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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Plantar Fascists

So you've probably been wondering where I am.

Okay, that's not true. You've probably just forgotten that you signed up for this silly little blog, but I'm still here, and you're still reading, so I'm going to fill you in on why I haven't been writing. The reason is very simple (and sad). It's because I haven't been running.

Turns out, plantar fasciitis really sucks. For the longest time, I've been laboring under the (incorrect) assumption that plantar fasciitis was something that happened on the bottom of your feet, primarily in the middle. It was my understanding that the whole of the injury was related to a painful splitting feeling in the arch of the foot, as though the skin was splitting open. Incredibly uncomfortable, certainly, but ultimately very rare and ignorable.

Thankfully, I have a mother who is more inquisitive than I. She sent me to a website with information about plantar fasciitis from the National Institutes of Health. Immediately, I recognized the symptoms, especially the extreme pain the heel upon waking up. Bummer.

I hate this stupid injury. It's always been the scary collection of tendon names and excessive vowels that looks vaguely like Fascists, and we didn't like them much either. It's one of those things that gets brought up in running magazines as something to avoid, but until you've got it underneath your stride, you really don't have any clue just how painful it can be. Knowing that I've succumb to one of the big killers of running doesn't make me feel any better about the agony.

The good side of this coin is that I now know what the problem is. I mentioned before, I think, that I had some concerns about whether this injury might be something in the bone, but now I know that the outlook is better and treatment should not require anything more than a few adjustments. First, I'm getting a night splint (also supplied from my devoted mother) to keep the injury stretched in the night. Second, I haven't run a step since last Thursday. It's killing me a little bit, but at the same time, my foot is feeling much better. I'm planning to stay off of it until this coming Thursday, when I'll take the body out for a spin and see what happens. Hopefully, by then I'll my splint and the pain will be lessened or erased.

Finally, I'm devoting myself to other forms of activity that do not directly affect the pain in my foot. In particular, I FINALLY got myself a bicycle, which I intend to ride down to Barton Springs, where I will take a swim before returning. That's right, triathlon training. Cardiovascularly awesome, impactfully minimal. Runner: 1, Plantar Fascists: 0. (In my mind, I'm now personally competing against a bunch of hard-line government agents with an emblem that features feet.)

I still miss being out on the road, and I can hardly wait for Thursday to come around. Running has become such an integral part of my emotional health, that I've been more volatile than normal the last couple of days. I need to get moving again.

But I need to get healthy first.

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