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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pain in the Plantar Fascia!

During Christmas I received a new pair of running shoes from my Godmother,  and I was so excited to try them out, that I ran 11 miles in them...Yeah Uh oh. I felt great up until the 8th mile, and then it really started to hurt. Yep, you can say it out loud, because I did..."Shit, that was dumb."
I had done myself in,  and had acquired one of the most irritating injuries for a runner.
I had injured my plantar fascia. (click here for an anatomy lesson)

Not running has made me a little sad, because I honestly love how I feel when I run.  But I had to make sure I kept off my foot as to not irritate it more, or prolong the injury. After doing several google searches I had discovered that pushing this injury could possibly set me back a few months or up to a year. So, I'm playing it safe and have adjusted my work out routine. Which now includes swimming, free yoga around town, and some free stretching videos that I'll share at the end of this post. I've also incorporated some other wonky things to help heal my injury as quick as I can. Ya gotta do, what ya gotta do.

The quest to recovery begins with me going to my closet and dusting off my old swimming stuff. In this whole dusty process I found my old college racing swimsuit in the pocket of my parka and...
 How the hell did I ever fit into this thing??
Back in the parka pocket that little thing went and I was off to the neighborhood pool. It's funny returning to this particular pool because I actually hold a high school swimming record here and it's a pool I trained at for a good part of my swimming career. I always wonder after a long hiatus if I can actually swim again. Silly, I know.
As I entered the building I inhaled the chlorine as I walked in and prepared for my foot recovery swimming work out. I jumped in and felt the rush of the water surround me. It was a familiarity that you encounter when you walk into your childhood home; it was great to be back. 
I swam for an hour and I made sure to do a lot of kicking to work out my foot. I even did some aqua jogging at the deep end of the pool to get even more out of my workout. I have to tell you, I was pooped.  I think it  really helped my foot to stretch it out a bit in the water and get it moving, I did feel an improvement with pain as early as the next day. It honestly felt great to get back into the pool, and I think It may be something that I add regularly to my training.

 Another form of therapy besides swimming, which I’ve incorporated into my training, is foot and ice massage,  and putting my foot in a funky sling at night. Which when all used together, have proven to be very effective in my recovery. So, without further adieu, I introduce you to the mini foot massager.
It sort of looks like a little virus, huh? 
You can usually find these guys at your specialty running store for about $10
Anyways, I use this thing when I wake up in the morning for about 3 minutes and a few times throughout the day for the same amount of time.  It helped massage the injured part of my foot, and it also helped warm it up in order to not create further injury.  You can also use a can of food for this massage, you don't have to buy a fancy virus looking thingy. 

Up next, we have the crazy foot sling.  I would strap my foot in before I would go to sleep at night. It was uhhh..interesting.
It's like silence of the lambs for my foot, right?!
I really don't know too much about this thing, but it helped. That's all that matters right? It basically kept my foot in a flex position all night and it was uncomfortable at first, but it wasn't too bad after the second night. 

With all of this hooplah to help get over my injury,  I've realized that I was most likely running in the wrong shoes. I really overpronate, and the shoes I had were not offering any support at all. So, I went to a local running store called  Heart and Sole, and got some expert help. They put me on a treadmill and watched how I ran closely. I tried on different pairs of shoes and was given a good explanation from the staff on whether the shoe would work, or may cause me problems in the future. It was a great local store and I learned a lot about my actual running style. So, I left a happy customer with my Asics GT-2150, and now  I’m ready to take Guillermo the Garmin and my new Asics out for a run.

I leave you with a video of my new workout plan (he he)  and the stretch videos I promised. 
Keep your plantar fascias happy people! They are such a bitch when they get flared up! 

Thanks to my amigo Dingar for the new workout plan! 
Check it out below.

Now let's get serious.
Stretch videos:
videos are from


  1. Injuries suck. I'm lucky to have only have dealt with some minor aches in pain (*knocks on wood*), but am pretty conscientious of how my foot feels. I got a new pair of the running shoes I currently use. I'll break them in on shorter runs and save the current pair for the weekend long runs.

    From some blogs I've read, it seems that some runners start training for triathlons while recovering from running injuries. Have you ever thought of that given your swimming background?

  2. Hey Cindy,
    Thank you for the tip about alternating my running shoes. Now I wish I didn't leave my "oldies" in Santa Cruz. Oh well, I need to lay off the long runs for a couple of more week, that way I can make sure my foot has healed properly.

    As for triathlons, I use to compete in them all the time as a kid, but I got into a bicycle accident while I was training. So, until my city decides to hop on the cyclist safety band wagon, I will be avoiding cycling and triathlons. But who knows, I do ride around on my beach cruiser looking like a 5 yr old with a flower decorated helmet, and I lov it. I feel it helps people avoid getting too close to me, and I love the look on their faces when the realize that I'm a grown women. haha!

    Thank you for your comments! They are appreciated!


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