Plantar fasciitis. I knew better, but for some reason, after the Bolder Boulder 10k last May I decided it was a great idea to majorly increase my mileage and, what the heck, throw in some speedwork. I mean, I PR’d at the Boston Marathon so I’m basically invincible now, right? Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!
I got that familiar pain in the sole of my right foot sometime in late May. It was worse in the mornings when I woke up and eased up throughout the day. I scaled back my running dramatically, but ran the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll half with my bestie anyway (great race and the Seattle rain held off until just after we’d crossed the finish line).
Then I had to admit defeat…sort of. I hopped on the spin bike and the elliptical and lifted weights until I had to face the reality that my foot felt worse after spinning and ellipticising. Then I just did weights and barre class for a while. Then I went on a cruise over Thanksgiving and tried to run once on the treadmill and immediately regretted it.
It’s been a long six months with no running. We had such a gorgeous fall here and nothing’s more depressing than looking out the gym window at the crisp autumn sunshine while you’re on an elliptical machine.
Last Thursday I went to the gym and the one spin bike in the regular cardio room was in use. I decided to throw caution to the wind and I got on the treadmill. I ran three slow miles AND THE NEXT DAY MY FEET DIDN’T FEEL WORSE!!!!!!
My legs were sore, but my feet felt normal. This is the most glorious thing ever. Today (Tuesday) I did it again. Just three miles at a slow pace. My legs are already sore, but my feet are regular and that’s a win.
I don’t have any actual information to back this up, but I believe that when you get back in shape you’re not really starting from scratch. All those past miles are stored somewhere in your legs and (maybe more importantly) in your brain. The paces I ran this week were slower than my warm up pace used to be and it’s humbling to struggle to reach three miles, but 20 years ago I couldn’t even run two miles without stopping and I know that from here it will only get easier.
I’m trying to not get too excited and I’m obviously not signing up for any races after only two mediocre runs. My main goal will be to hold back from doing too much too soon. I’m still relying heavily on the spin bike and now I’ve thrown swimming into the mix. But running 3 miles a couple times a week and potentially running outside soon – it’s hard to not envision myself signing up for a few trail races this summer and getting an actual training plan on the calendar in a couple of months.
I’m ready for 2019!