Saturday, March 30, 2013

Motivation Needed

I need to get motivated.  Not motivated to run, however.  I need to get motivated to figure out how to get rid of this damn plantar fasciitis (PF).  And, for kicks, I'd like to figure out why fasciitis has three "i"s.

I've got the kind of PF that hurts like hell in the heel.  It's chronic.  The pain started, I think, back in 2009.  Since then, it's been pretty constant, albeit with different degrees of discomfort.  I thought I'd kicked it last year in the lead up to the Leadville 100.  For the month or two leading up to the race, I'd been running pain-free.  During the race and post-race, nada.  All good.  Then, in November, I did a speedwork session at the Evergreen High School track and that was it.  The PF was back, with a vengeance.  I guess the hard forefoot running stretched something out...fiercely.

Since then, it's been a balancing act...how far...how hard can I run without making my right heel scream at me.  Lately, it's not taken much to really make the heel mad.  Today, the limit was 12 easy trail miles.  Frustrating.

I've got the PF that hurts like hell in the heel.  I know I have a heel spur, which certainly is part of the problem.  (See below...thanks for the pic Wikipedia).  On top of that, favoring the sore heel on the right, I think, is causing me to alter my gait enough to make my left Achilles ache.  Sigh.



So what sort of complex PT routine am I doing for my PF?  Not enough, it seems.  I've been sleeping some nights in an immobilization or night boot, an annoying device meant to keep your foot flexed while you sleep under the theory that a flexed plantar will heal better.  This has helped before, but doesn't seem to be doing the trick now.  I rotate between Saucony Peregrines and Hoka Stinson Evos.  Other than that, I'm not doing much.  I did take about a month off around Christmas.  During that time, the heel felt fine.  At least it did until I ran again.   

As a result, I've gotten pretty good at 10-mile runs.  I haven't run more than 20 miles in an outing since December.  Another frustrating thing is that while the heel kills post-run, it typically feels OK the next morning, that is until I run again.  I don't hobble around all day before running.  So, I tend to under-treat the injury. Maybe it will just go away again, the way it did leading up to Leadville.

But, it's time to start taking this thing more seriously, that is if I want to run anything longer than 10 miles in a stint this summer.  I reckon it's time to throw everything at the problem...icing; night boot; rolling the foot/heel with a hard, spiky plastic ball; NSAIDs; and anything else I can think of.  The problem is, I lack motivation.  I hate babying injuries. I don't like to think about chronic injury. I just want to run.  

Yeah, yeah, I know there's a causal relationship between taking care of injuries and being able to "just run."  I'm impatient, and I need to get over said impatience. 

And, I'd better hurry (there's that impatience thing again).  Summer's coming.  That's the time of year when the pull to "just run" is strongest. 



9 comments:

  1. So if you are throwing everything at it ... would you go to a PT (like that Mark P guy in Boulder)?

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I reckon another visit to the Pain Cave is in store. I've seen Plaatjes twice for this problem. Both visits are indelibly embedded in my brain. I shudder thinking about a return visit for this problem, but may need to suck it up. It did help the first time.

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  2. Man, I feel for ya. Similar situation, but mine is back of the heel. Flaring up pretty bad lately. Totally agree with your motivation sentiment. Treat injury?? Bleh. It'd be one thing to get all over it and manage the thing like crazy if you saw direct results from doing that, and maybe there are some. In my experience it hasn't made a great deal of difference, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly...it's one of those injuries that hurts, but it doesn't completely stop one from running. And, the fact that it goes away (mostly) by the next morning (until the next run) makes it more mentally challenging to deal with.

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  3. PF is a devil with a mind of its own. No matter what I do, it seems to leave on its own timetable. I had a run-in with it earlier this year, and I have no idea what made it go away. Aggravating.

    I think you hit the nail on the head though, with the ball of foot running as the cause. The same thing happened to me.

    While it heals, symptomatic treatment seems to help: ice, massage of the pain point (pressure with the thumb, basically).

    Although it makes no logical sense to me, calf stretches seem to relieve symptoms temporarily. Maybe it stretches the bottom of the foot?

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    Replies
    1. I definitely need to keep working on flexibility. I think one of those massage sticks might help loosen up the calves. WIll try it. Thanks, brother.

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  4. I have no suggestions to offer. Sorry. But I do want to say that you've helped me with my own motivation issues. The reasons I lack it are all lame and I refuse to complain about them. They're all trivial when compared to the junk you're struggling with. Keep up the fight. Summer IS coming and I want to get out and share some miles with you!

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  5. Sharing some miles is what it's all about. Count me in, no matter what is the NIggle of the Week.

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