Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pumping Iron

I'm still plugging away with the treatment of my plantar fasciitis.  There is improvement, but it's a slow process.  I am down to just once a week visits.  Hopefully they don't last too much longer.

In the meantime I am allowed to run "IF" it feels OK.  I had planned to run on Sunday, but after doing a bunch of yardwork on Saturday all my muscles were tight and I thought it best to scale back to a walk instead.

I did pick up my new insoles a couple days ago, and so far so good.  You can certainly tell there is something in your shoe.  It's oddly comforting yet uncomfortable all at the same time.  Not painful uncomfortable, just different.  I REALLY want to try running in them soon.

There is some exciting plans coming up in my world ... but I'm not quite ready to reveal them.  I want to be certain this stupid foot of mine is going to heal up and let me get on with what I love.  Yes, it does involve running.  Yes, it does involve a race.  But it's NOTHING like I've ever done before and I'm really excited to try it out.

I decided last night that since I've had to cut back on running and am not allowed to attend my favourite fitness classes ... then it was time to turn back to an old love/hate of mine.

That's right ... pumping iron baby!  I found a program I think I can live with, and since I have all the equipment I need right in my home, it's awfully silly to not do this.  The best results I've ever seen were when I was lifting weights regularly.  No matter how much cardio I have done, the weights is the one thing that has consistently changed my body shape and burned off the fat.

Yesterday was Day 1.  Hopefully I can report some positive changes in about a month or so.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Limited Running :(

Figures ... just when I'm finally getting a desire to run and have actually been enjoying my runs ... I get told I have to limit them.  GRRRRRRR!!!!!

Last week I ran 7K on Wednesday and Saturday.  I included lots of walk and/or stretch breaks, gradual warm-up with stretching before and lots of stretching after, and I walked all hills to minimize use of my calf. Yes, this did increase the tightness in my calves & feet, but I felt like I was easing into it.

The doctor told me to limit my runs to just once a week for now, and less distance is better.  Also no Bosu Ball class.  This is not what I wanted to hear.  But I've gone to him long enough to know that he does not give me this advice lightly and he supports continuing with activity whenever possible.  He's always told me when I can and can not continue to run through my treatment.  So I have to trust him.

My next appt is on Friday, so I plan to do a run on Wed as my "mid-week" run.  I did run a bit on Sunday, but less than 2K, very slow, and walking hills.  I have however been doing a fair bit of walking, which I hope is OK.  My heels are tender after walking, but my calves don't feel as tight.

Upon the doctor's recommendation I have placed an order for a pair of Soles:

These are supposed to be really good and I remember a fellow blogger once posted very positively about these insoles as well.  I hope they help!  

The more people I talk to about this I am amazed how many have suffered from plantar fasciitis.  I didn't realize it was so common.

Funny how when something is taken away from you, it's the first thing you want to do.  If the weather would smarten up I could maybe add in some cycling, but at this point I'm not eager to do that in the rain. :(


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gua Sha (the evil, wonderful tool!)

The tool that my massage therapist (chiropractor / ART ???) is using on my foot is called a Gua Sha, or maybe the method he is doing is called Gua Sha and this is one of the tools of the trade.  I'm not sure.  But either way, this is the tool he is using.  Below is an image of it (the item on the right).

The first day I believe he used it on the narrow edge, kind of like a knife, and rubbed it along the bottom of my foot (holy mother of bright rainbows!!!!).  The last two times he used the flat wide edge, like a plate.  That way is not quite as painful, but still hurts a ton (yes Mother, worse than childbirth, but thankfully not nearly as long).  I am generally a pretty tough chick and can suck it up if I know it's going to hurt, but I still have the odd tear sneak out and have resorted to things such as biting my arm, gritting my teeth, and even SINGING to avoid screaming out.  I do not sing in public!

After my 2nd appointment he suggested I try a different shoe and strongly suggest I check out Asics.  However, at my last appointment he told me hold that thought a little longer.  He said he wants to do some manipulation with my arches and then will give me some shoe recommendations.  He's trying to avoid me having to get orthotics which I really appreciate, and he doesn't believe that's the best route if we can avoid it.

He's also suggested that I back off the Bosu Ball classes I've been taking until we get things going well again.  I realized the other day that I've probably had the most pain during these classes than during any other type of exercise.  Which makes sense considering your foot is very, very unstable and the foot is prone to over-stretching the arch on the bosu.  However I'm clear to do any other types of activity as long as I don't see and increase in pain.

As such, and in honor of a few rare rays of sunshine .... I decided to go out for a run after work.  I've only got 10 days until my 10K run.  I'm calling it a run, not a race, because to me it is not a race. I decided to take my big dog and go out to my favourite trail.

As luck would have it, on my way home from work we got hit with a nasty little spring shower - complete with thunder and lightning.  I waited a bit, then drove out there, and ended up sitting in the car for about 20 minutes waiting for the storm to pass.

Eventually it did, and we managed a nice 6-7K run, with a rest and extended stretch session halfway through. It was nice.  While my feet felt good, my calves were noticeably tighter.  Will have to mention that at my next appointment.

Anyhow, it was a nice run and I felt good about it.  I also have a couple runs planned with friends this weekend too.  Love this feeling!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dates with the Devil

I know I haven't been around here in a while.  Thank you Fran for checking on me. :)

All is pretty good in my world.  Here's a bullet point list of what's going on with me:

* Had one glorious day of warm sunshine in March and took the doggies on a 3 hour walk.  Exhausted them, but we all enjoyed ourselves thoroughly!

* Went away for the weekend to visit my husband's friend for this 70th birthday.  It snowed a couple inches ... April Fools!  This spring has been weird.

* Also went camping for 5 days over the Easter weekend.  Weather was gorgeous and I went out for lots of walks with the dogs.  Despite the typical camping diet, I somehow managed to drop a couple pounds.  This seems to be typical for a while now.  Perhaps something is telling me I need to vacation more????

* Haven't attended as many fitness classes this past month.  Lots of stuff getting in the way and other pressing matters that had to be attended to.

* However ..... have done a couple runs (5K-ish).  A friend convinced me to try out a run club she found.  I've gone once.  The people seem nice, even if it did just end up that my friend and I ran alone.  I'll go to a few more before I decide if the group is for me or not.  But the positive thing is I've done some running!!!

* I'm strongly considering entering a small race.  The above group hosts a little run at a location I've never been to, but always wanted to go.  It's only $10 so I figure why not go and just do it.  I'm not in 10K shape so will be taking it slow and walking as necessary.  You're not even allowed watches for this race as they do a  prize for whoever can guess their time closest.  I will surely be well over an hour.

* The biggest positive .... I have FINALLY gotten myself into the massage therapist!  I've been struggling with significant foot pain for quite a while (a good year).  It's the same issue I've had for a while and if left it just gets worse and worse.  However, funds didn't allow me to go for most of last year so I pushed it aside, and also didn't do any self treatment which was downright stupid.  Recently it's been really bad and I was struggling to get through short walks, runs were excruciating, and had to stretch frequently during fitness classes.  My therapist said I'm developing plantar faciitis. If you look at what causes it, there are many factors that I fall under, including:

- very tight calf muscles
- overpronation
- not wearing supportive footwear at all times (yes I run in good shoes, but my daily shoes are crap)
- overweight (duh, this seems to be a no-brainer)

I've been in for a couple treatments now and have at least a couple more to go, but I'm already seeing significant improvement.  My therapist did use this tool (I'll have to find out what it's called) as he said I have a fair amount of scar tissue in my arch.  Let me tell you ... this thing is the DEVIL, but an Angel at the same time.  The first time he used it I literally bit my arm and held in the biggest cursing spree ever.  It was easily the most pain I have EVER felt.  The 2nd session I was a little more prepared, but it still hurt SO much.  I told him repeatedly how much I hate him.  He smiled :).  But whatever that tool is, it seems to have made a big difference because I'm in way less discomfort already and have minimal to no pain in the morning for the last few days.

I know once I get through this more intensive treatment I will have to go in on a regular basis for maintenance. This shouldn't be a problem from now on.  I have a date with the devil today ... yay! ( <---- sarcasm)

So that's where I'm at right now.  I am still desperately seeking that running spark, but at least the flame is still there.