Meet My Newest Enemy: Plantar Fasciitis

Over the weekend, while competing at the AKC National Agility Championships, I developed a sharp pain in my left heel. It just wouldn’t go away and affected how I was running the courses. I knew I had to get into the doctor as soon as I returned to Lexington, so off I went Tuesday morning for X-rays, crossing my fingers there wasn’t another stress fracture…

Nope. No stress fracture. No heel spur. You’d think I’d be relieved, but when the nurse practitioner said “plantar fasciitis” my heart sunk: I’ve heard of plantar fasciitis (PF) literally stopping people in their tracks, causing their lives to run right by them as they hobbled around. I don’t want that to be me. After all, I lead a very active and hectic life–I don’t have time to sit on the couch and ice my heel. I have a half-marathon that I registered for back in December and have been training for since then. I have 13.1 miles to conquer in 24 days. I have dogs to walk, agility training to do, trials to enter (thankfully no more trials until mid-May, but still…), and the Kentucky Derby to work with photographers. I don’t have time to be lame…again. (Last April I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my right foot, causing me to stop training for a 10K and wear a walking boot for five weeks, including during the Kentucky Derby.)

So what is a girl to do that might, or might not, have PF? I went to RiteAid and purchased some insoles for your heels (and says it helps those with PF) as well as some athletic tape to help tape support on my arch for the time-being. A friend recommended I go to John’s Run Walk Shop and talk with them about my PF and purchase these expensive insoles that she swears by. I will, but it’ll have to wait until I have the money to afford $40-50 insoles, and whatever else I intend to purchase there (I’ve been meaning to get some BodyGlide and some Sport Beans…).

Until then, I have an informational sheet from my doctor with some stretches and exercises, as well as icing and massage instructions. I know rest is most likely the best medicine I can do for my heel to heal (haha), but I’m afraid I’m going to get behind on my running training for the half marathon (did I mention it’s in 24 days?).

Last night I tried a spinning class (it was very hard to walk into the climate controlled gym when it was sunny and warm after work…I wanted to run so bad) because I knew I needed cardio work, and I had hope that wouldn’t cause much stress to my tendon. After an intense upper body weight session, I headed into the spinning studio. About halfway through I started to feel a slight irritation in my heel–no bueno. I finished the class, though, and stretched lightly.

So…what else can I do to help heal my heel, while still prepping for my race?


One thought on “Meet My Newest Enemy: Plantar Fasciitis

  1. I hear rolling with a lacrosse ball, ping pong ball or tennis ball along that muscle helps. There’s a sports doctor group called Airrosti–they are nationally known–and they specialize in getting athletes back to training ASAP using some targeted myofacial release. I’ve been to them, my husband has too and a fellow runner was the one that recommended them. They are pricey–a lot more than those insoles–but they could get you back to training in 3 sessions. PF seems to be a common problem, but you can recover from it! Good luck!

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