The Foot Says…

A terrible paint job using worthless, sticky, child polish. 
1.  Miles run Monday morning: 5.5
2.  Time:  5:10 a.m.
3.  Days since I had worn GPS watch:  39 (I missed you, dear watch!)
4.  Seconds per minute my time was off:  30
5.   Hours I had to go back to bed later in the morning:  1
6.  Miles run during soccer game Monday evening:  3.69
7.  Days I had to take off due to sore foot:  2
8.  Toenails I finally lost this morning due to running:  2
Sometimes I wonder if getting up so early is actually productive.  If I can’t be asleep by 10 the night before, then I’m pretty much wasted after a 4:45 a.m. wake-up call.  Last night it was so miserably humid hot that all of us tossed and turned for hours.  Also contributing were four teenage giggling girls.  G says to get used to it…these are the days of our future lives.  And yes, we want our children to want to be here with their friends.  They’re very nice friends.  We couldn’t ask for better friends!
The point of this post though, is not giggling, it is an injured foot on the mend.  I am thrilled to be running again.  I so rarely get injured that it’s shocking when I do.  I told Gregor, “I never felt invincible as a teenager, but the last decade of running I really felt like it would never be me that got hurt.”  He looked at me and said, “So you felt invincible.”
I was beginning to feel mighty LOW without my running fix.  Especially as summer is the time to ramp it up, to travel to races, to sweat and feel so high, to think about the upcoming marathon season.  My running buddy is gearing up for two marathons.  And I’m plodding along.

But. I’m pretty sure I had plantar fasciitis.  It is almost gone.
Diagnosis:  Pain in heel and up the middle of the foot through that giant plantar tendon.  There was also extreme swelling, which is unusual.

The more I talk to runners though, the more I realize that most runners experience plantar fasciitis at some point.

My cure took this course: 



But what really helped:

Cortisone shot.  Instantly.

Going to Arizona and walking barefoot on hot pavement.  It naturally stretched out the bottom of my foot with heat.

Ditching the cute but crappy shoes.  Flip flops?  Sorry.  No.  Bad.

Stretching out my calves.  I always considered myself a superior calf stretcher, but when I hung down and touched my toes, shooting pain came up my leg.  After a few days of torturous stretching, the pain went away. 

Sitting down and pulling the toes toward me.  Companies actually have braces and special socks to wear at night to pull toes forward.

Gorging on blueberries.  Apparently they have an anti-inflammation effect.
Runner’s World.  They have GREAT articles on about every injury.  They were also MUCH more informative than the blasé doctor who only shot me up with cortisone, and said to come back in three weeks.  I cancelled the appointment.

Runner’s World also recommends minimalist shoes. Minimalist shoes mimic barefoot running with more protection than barefoot running.  I know it’s the latest craze, there always needs to be one, but I’m wondering if there’s some sense to it.  I’m currently running in Brooks, a great running shoe, but not minimalist.  I’m eyeing the Altras.  I’m becoming a bigger fan of having a few pair of shoes and rotating them.  I used to stick with one, but if your feet can adjust to different models, there is less overuse injuries to one part of the foot.

“You chose that color because…” was the most asked question after I proudly came home after my first-ever pedicure.  Now, the polish is gone and so are the two toenails next to the big toes.  Yes, I am one lovely site.  I think I need a monthly pedicure.  And massage.  And a housekeeper…

Have you ever had plantar fasciitis or an injury that plagued you?  Crossing fingers (and stretching and icing) that mending will continue.


9 thoughts on “The Foot Says…

  1. Clin A. Eaton

    Ooh! Me! Me! Plantar fascitis 7 years ago. Every morning woke up, stood on my left foot and had pain shoot throughout my foot. Every night it would try to reheal and just stepping on it in the morning would reinjure. Cortosone shots would help- finally, after orthotics helped a bit, they split open my big toe like a sausage, put a screw in my toe and (after 2weeks in a walking cast), no more pain. And it was over spring break. So I got screwed over Spring Break.

  2. kimmalee

    That sounds awful! I’m glad you’re finally on the mend. I cant imagine how hard it must have been for you to rest for so long. I love your pictures from the last post. I need to do some more playing around with my camera now!

  3. Melissa Sarno

    Ack, Amy. This stinks. But it sounds like you’ve found way to get through it and that you’re getting back into the swing of things. For a while I suffered from debilitating shin splints. Its terrible when your body prevents you from living the life you want to live.


    Hey Amy,

    First off, your numbers tally at the beginning of your blog totally reminds me of another writing blog that I read regularly. It was so funny because at first I said to myself, wait, this isn’t Amy’s site, it’s Anne’s. Then I realized it was your site after all. Confused me a little but I’m good now, lol.

    I have never had that plantar thing-y you describe and it sounds awful. The worst injury I had, well, there are two that rank up there. I got chondro-malatia from hiking during the White Mountain orientation at Proctor. Crazy, I know. And in college, I tore my ACL walking down a flight of stairs at a frat. Crazier, I know.

    Love the yellow toenail polish, perfectly summerish.

    Hope you can get back to running lickity-split!

  5. Julia Tomiak

    Amy, Hang in there! I had an IT band issue this spring and took a lot of time off. It feels like recovery is coming very slowly! Take it one day at a time, and I’m going to offer unsolicited advice- don’t do too much too soon, or I’m afraid you’ll set yourself back. Also, dare I say NOW might not be the best time to try minimalist shoes. (this is the PT on eternal maternal hiatus talking). If you want a professional opinion, my dear friend with the 2 page MRI report (on her foot) is a practing PT, a runner, and she just attended a running workshop his spring. She learned a lot about the minimalist movement. I could put you in touch with her if you want. Good luck!

  6. annewoodman

    I can relate to this post!!!
    A.) Getting up super-early is somewhat counter-productive for me. I only do it once a week, for our long run, but I’m always afraid I’ll miss the alarm, on some level, so I don’t sleep very well the night before. Then I do the long run, and it’s pretty tiring. By late in the day, I wonder if I’m crazy. ; )
    B.) Haven’t lost any toenails, but I do wear running shoes a whole size bigger than my regular shoes. I do get wild-ugly callouses on my right foot in the same place where some people get bunions. Not a good look with flip-flops.
    C.) I have had to become a very religious calf-stretcher after my PT friend said I had to. I tore up my foot this winter by slipping and catching myself in boots on a wet floor. (See? I wasn’t even running! So unfair. They weren’t even high-heeled boots.)
    D.) I wish you well. I go crazy when I can’t get my running/exercise fix.

  7. Lisa

    Ugh! I’m so sorry, Amy! I had plantar fasciitis 2 years ago. It was horrible and took way longer to heal than I thought it should. I woke up one morning and I could barely walk. I had to make a lot of changes: I had almost no shoes that fit the description of what the doctor told me. So I bought a bunch of uglier shoes, wore the boot thing at night, got orthotics. Now I can wear heels once in a while if they’re the right ones (Born is a great brand), but in the beginning I really just had to rest it. I took up swimming instead of biking or running/walking. I am better now, but it’s still something I’m constantly aware of. I have to pay attention to my foot every day and everytime I go somewhere I have to think about the shoes I’m wearing and if they’re the right choice. Good Luck! I hope you get better soon!

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