I’ve been training for my next 5K. I’m running three times per week and I’m taking steps to ensure I’m in better shape for this one than I was during my first run. I’m excited about my progress and I feel like I’m finally taking control because I want to, not just because I have to or because I’ve got a bet going on with somebody or because I feel obligated.
I want to do this!
And I understand that aches and pains are part of the process. My right knee has been a recurring issue since I began running back in April. The good thing, though, is that it seems to be doing a lot better. Running three times a week with breaks in between seems to help a lot, whereas I was running two to three days in a row before. That one or two days really does my knee good.
Which is why I was puzzled by the pain in my foot. It was a weird pain, too. Sometimes I would be sitting at the office for an hour and try to stand up, only to almost fall over because of the pain. I would wake up in the morning and hobble out of bed. Yet when I ran, everything felt fine.
What the heck???
I did a bit of research and found that I’ve probably got plantar fasciitis. Basically, that means that I’ve strained the plantar fascia (i.e. the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes) of my right foot. Thus, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated or inflamed. When I stand or walk, I get an intense pain shooting through my foot.
It’s common in middle-aged people (hellooooo 42nd birthday in September!) and is caused by a number of things that relate directly to me:
- I walk, stand, or run for long periods of time on hard surfaces (i.e. the sidewalk).
- I am overweight.
- I wear shoes that don’t fit well or are worn out (probably a contributing factor).
Unfortunately, there is no single treatment for plantar fasciitis. I have to do stretches of my calf and my toes and with a towel as a first step. If those don’t work, I’ll probably need to get orthotic insoles and/or better shoes.
It just sucks. I’m finally in a good spot and this hits me. The good thing is that I don’t feel the pain very much when I’m running…so it won’t take anything away in that regard. What it’s doing, though, is taking away from my standard of living. The limping and the pain isn’t going away on its own. This is definitely something I need to take care of.
Sigh. I was healthier when I wasn’t doing anything healthy.