I headed out to Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park for three days before the snow starts to fly and the lake freezes over. Here’s what happened!
Since my return to running from my plantar fasciitis, I have been able to log about 125km’s over 18 runs for a total time of 13 hours. My plan was not to run on consecutive days in order to not aggravate my foot. That seems to have worked, although the odd longer run has caused a bit of discomfort post run, but nothing that a bit of stretching and ice hasn’t been able to take care of.
I’m now thinking about ramping up my runs, with a possible goal of the Calgary Marathon next May, should everything continue as it has over the last month or so. This is the race I was training for when the PF took hold two weeks before last years event.
One thing I have noticed in my runs so far, which for the most part have been at a slower pace, is that my average heart rate is about 10 bpm higher than when I was at my peak training level. I’m hoping that as I get back into running shape that this average will come down.
I’ve also been restocking my winter running clothes closet. I picked up a Lululemon Metal Vent Tech long sleeve shirt to use as a base layer but I like it so much it has become my go to running shirt with the cooler temperatures we have been getting. My plan, once it starts to get below freezing is to wear a MEC T2 long sleeve merino zip top over this and then my outer layer is going to be a MEC Obsession jacket that I have worn a couple of times and I really like. All of my running has been done in New Balance Vazee Pace shoes which despite their light as a feather weight, seem to be working for me so far. I really like them!
However, with the good progress I’ve made thus far, I still remain cautiously optimistic.
It had been 96 days since my last run. May 17th to be exact. The plantar fasciitis was so bad I had to shut down. On August 22nd, having not run for over 3 months, I finally felt good enough to test my right foot again. It was a slow, 25 minute trot, but a good one that gave me some very cautious optimism for the future. I’ve run twice since, 30 and 35 minutes around the neighbourhood and I am relatively happy with the physical results.
What I missed about not running; cars that glide through stop signs making right turns, my music, the freedom, cars that stop almost all the way through intersections, the sweat, foam rolling and post run coffee.
Fortunately for me, despite the increased quantities of beer consumed over this hot summer, added together with my lack of running, I only put on about 5 pounds over where I was when I stopped running. I had done a fair bit of bike riding as well as a couple of long camping related hikes. I hope to keep the bike riding up (30 minutes to work) as long as I can until winter won’t let ride anymore.
My recovery from PF, although in no way complete was aided by a pretty intense physio program. That has ended and I am now trying to follow a self regulated program of stretching the PF and strengthening the foot and ankle. I was also told I needed to wear orthotics. I had some custom made and have worn them pretty much all the time except when wearing sandals (which really has been most of the time). I am however, not convinced I need them to run, or to wear them on a permanent basis. Having done a lot of research, I am of the mindset that an orthotic, while it can provide immediate, temporary relief really doesn’t cure the problem. Hence my strength and stretching program to get my foot up to grade. Right now, I have no pain from the PF, but my ankle feels like it has a sprain. I believe this is from turning my foot outward to compensate for the pain of the PF when it was at its worst.
I am confident enough about my ability to continue running that I went into a new shoe. I was due for a new pair anyway. I had worn Brooks Ghosts for the training period leading up to my aborted attempt of the Calgary marathon and prior to that I was an Asics guy. When I was looking at shoes this time, I was hoping to go into an Asics Nimbus but the shop didn’t carry them. I was asked to try a New Balance Vazee Pace. Wow! Light, comfortable and a much lower price than the Nimbus. I took the bright orange ones home.one point to note is that I have moved from a stability shoe to a neutral one, of which both the Ghosts and Vazee are.
I believe the reason the PF started in the first place was because I had put too much mileage into my training. I really liked the program, and if I can get to the point of training for a spring marathon again, I will just back it off a bit and follow a less intense level of the same program. My nutrition on the other hand is questionable at best and is the one area that needs the most improvement. But beer is so darn good!
Went for a 2 night trip up the valley. Here’s the report…
Still not being able to do any running because of my on going plantar fasciitis problem, I took off to Jasper for a couple of days. Here’s what happened on one of the days;
Two weeks before the Calgary Marathon, 856 training km’s, 90 training hours, 16 weeks into an 18 week training plan, I have to shut it down.
You know you have to shut it down when you have to go down the stairs in the morning on your butt because you can’t put any pressure on your foot.
I thought I could run through it. Running wasn’t really the issue, until yesterday. It really only hurt when I was inactive. I was getting used to feeling that marble in my right heel. Yesterday started out good. A little cool, sunny with a light breeze. My foot was a bit sore to start but that usually worked itself out as the foot warmed up. About an hour and a half into my long run I noticed my gait had changed, I was limping slightly and my foot was noticeably sore. I started to think about what I really didn’t want to tell myself. I kept going but at about the 2 hour mark, my heel was feeling like a ground up meatball. I stopped and walked a couple hundred metres then started my run again. It only lasted a few strides. I knew it then. I cried a bit.
Then I did something I have never done. I called my wife to come and pick me up. I cried when I got in the car. The pain and frustration hit me.
16 weeks and 856 km’s over 90 hours!
I noticed my foot getting sore mid to late March. I’ve been through this before. But I wasn’t training for anything back then, it was just running. And I was able to fix the problem and get back running. But this time I was doing so good, my training was working. My weight had come down. I was encouraged. But that heel slowly got worse, and I wouldn’t listen. I tried to fix the problem while still continuing to train. But we all know that is hard to to. The only way to fix the problem is to shut it down. So I have.
I am hanging onto a very small glimmer of hope. I will not run for the next week and a half. I will ride the bike and I will treat my heel accordingly. If, on May 27 I cannot run without pain I will throw in the towel. That’s the date I can cancel my hotel without penalty.
Was it too much mileage? Was it a change in shoes? Stubbornness? Of course it was all three combined.
My focus now is healing my right foot. Getting good to run on it again. Then possibly to think about the Okanagan.