Saturday, January 30, 2016

Solving the riddle

The two most commonly used words for PF seem to be "nagging" and "frustrating." Yes, on both accounts. It's been over a month and I've tried numerous "remedies." Some work better than others, but it's just managing the symptoms; the nagging pain persists.

Dr. King is willing to do steroid injections, but I'm really leery of them. I would absolutely be able to run again because it would mask the pain, but the problem would still be present, and while I could get through the Pig on injections, we would stop them eventually, and presumably I'd be in much worse shape than I am now.

Then I read Zachary's comment of thinking of it as a cramp or sore muscle, and that really spoke to me. I can run through cramps and soreness. Resting wasn't fixing anything, so it was time to try again.

I ran 3 miles on Friday and 4 on Saturday. None of them were painless, but I could deal with it and could have run further. I'm keeping the miles limited at this point for 2 reasons: (1) I don't want to immediately zoom up the miles only to be hit with stress fractures, and (2) my lungs are ridiculously out of shape :(

Here is what has helped me run: (Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor. I don't even play one on tv)
1. Tape foot with athletic tape. Make an X pattern stretching from the ball across the arch to the heel, then wrap up securely with horizontal tapes. Duct tape works too, but doesn't hold up as well against sweat and it irritates my skin more than the athletic tape.
2. Wear a compression sleeve that reaches from my knee to my toes, but doesn't cover the toes.
3. Wear a thick knee sock.
4. Use PowerStep orthotics in my shoes.
5. Do an easy 5-minute bike warm-up.
6. Stretch calves, quads and hamstrings immediately after I'm done.
7. Ice as soon as I get home.

Is it an inconvenience? Absolutely, but it has me running. I can deal with all of the above for the foreseeable future.

On a daily basis, I use the following maintenance methods:
1. Sleep with the boot, even though I have woken up every single night, with the singular thought of Get this off of me!!!! I experimentally didn't use it one night, and the next morning was noticeable.
2. Stretch my heel before I get out of bed. Yes, even when the alarm is at 2:45, those 2-3 minutes make a big difference.
3. Wear Crocs in the shower.
4. Walk barefoot around the house ("barefoot" I wear fuzzy socks)
5. Every day or two I do a deep tissue massage on my arch, pushing from the heel to the ball, to break up the scar tissue.
6. I got a ball thingie at Meijer. It's the size of a golf ball, but with hard rubber teeth. I carry it in my purse and roll frequently - at work, at school, in the car.... I like it better than a regular golf ball.
7. Roll my quads, ITs, hamstrings and calves every day or so after a bike ride.
8. No heels - that goes without say!
9. Yoga at least once a week.
10. I'm working on a shorter stride. Not sure how well that's going.

I basically lost a month of training, and February won't be the 150+ miles the Hansons recommend, both of which have caused me to re-think all my 2016 running goals. At least I didn't lose 2 months :)


  1. Michelle,

    I'm glad to see PF isn't stopping you. It stopped me only because I was living on the road and didn't have any support or access to care, and was pretty clueless for the first month or two I had it. Once I was properly diagnosed I found out NOT running made it worse. The golf ball and stretching were my life savers and I wished I had known about foam rolling (or rolling on a PVC pipe) back then. I likely could have recovered sooner. Lesson learned. Keep at it and don't give in to the pain and especially the inconvenience. It will all be worth it when you hit your goals at the end of the year.

    FYI it was 65 down here in St Louis all weekend, great running weather in January!


    1. Awesome!!!! Upper 40s here and zero snow. El Nino winters are the best!!!!