Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Healing...and Pondering

Forced time off is never easy, but at least this stretch has been made easier by the sudden change in weather. This is my third day off from any running, following Sunday's 23-mile sufferfest.

The Achilles today feels good. No soreness when just walking around. So, that's coming along. Same with the left plantar.

The plantar has been episodic. Last year around this time, at the advice of a podiatrist I took about three weeks off to see if it would heal. I spent that time lazing around, icing the foot, doing exercises...the works (and driving those around me nuts). I eased carefully back into running and ended up right back where I started. Lots of discomfort, all the time. Next up was a visit to a well-known PT in Boulder. One extremely painful session later, I was 80 percent better. After one more session, I was up to a 90 percent improvement...pretty much good to go. Through the spring/winter/summer, I was largely pain-free. The foot would hurt a fair bit after a long, hard run, but would be fine the next day. Late this fall, though, the plantar was hurting again throughout the day. I wasn't getting the overnight healing done anymore.

Three days off, though, does wonders. I presume, however, that the days off-induced improvement will be temporary, so I scheduled a return visit to the Boulder PT's House of Pain for late next week. Hopefully, I won't have to ask about the Achilles. I'm hoping I have nipped that one in the bud.

So, since I haven't been running, I have been relegated to thinking (some) about running. In particular, I've been thinking about the 100-mile distance, and whether it's something I want to tackle. I must admit, there's a pull there. Something about the grandiosity...the absurdity....the challenge of the distance.

I have a desire to feel the satisfaction of having pushed myself that far...that hard. I don't, for a moment, underestimate the size of the challenge and its difficulty. Nor am I oblivious to the ego-centric drive that lurks beneath the "I'm in it for the challenge...the pushing myself to the limits" public rationale.

So, I'm left to ponder the distance, the races that could be run and the time commitment required to pull it off and be reasonably competitive. Thankfully, I have the benefit of having folks around to probe for insight and from whom to learn. Figuring out the balance, though, is all me. And, that's the first big hurdle to overcome.


  1. I battled PF for years, several cortizone shots, PT sessions and some custom orthotics later, I was still battling. I did my own research and bought a dorsal night splint, I slept religously with it and wore it as much as I could, 4 weeks no pain... Here it is 10 years later and I've never had a hint of relapse. I still wear the orthotics though which I'm sure helps... good luck with the rehab!

  2. If misery loves company, I'm there with ya. Same stuff just 10 days farther than you in the no run dept. I've been fighting it for 2 years now and will probably take 4-6 weeks off altogether.

    Good luck!

    +1 on the 100 miler

  3. accupuncture, 12 - 20 treatments.

  4. Jim, you're a great runner and I think the amount of training you've done has already prepared you for a 100-miler. You just need to find one that's going to motivate you in the right way.

    Also, who's the PT in Boulder that you work with? Thanks.

  5. Get that foot healthy and then get ready to rock baby!

  6. Hey Jim, sorry to hear you're hurting...and hope you do nip this in the bud.

    With as well as you've done with training/execution in the couple 50's you ran this year, no doubt you could do well with a 100.....

  7. Yes, get healthy soon!
    The type of running, training, and racing you do suggests that you'd love that distance and be great at it. It's a great and interesting head-space that you'd enjoy, in addition to "getting your money's worth" with a full day of running.

  8. Many thanks for the comments. Much to consider.

    Steve - the Boulder PT is Mark Plaatjes at InMotion Rehabilitation, just 3 blocks from my office. I can hobble to and fro.

    JM - been wondering if you're still around! Great to hear from you. I've really enjoyed the 50-mile distance. I've run two. Both times I couldn't imagine turning around and doing it again!

    Mike - thanks for the good wishes and the encouragement. Much appreciated.

  9. Ward - I've got an old night splint my wife picked up somewhere. Tried it a few times. Hard to sleep w/ it. I reckon I should suck it up.

    Kirk - acupuncture is Plan B. Thanks!

  10. Jim, no doubt in my mind you would rock the 100 mile distance. You've already proven you can run strong with all your great races this year.

    Now rest up during this crappy weather and you'll be getting after before you know it.

  11. Some of the old night splints are large and bulky and yes, very hard to sleep with. The dorsal night splint is much smaller and more comfortable. It does take some getting used to while sleeping, but to get rid of that pain when you first step of the bed in the morning was well worth it...

  12. BALANCE.

    Yes. Exactly. F-ing exactly.

    Good time for some down time. Get well for the Chubby.

  13. I think to do well at a 100 you have to have your nutrition dialed and be smart. Two qualities you seemed to have mastered early on. I totally think you would excel at the hundred mile distance. You never know what you can accomplish unless you toe the starting line.

  14. I agree with everyone so far. Just let me know if you want my preference on which 100 you should run. It's really close to us. :-)

  15. Thanks, Todd. I hear ya.

    Woody - thought you might say something like that. Click!