Who has a sore heel and is no longer allowed to run?

If you skipped my last post thinking I was actually talking about something as boring as self-care then I’ll answer the title’s question for you – ME.

Today marks the end of my fourth week of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis, and as of today’s session I’m not allowed to run anymore. When I first started in therapy my PT said running was fine if it didn’t make my heel feel worse. I had scaled back to running once, maybe twice, a week since starting PT. A majority of the runs I have had since that time have been amazing. I’ve felt good and run faster splits than I had in months. It’s almost like strengthening your muscles and having problem areas massaged a couple times a week makes you run better! Amazing! My heel never bothers me during a run, but sometimes it feels a little tender that night or the next day.

Then I ran yesterday and I honestly don’t know what was different about this run (other than my splits totally sucking, but whatever), but my heel started flaring up BIG TIME all afternoon. When I woke up this morning I was back to hobbling around like an old lady, unable to put any weight on my right foot. Sigh. My PT acknowledged that running through PF is often hard, but she likes to give her patients a chance to keep running and not lose fitness as a result of the injury, if they can. And I could until I couldn’t.

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Seen on yesterday’s run

Admittedly, I’ve been finding myself not really having much motivation to run as of late. I’m just not feeling it. Even this past weekend, when I had the chance to run with Kim, I just didn’t feel like it (not running together was also fun, but still). But at the same time, it’s really frustrating. I’m definitely disappointed to not be able to run during my favorite time of year (fall), especially after I worked so hard to keep my fitness up and run through the God-awful heat and humidity that is a Columbus summer (which btw goes into October YAY!). I know other runners can relate to pushing yourself through those conditions knowing that better weather and easier runs down the line are the reward. Not being able to enjoy that is definitely bumming me out. And being a geek about numbers and stats, knowing that the next couple of months will be the first in 2018 where I run less than in 2017 annoys me.

But other than that? Eh. I’ll live. I had already been scaling back on running enough that I don’t feel like I’ll lose as much fitness as I would if I had to go from running 70+ miles a month down to nothing. I’m not in training for anything right now, so I’m not having to re-adjust or totally sit out on any goals. I am registered to run a HM at the end of April, but I’m okay with the possibility of dropping down to the 5k if I need to. So it’s okay, really.

What now?

In the meantime, I’ve been taking classes at a bootcamp here, so I’m not going to turn into a total sloth without running. An ad for them popped up on my Instagram (thanks, targeted marketing!) in mid-August and I decided to take advantage of their free 14-day trial. It’s 5 minutes away from our house, has class times that work really well with my schedule, doesn’t require pre-registration (so none of that 8 hour cancellation policy bullshit that another chain studio I used to attend had), weekly workouts are published each Sunday so I can choose what I want to focus on each week, and the classes are all women, which I really like. I LOVED my first class, and then of course didn’t take any others until the last day of the free 2 weeks (because I was still running all the time/injuring myself).

At the end of the trial I was planning to just buy a punch card, thinking I could take a class each week as a supplement to running. When I went in to buy said punch card the head trainer asked if I wanted to take advantage of a 6 week challenge that had just started. 6 weeks of unlimited classes, free one-on-one meetings to talk training and nutrition, and all for the cost of 5 classes on the punch card. Initially I said no, because obviously that would cut into my running 4 days a week, and she asked me what I had to lose and told me to think about it during class before I made a decision. The question of what I had to lose kept running through my head. Really. What did I have to lose? Would I somehow get less fit by taking strength and cardio classes instead of running? Could I commit to taking one class each week to make it cheaper than the punch card? Duh, of course. So I did it. I took 20 classes during the challenge, reduced my body fat by almost 5% and lost 3 inches from my waist and 2 inches from my upper arm (meanwhile my hips and thighs are going nowhere).

At the end of the challenge I was already a couple weeks into PT for my heel, so I decided to continue on with classes and signed up for an unlimited membership. I’ve been going 3-4 days a week and am feeling pretty good. The head trainer has been super awesome about giving me modifications while my heel heals (ha!), and those are just as challenging (sometimes more so) than the original exercise, so I definitely don’t feel like I’m not getting a quality workout in. And since I’m yet again living someplace where I don’t know many people, the sense of community in the classes is awesome.

And as for getting out to enjoy fall? Not running has actually freed me up to go for long walks and hikes with Terry, which is definitely not the worst thing.

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Walking in one of the Columbus Metroparks

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7 thoughts on “Who has a sore heel and is no longer allowed to run?

  1. Ack, I feel your pain, both literally (been plagued by PF off and on for years) and figuratively, as it completely sucks to suffer through the hot and humid months only to not get to enjoy the beautiful cool fall weather for running. It also sucks that the best way to heal from PF is no running; I hate that it’s true, but when I had to take many weeks off from running thanks to my calf tear, my heel miraculously managed to stop hurting.

    Your fitness classes sound really good; I’ve had a similar experience with making new friends in my groups – no one that I’d see outside of the gym, but they are all nice and friendly and a happy bonus to my workouts.

    Hope your ding dang heel heals soon!

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  2. Ugh, I am sorry your heal pain got worse and you don’t get to enjoy running right now. Hiking is awesome, but it doesn’t check off that same endorphin need, I know.

    I’m glad you are liking your bootcamp so much though! And have seen so much progress, yay!

    And I see you asked Shelley about her experience with PF. I’ve had it in both feet and it has gone away – once I started consistently strength training, and when necessary, wearing supportive shoes in the house (sigh). Oh, and getting rid of crappy shoes. I used the boot a night when it was really bad. I hope you don’t have it forever!

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    • Yeah, fortunately my bootcamp usually has a couple good cardio days each week so I can still get my HR up enough for those endorphins 🙂 Yesterday I logged 4,600 steps in one class and felt even more wiped than after a lot of runs lately!

      I didn’t realize you had PF too! Did you run through it when it was bad? I do find wearing shoes in the house, even slippers (mine do have real soles) makes a world of difference. Standing to cook in bare feet is super painful at this point. I’m going to ask my PT about the boot next week and probably order one, since I see they’re relatively inexpensive (cheaper than hundreds of dollars of PT at least!)

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      • I love that your class is so awesome!!! YAY!

        I was able to run, I just had to cut back on mileage. I am glad the shoes in the house help, and hope the boot does too!!

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