Thursday, 23 February 2012


I've had what I think is Plantar Fasciitis since Christmas.  This is an inflammation of where the large muscles underneath the foot join the heel bone.  It's very painful but it's a weird sort of pain because it only hurts when you first start walking on the bad foot after not walking on it for a while, and then it wears off. For example, first thing in the morning, when you get out of bed.  Or if you've been sitting around for a while with your feet up and then get up to go and do something.  The pain of your heel striking the floor - and any pressure being put on it - makes you limp, sometimes severely.  But, like I said, it wears off after a few minutes.

There isn't a great deal of treatment you can do other than rest it up.  For more severe cases one can, apparently, have a cortisone injection straight into the site.  I'm not doing that.  Ever.  But what I have had to do is not run on it.  At all.  So the last run I did just before Christmas - 22 December to be exact - when I topped running 50 miles in 2011 - was the last time I went out.  It was just too painful.  Sometimes it was almost more than I could do to just walk to the kitchen to put the kettle on.

The odd thing is that it does get better, it just takes a bloody long time.  I've had it once before, several years ago, but I can't remember now what caused it.  I'm suspecting it might have been when TLH and I were going to the gym and I'd been using the treadmill a fair bit, but I dunno.  I really can't remember.  I do remember that it took months to go away.  So when it turned up again this time, I recognised what it was and realised I was in for a long road to recovery.

But, over the last weekend just gone, there was much improvement.  Barely any wincing at all.  So yesterday I decided to take the plunge and go for a gentle run.  Not that any of my runs are anything other than gentle, of course, there's no way you could mistake me for Jessica Ennis, even on a good day and with the sun in  your eyes.

Strangely - and I never thought I'd say this - but I've actually been missing going for a run.  I also like running in the cold so the frosty, sunny mornings we've had this winter have found me yearning to be able to pull on my Mizunos and go for a quick trot.  Plus not doing any exercise at all over the last two months - but still filling my face with yummy, yummy food - had not done me any favours at all on the weighing scales or, I suspect, in the blood pressure department (which, if you recall, is the reason I started running in the first place), and the spectre of statins is now constantly over my head.

So, yesterday morning, I went for a run.  A very, very slow run.  More of a shamble, really.  Interspersed with a lot of walking.  And it was fine!  I use the Couch-to-5k (or 'Ease into 5k' as it's been rechristened) iPhone app, which always runs for exactly the same length of time for each week.  So week 1 is 33 minutes, week 2 is a bit longer and so on.  I usually manage to cover just under 2 miles for the week 1 setting, but yesterday I did 1.5 miles.  I really didn't want to upset my foot any more than was necessary, but I still ended up sweaty and red-faced so managed to get a reasonable workout.  I just had to wait to see what would happen the next morning and if I'd crippled myself.

But - hooray!  Foot is fine this morning.  There's some residual discomfort but it's nowhere near as bad as it has been so I think I'm probably going to live.

And, to celebrate, I've just registered for my first 'proper' run.  It's a fun run, really, 4 kilometres around Clandon Park (which is near me).  There's a longer, 10 km, run at the same time but I'm not going to push my luck.  2 miles translates into about 3.20 km (or going the other way, 4 km equals 2.5 miles) so it's not really a great deal further than the distance I already cover.  But it gives me something to actually work towards.

Blimey, I'm starting to take all this a bit seriously, aren't I......?


Judith said...

2 exercises for PF that I find help a lot. 1st fill a small plastic drinks bottle with water( leave space in it for expansion) cover it in duct tape then you can freeze and refreeze it and use it as a foot roller for the pain. 2nd use the edge of a step ( or stairs) to raise and lower the foot or feet going up and down like on tiptoes stretching the ligaments. Hope that helps but it does go as you say.

Mrs Jones said...

Hi Judith - I was doing the stair thing last week and I think it helped a bit. Will bear in mind the frozen roller thing if it comes back again.