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Middle-Aged Runner Banes ...

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:00am
Middle-Aged Runner Banes

Doc Hipmama was right: I have the middle aged runner overuse bane known as plantar fascitis. This is an inflammation and stiffening of the thick band of tissue that runs down the center of the foot-another connective band in my body that has gone the way of beef jerky. I don't know why I'm quick to assume I've got a broken bone when I've never broken anything and I drink lots of milk and eat cheese like the wholesome Midwestern girl that I am. ;-) No, my runner banes have to do with my inner connective bands petrifying or otherwise getting riled up in some fashion.

It really doesn't make sense that I got this when I did because I'm not in a period of high mileage. The sports doc was baffled that this came on so suddenly, but there were other subtle signs that I had "foot issues" for which I was in total denial. I would deny to the gates of hell that I had the morning hobble, which is a hallmark sign of plantar fasciitis. I didn't have any hobble or stiffness of my feet, but for the last two years I've had a complete intolerance to going barefoot or even clad in a pair of socks. I chocked that up to my cold extremities born of my Raynaud's condition (hot in the middle but cold on the ends) being the reason for reaching for my shoes in the morning. I would beg my friends to let me keep on my shoes if they had one of those "take off your shoes before entering the hallowed halls of creamy white carpet" house policies. Truth is: my feet felt funny without the support of a heel. My ultra high suspension bridge like arches, need support or they feel stiff. Plantar fascitis tends to strike the obese or the foot-freak extremes, the flat footed or the high suspension arched runner and it favors, as well, the middle aged athlete hell bent on slowing the aging process by running long distances.

The only other runner injury I've dealt with is periodic flareups of I-T band syndrome, AKA that bad boy, the I-T Band Man. I've worked for the last year on strengthen everything connected to the band spanning hips and knees, going religiously to the Master Sean to strenghten my body against further assaults. Figures now that I toughen up one part of my body, another is exposed to attack. That's how it goes with running; unless you are dutiful and concentrated in your strengthening efforts to cover everything at once, these things happen with runners. I can peruse my blog roll and pick out at any one time a handful of runners dealing with a running injury. Runners are a motivated lot, however, and we are very good about doing the things necessary to get back to running. I wouldn't dare keep running through this, because the long term is important to me. Plantar fasciitis can be a chronic and haunting bane that will seriously curb my running goals if I ignore it.

Runners seek physician care frequently for their running injuries, yes, and the non-runner might think that's futile, stupid, and surmise that running is bad for you, but running will keep you out of the hospital for the human banes of mankind that will really kill you, like heart disease and diabetes. So, runners are the smart ones.

I bet you thought I'd be boo-hooing about not being able to run. I think the worst of it is not having the company of my running friends, but we can always get together and talk about running. Thankfully, I've diverted to the swimmer in me for getting my aerobic needs met, so I will use the extra morning time, not spent running--blogging instead! When one plate of the spinning routine is out of commission, then others get more attention. This could be a good thing.

The doctor told me to take 7-10 days off running until I can walk without feeling pain and then I can try ultra slow jogging. I've been icing, rolling my arch over a baseball, stretching, taking Ibuprofen and swimming these last 3 days. I've got a session of deep tissue torture scheduled for Thursday, hopefully delivered at the strong hands of some hunky physical therapist with a nice smile and strong hands. Reminds me, maybe I better spruce up my feet a bit...shave off the accumulated calluses of that winter 50K and cut my toenails, at least. For today, the glass is half full.
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