This post has been a long time coming. I haven’t written since I found out my foot wasn’t fractured, and I was instead dealing with plantar fasciitis. There were many reasons for the hiatus, the first being that I didn’t run for a couple months in order to fully heal, and so, I couldn’t figure out what to write about. Then grad school took over my life. I took two difficult courses this semester and finding time in between classes, work, and trying to maintain a tiny social life hasn’t left much time for anything else.
Then, last, but certainly not least, my relationship has been anything but stable these past few months, and finally culminated in the two of us deciding that it was time to end things a few weeks ago. Things ended amicably, but that didn’t make it any easier. As such, these past few weeks have been a whirlwind of just trying to make it through work, the end of the semester, projects and papers, as well as making sure I eat something, all without becoming a never ending bucket of tears. Because while I’ll be the first to admit that crying and expressing your emotions is healthy, normal, and at times necessary, it’s not exactly helpful when it’s midnight and you have a 25 page paper due the next day.
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, I ended up taking some time off to allow my foot to fully rest and heal. As a result I lost all the cardio I had built up and when I went back out to run it was not pretty! My mile is extremely slow, and I’m lucky if I don’t have to stop before I finish a mile because my foot has started hurting. Then if I do finish mile one without having to stop, I for certain won’t make it through the second mile without stopping. I may be too sensitive to the pain right now, but I’m really trying not to push it, so at the first sign of pain I’m stopping to walk. Still I’m trying hard not to get discouraged and I’m not focusing on my speed or distance. I’m taking the little victories as they come and I’m just happy to be out there running when I can.
Even with my slow progress, I can tell my foot is getting better and it’s being able to withstand more and more each time I get out there. Plus I’m improving my form and I can tell that it’s helping. It’s easier to run this way and I can tell it’s an improvement. As much as developing plantar fasciitis was beyond frustrating it has also opened up my eyes to so much, and I’ve learned a lot about running and my body.
This is something I’ve dealt with my whole life and never had a name for. Anyone who has experienced plantar fasciitis can probably say that describing it as someone jabbing a knife in the middle of your foot is pretty accurate. I have experienced this pain since I was a child, and whenever I complained about it, it was never taken seriously. So naturally, I thought everyone experienced the pain of a knife in their foot when they walked for prolonged periods of time! It’s actually kind of nice to know that what I was feeling had a name, and that I wasn’t overreacting about the pain.
Wearing the right shoes, and taking care of your feet, even when you’re not running is super important. I got custom orthotics for my feet, and have spent I don’t even know how many hours (and money!), finding shoes that are plantar fasciitis friendly (and cute!) for the summer. Throwing out my, extensive (and unsupportive), shoe collection is going to be the next (painful) step.
Running really isn’t about how fast or how far you can go. It comes down to the fact that even if you’re in pain, your body is out there, moving, and it’s doing something pretty amazing. So it’s even more important to listen to the messages it’s sending and not get discouraged when it can’t go as far as your mind wants to take it. You’ll get there eventually, and celebrating the small victories along the way makes it an even greater journey.
I can’t promise the updates to the blog will be religiously regular, but I’m back for now, and ready to get right back out there running!