Two Weeks Until the Chicago Marathon - And I Get Plantar Fasciitis

More accurately, it's less than two weeks until the Chicago Marathon and the Plantar Fasciitis came out of nowhere and has taken up residence in my left foot. Great.

From the Mayo Clinic:

Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.

Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.

Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis.

My pain started last Thursday after what I categorized as a "fabulous run". So fabulous that I sprinted the last two miles because I was feeling great and wanted to see this:
What Happens Ten Minutes Later #shirleyruns #postrun #itgetsbetter #sunrise

I stayed long enough to watch the sky morph into a swirl of pastels [so I was late getting back home] and I probably didn't stretch properly afterwards [ie, I didn't stretch at all]. Walking into work, I noticed some pain emanating from my left heel.

Uh Oh.

I had 12 miles scheduled for Saturday, but instead I "ran" 3 miles on the elliptical machine, swam 20 laps in the pool and finished off with 25 minutes of pool running. The foot was feeling good - not "too" achy.

So I ran 10 miles on Sunday. Yes, probably not the best thing to do, but my foot "didn't hurt too badly" and I wanted to see how much it would hurt. Yes, it hurt to run, and it is possible I won't be able to complete the Chicago Marathon in 12 days.

Pretty much sucks.

I will, however, look at the positive - thank goodness I'm in the Taper phase of training. I don't have to run these last two weeks - I can swim, pool run and maybe hit a Spin class this week. Then really rest up next week.

What I am doing to try and heal up my foot over the next two weeks (based on information gleaned from websites and talking with other runners):
  • Massage my affected foot - alternating between a tennis ball, golf ball and frozen water bottle
  • Foam roll and stretch my calf muscle - I've come to the conclusion that I have tight calves, despite being very flexible. Keeping the calves and Achilles stretched will place less tension on the plantar fascia.
  • Perform strengthening exercises for the foot.

I'll make a final assessment next week on my marathon status. Not the way I want it to be, but nevertheless what I got. Life will still go on.....

Unknown  – (September 30, 2014 at 7:59 AM)  

Great photo, but ugh! I had plantar this summer, got rid of it, but now have it a bit in my other heel after all the hiking I did on vacation in my old running shoes. I did what you're doing--icing, foam rolling, stretching--and that got rid of it before, so I'm doing the same now. If you're aggressive with the treatment, it might be fine come race day?

Carina  – (September 30, 2014 at 10:57 AM)  

For what it's worth, here is the PF remedy one of my local running mentors swears by. 20 minutes. 4 minutes in hot water (as hot as you can stand), then 1 minute in ice water, repeat cycle 3 more times. The hot/cold switch apparently helps to flush it out. She told me to do the 20 min routine 2-3 times per day. Hope it helps!

Barb  – (September 30, 2014 at 2:44 PM)  

Be sure to wear shoes with support even around the house or if you get up middle of the night. Both my husband and I have suffered from this. I got mine by running hills. Good Luck - try not to inflame it any more by doing strenuous exercise for a week. My husband swears by rolling his foot on a ball and stretching by leaning against a wall or letting foot hang backward on a step.

Amy at love made my home  – (October 1, 2014 at 3:59 AM)  

I hope that you can sort it out and that you will do really well in the marathon! xx

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