No Janice and I are not planning to create a late-in-life child. But the title sure sucked you in didn’t it? If you want to have an interesting conversation, just innocently ask your friends if it is possible to pre-determine the gender of a baby. Now get out the popcorn and listen to the responses. The folklore that revolves around baby making is as varied and old as the earth itself. If you want to have a boy, make love on odd days of the month, or eat more red meat and salty food, or make love standing up. If you want a girl eat more apples or use the missionary position during a full moon. The list goes on and on.
It turns out the recommended cures for plantar fasciitis are similar. What is plantar fasciitis? If you need to ask that consider yourself fortunate. While quite a few non-runners do get stricken with this painful condition it turns out to be quite common among runners. Plantar Fasciitis, according to the mayo clinic involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.
Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis.
So it is clear what Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is now how do we CURE it?
Well not exactly crickets. In fact there are a multitude of remedies that will be suggested from the moment you are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Yoga. Chiropractic care. Bleeding with leeches. Go to bed with ginger root wedged between your toes. Massage. Use the missionary position during a full moon. All of these cures are caveated with “but nothing is guaranteed and none of these may work for you”. Some helpful folks even suggest you may never be able to run or perhaps even walk without a limp again.
In case you can’t tell, I’ve stumbled my way in to 2015 with a severe case of plantar fasciitis. I have reverted to my physical therapy exercises from when I last had PF along with post tibial tendonitis two years ago. At that time, the tendonitis hurt far worse than the PF so I had a “pleasant” masking pain to keep me from feeling how truly painful the PF alone could be. I guess if there is good news, I don’t have the tendonitis this time around so I get to feel the full brunt of a very angry plantar fascia.
Normally I spend this time of year doing far more running than in the summer since I am a warm-weather cyclist and restrict myself to the trainer in these colder months. One cold, hard fact about PF . . . DON’T CONTINUE TO RUN. Many do and wind up dragging out the ailment far longer than biting the bullet, discontinuing run training, and healing. So how does a runner maintain running fitness if they can’t run? By pool running! Here are the steps you need to know to pool run:
- Get in a pool
The beauty of pool running is that there is no impact yet you still go through the running motions. It is also a fairly good workout. Oh . . yes. You feel and look really silly doing it but if you are careful you can either choose your pool time for when nobody is in the pool or when one of the senior water aerobics classes is occurring. No matter how silly you look frantically circling around in place in the deep end, you don’t look nearly as silly as a dozen octogenarians bobbing around to the Macarena. Trust me nobody will be watching you.
There is also the elliptical machine. There are those runners that will run through knee deep snow in sub-zero temperatures because running on a treadmill is boring. While I have never minded the treadmill except for possibly a couple snow-forced long runs during past marathon training cycles, I completed my first-ever full hour on an elliptical machine today. The most excitement was changing to elliptical backwards a few times. It kind of reminded me of the childhood skit of sitting in a line with your legs crossed with and asking “is it time yet?”. Finally, when “it’s time” everyone switches which leg is crossed. Except even switching from forward to backward on the elliptical isn’t as exciting as that.
I also purchased a Strassburg Sock which, a glance, it appears to be some sort of adult bondage contraption featuring a plastic ring and Velcro straps that is worn to bed. Disappointment abounds when you read the directions and find out it is designed to simply keep your foot and plantar fascia in a more stretched position overnight so it heals stretched out rather than bunched up in the heel of your foot. Considering I am able to get out of bed in the morning without nearly collapsing in pain from the first few steps I’d say it works as long as I can keep it on. There are some odd issues with it pinching my toes that sometimes require an early morning ejection of the sock from the bed but even then I think it has been helpful.
This weekend I will miss my first paid race of the year which is hopefully the correct decision. While I have not made a lot of race plans for 2015 there WILL be race plans most of which will require running. Therefore I think the right decision, no matter how boring, is to continue to heal.