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Plantar Fasciitis

1000milesby 1000milesMay 19th 2014
Plantar Fasciitis
When this idea was concocted it didn't take me long to realise that I had no idea what I was doing. I enlisted the help of Chris Kay at the Running School and he very kindly chose not to laugh but rather to become my very useful source of all things running.

Many weeks and months followed with a training plan that involved plenty of miles. In fact, my long runs hit 20 miles quickly and I was feeling smug about how much time I had left to get in shape. During this period we spent time on the treadmill rectifying the way that I ran, countless years spent running the 'wrong way' made this a particular feat. Even by the time I understood the principles of running the 'proper way' it often left me feeling like I was running around town doing some exaggerated imitation run for comical effect (this may be later confirmed by onlookers).

Nothing in life runs this smoothly for long however (literally and figuratively) .

World, meet 'plantar fasciitis'.

In layman's terms, this is essentially where the arch in your foot collapses and you get pain in your heel. It starts with severe pain - it left me hobbling for a week - and eventually subsides into a dull annoyance. The true agony of plantar is not the pain in your foot however, it's the emotional turmoil it causes. Because the pain isn't searing and it doesn't debilitate you, you are ritually lured into thinking its gone away. Then you go and do the obligatory 'I'll just go and check 5 minute run' from which you come back feeling deflated and quite frankly a bit pissed off. Repeat this process on a weekly basis and things get bleak.

Plantar fasciitis left me miserable. Not only did I start having to contend with the fact that this run might not happen but I also became paranoid that there was nothing wrong with me, that it was just a neurosis. The most reassuring part of my week was the point when Chris would dig his thumb into my heel until the pain seared up my leg. At least, in that moment, I could satisfy myself I hadn't entirely lost the plot.

Months (and months) went by, with no improvement. I think it's fair to say I tried every possible form of treatment and 'alternative running activity' that I could. I bought specialist orthopaedic insoles, I had shockwave therapy (ouch), I cross-trained, I donned the 'flotation fat belt' and pool ran (special thanks to my sister-in-law for joining me in this somewhat humiliating affair in which granny's look on sympathetically assuming you can't swim), I strapped my leg up with enough kinesiology tape to support a small horse, I donned some pretty hardcore looking night splints (good job I'm single), I rolled ice bottles, spiky balls, rolling pins - anything rolly really until I could roll no more, I self-massaged, I stretched ...

No running though, non at all.

Looking back, its difficult to pinpoint what made the difference, but eventually something did.

With 1 1/2 months to go I watched London Marathon and feeling inspired I donned my trainers and I ran. I came home with a spring in my step - one that FINALLY caused me no pain at all.

Ah the relief and jubilation of a slow 20 minute jog.
Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis
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