baby my foot some more, so we decided on a full rest day. I need a second pair of running shoes in the rotation (other than my Peregrines, which are reserved for winter and trails), so we went to a local running store so I could try on the new Saucony Freedoms. The Kinvaras are an excellent everyday trainer and long distance shoe for me, but I want something for speedwork and shorter races, since my final pair of Brooks Pure Connects reached their end at the end of marathon training last fall. I really like the Freedoms – they were cushioned and springy, a good complement to the firm and responsive profile of the Kinvara.
How was your weekend?
Have you ever dealt with plantar fasciitis?