Mile Markers: Training Ups and Downs

Mile Markers: Running Ups and Downs

This week’s training marked two things: a transition back into training after a couple post-race recovery weeks and a diagnosis of minor plantar fasciitis.

I experienced some tightness in my heel over the past few months. The tightness kept returning on and off over a few months, although never during a run and never severe. I was fairly convinced that the tightness in my heel wasn’t plantar fasciitis, as I didn’t experience the telltale symptoms of pain in the foot upon rising from bed. During plyometrics (single leg hops) one day at the gym a couple weeks ago, the tightness turned to an ache and so I decided (ie Ryan talked some reason into me) to make an appointment with my podiatrist. We figured that it was better to be overly cautious than wind up with a full-blown injury. 

 My podiatrist ruled out any spurs or fractures with an X-ray and concluded, based on the symptoms and how my foot felt, that I have a very minor case of plantar fasciitis, likely related to damage to the ligaments on my arch after I sprained my foot and shifted my cuboid bone last spring combined with high arches and neglecting to stretch my calves enough.  It’s an early case and with at-home treatment, I should be able to nip it in the bud. Since I didn’t have pain during running, I could run as long as I didn’t drastically increase my mileage and didn’t experience any pain while running.  I have a checklist on my phone to remind me to follow the recovery protocol each day, including icing, stretching, taping, wearing supportive shoes all day, and caution in my mileage for now. 

Mile Markers: Training Ups and Downs

My treatment is conservative, but I am being diligent in following it in order to prevent the PF from becoming a full-blown injury. I have a checklist on my phone to remind me to follow the recovery protocol each day, including icing, stretching, taping, arch strengthening, wearing supportive shoes all day, and caution in my mileage for now. That’s all fine and good – I’m just excited to get that low dye tape off so I don’t have to blow dry my foot after each shower. 

Monday: 7 mile tempo run & 30 minutes strength training

After two weeks of just easy running, I was eager to do a hard workout again. Despite being the first day of spring, it was cold on this run! I did a tempo run with intervals at the end: 2 miles up, 3 miles at tempo pace, 5 minutes easy run, and 4 x 1 minute at 1 mile to 2 mile pace sprinkled over the remainder of the cool down. 

Mile Markers: Training Ups and Downs

My strength training workout was more haphazard since I forgot my kettlebell at home, but overall I got in a good weight lifting session. It feels really good to be back in the habit of regular strength training! 

Tuesday: 35 minutes Pilates

Pilates is my favorite workout for the day after a hard run and two-a-day workout. It’s low-impact and low-intensity and provides just enough stretch for tight muscles, but the hard core work also keeps a rest day from feeling too sluggish. 

Wednesday: 7 mile run 

Ollie and I ran 7 miles together – his farthest run yet! He’s taking to distance running very well and he looks incredibly strong on the run. I’m already excited to have him as a running buddy for mid-week longer runs during marathon training in the fall! 

Mile Markers: Training Ups and Downs

Thursday: 3 mile run + 40 minutes strength training

Ryan and I began our day with a short recovery run. Later in the day, I had my podiatrist appointment. I was so relieved when the X-rays showed healthy bones! Even with the news of minor PF, I was relieved to know what was wrong, glad to have a plan of action, and super happy that I could keep running as I was. 

Mile Markers: Training Ups and Downs

After the appointment, Ryan and I went to the gym to strength train. I substituted kettebell swings for plyometrics but otherwise did the same resistance band strength routine that I shared last week. I finished up my strength training with a short advanced Pilates routine. Even though I’ve been doing Pilates for 10 years now (longer than I’ve been running!), I finally was able to touch my toes to the floor during the rollover

Friday: 4 mile run 

I wanted to run 8 miles, but I decided to keep my run short once I started. The low dye tape felt tight around my foot during the run, so I opted not to push it. The nurse who taped me up cautioned that the tape might feel tight the first day or so. I wasn’t 100% sure though if the tightness could be linked to the plantar fasciitis or just the tape, and mentally I was extra paranoid about my foot, so I played it safe and cut my run in half. 

For all my optimism the previous day, I had some mild panic about my PF on Friday. I spent way too much time reading about it online, which is never the solution. Everyone’s case with an injury is different, especially because inflammation can range from minor to debilitating. 

Saturday: 6 mile run

The tape on my foot loosened up and I was able to comfortably run on Saturday. Ryan and I took the dogs out for a 6 mile easy run through the wine valley. I love the hints of spring that are emerging: sunny skies, warmer weather, and the cherry blossom tree blooming. 

Mile Markers: Training Ups and Downs

Sunday: Rest Day

We ended up delaying our final snowboarding day of the season by another weekend. Ryan ran his highest mileage week ever and I wanted to baby my foot some more, so we decided on a full rest day. I need a second pair of running shoes in the rotation (other than my Peregrines, which are reserved for winter and trails), so we went to a local running store so I could try on the new Saucony Freedoms. The Kinvaras are an excellent everyday trainer and long distance shoe for me, but I want something for speedwork and shorter races, since my final pair of Brooks Pure Connects reached their end at the end of marathon training last fall. I really like the Freedoms – they were cushioned and springy, a good complement to the firm and responsive profile of the Kinvara. 

How was your weekend?
Have you ever dealt with plantar fasciitis?

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26 Responses

  1. Dang. I was hoping you wouldn’t have PF although I’m glad it’s not a stress fracture or anything. It looks like you’re doing all the right things to get it healed up fast. I started to get it a couple of months ago but as soon as I got my feet into my Birkenstocks and kept them there (around the house), it healed up quite quickly. I hope yours does the same! And way to go Ollie! That’s a solid run!

    1. I was so relieved it wasn’t a stress reaction. I just got my Birkenstocks, so hopefully they help as well!
      And Ollie ran 18 miles last week! I’m training him up to handle marathon training with me in the fall and be my running buddy for those mid-week 10 milers.

  2. Ive been really intrigued by the freedoms ever since they came out. Im not running enough mileage to justify buying any more shoes right now! Im glad you can still run with the PF. I had it in 2007 but was given orthotics at the time. I didnt know anything about foam rollers or taping back then!

  3. I’m glad you are doing ok! I’ve never had PF and from the horror stories I’ve heard from friends who have, I don’t ever want it. I spent the weekend worrying about my fibula and consulting the internet. Not good at all. At least I won’t be too surprised if I get the diagnosis of stress fracture then! Ugh.

    1. Thank you! The horror stories scare me also and my podiatrist had to rationally talk me through how mild mine was. I hope you figure out what’s wrong and that it’s not a stress fracture!

    1. Oh I didn’t get them yet! I just tried them on and then I will do a typical me of debating them for a while until I order them online. They are so comfy and the 4mm drop works well for me!

  4. You get extra credit for being so good about catching an injury early and even cutting back on mileage. Good for you! I also love that Ollie had his longest run yet – so great!!! I cannot wait to get Star out there for just 1 mile ?

    1. Thank you so much! I can’t wait for Star to be old enough for you to run her! I used the run/walk method to train Charlie, but Ollie just took to it – and I am sure she will as well!

  5. Hoping that you guys have nipped it in the bud by getting after it early. Glad you were still able to run! I’ve had a case of what we thought was PF a few years ago. Still not sure if it really was, though.

  6. I’m glad to hear that your injury isn’t more serious! That always scares me when I feel a weird pain. I hope it goes away really quickly 🙂

  7. I’ve never had PF… that’s one of the few injuries I haven’t had, it seems. It’s good you can run through it and even train through it with the tempo (I’m never lucky enough to get injuries I could train through, even if I could run I had to take it easier). It was really smart of you to go to the doc and get X-rays ASAP, and totally fine to take some down time or easy days now since your race is over and you had a big PR. I’ve only had KT Tape before but it seemed to help my knee when I had that issue. Some people really swear by taping though so maybe that will help you!

    1. Thank you! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep up training as normal through it, although I am putting an upper cap on my volume and being more conservative in my workouts until it is better.

  8. My hubby suffers from PF off and on, so I know how painful that can be! So glad it’s minor and you caught it early!
    Thanks for being so positive and motivational!!

    1. Thank you! I have heard that it can be painful (and I’m sorry to hear that your husband suffers from it!), so I am glad to have a plan to hopefully prevent it.

  9. I dealt with PF many, many years ago (and I was not even running). Yes, it can be extremely painful. Glad to hear you are taking the proactive steps now to avoid things going to wonky.

    Weekend was good. It was so nice to run in sunshine on Saturday.

  10. I had a similar foot issue happening to me in late Dec. I could barely go for a walk even, my feet were hurting so much. I also thought it may be plantar. My chiropractor gave my feet a few adjustments, I started to stretch my calves daily and rolling the bottom of my feet with a pinky ball. All helped, but the game changer for me was a recommendation to change my running shoes to a brand called Hoka One One’s. I would highly suggest you check them out. I have been running pain free ever since.

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