And so it begins: another spring training cycle. I officially started a new 12-week training schedule for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend on May 8, 2016 (which I’m running as a media guest of runDisney). I’ll be doing the Pixie Dust Challenge, running both the 10K and half-marathon.
I have one goal for this spring training season: make it to the starting line healthy and injury free. Period. End of subject. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. If you hear me talk about PRs, lash me with a virtual wet noodle. Especially considering I’m currently recovering from another injury, two torn and herniated discs in my spine. What!?
I survived 10 full years as an injury free runner, the unicorn of the running world. But my body seems to be having a breakdown. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s training habits, maybe it’s old traumatic injuries, maybe it’s nutrition, maybe it’s all of it combined. Whatever it is, I now have my third injury in one year.
During 2015 spring training, I failed to make it to the starting line of my goal races healthy and injury-free. I had to skip my spring half-marathon, the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, thanks to a stress fracture in my foot. I discovered I am grossly Vitamin D deficient and have been on an aggressive course of supplements since. I finally got back to running in June.
In the fall, I made it to the start of the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon, but only after missing a chunk of training due to plantar fasciitis. I toed the line with a taped foot, far from the shape I wanted to be in.
Then, last week, I was diagnosed with two herniated discs in my spine. It’s not a running injury, but has been an ongoing problem.
My Plantar Fasciitis Cure
After feeling the returning niggle of plantar fasciitis in January at the NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K, I decided to nip it in the bud once and for all. I’d tried various remedies throughout the fall to no avail, including time off from running, a night splint, massage, and KT tape. They’d each helped in the short-term, but my PF would come right back.
So I decided to take drastic measures before spring training had sprung.
I took 17 days off from all exercise. No running, no elliptical, no spinning, no swimming, no yoga, no lifting, nothing. They all use calf and foot muscles, the ground zero of plantar fasciitis. I walked. That’s it.
I also wore over-the-counter orthotics—Walkfit Platinum Orthotics. My mom struggled with plantar fasciitis for a long time and those were the orthotics that finally worked for her, even better than the custom pair her doctor had made. Since I got her feet in the DNA pool, right down to the same high arch, I guessed they might work for me too.
Plus, I rolled my foot with a golf ball—a cute Hawaii golf ball I bought on my recent trip—and stretched my calves copiously.
Wouldn’t you know it? That finally did the trick. I’m happy to report I’ve been back to running for four weeks and am, knock on wood, plantar fasciitis free. Read the rest of this entry →