After running 14 miles this past Sunday, and then spending all afternoon walking around at the air show, I felt a slight ache in the arch of my right foot. I figured it was just due to a whole lot of time spent on my feet, and didn't think much of it.
And when I woke up Monday morning, sure enough, it felt fine. So I went ahead with my scheduled Tuesday track workout. This has become a really fun workout for me, as I've recruited three other women to join me every Tuesday at 6am. And this past week, there were actually 5 or 6 other runners there from the running club. Although we don't all run together, it helps to know you're not the only crazy one out there at dawn, running around in circles.
I didn't notice any pain at all during the workout, or even immediately after. It wasn't until later that afternoon that I noticed it, and it wasn't even all that bad. Just a slight ache. The thought of plantar fascitis did cross my mind, but I didn't want to get ahead of myself, so I tried to push that thought aside.
Then when I woke up Wednesday morning, I had the classic heel pain upon stepping out of bed - the hallmark of PF. It wasn't really bad, but it was definitely noticeable. And as the day went on, it became pretty clear that this wasn't just a case of my feet being sore and tired.
I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon rolling my foot on a tennis ball and a frozen water bottle, stretching my calves, and wearing my running shoes at all times (when I wasn't doing all that rolling). And by yesterday evening, it felt loads better.
When I got out of bed this morning, the running shoes went on immediately, and my foot has been feeling pretty good all day. No heel pain anymore - just a slight discomfort in the arch.
I'm repeating my icing/rolling routine today, though, and will try to do it again tomorrow, too.
But most importantly, I skipped the run I had planned today, and am going to pass on this weekend's long run, also.
I'm a little disappointed, but I also feel pretty confident that I caught this early enough, and am treating it aggressively enough, that hopefully it won't turn into a months-long nightmare of pain and no running (like the oodles and oodles of horror stories I've heard about PF).
I also feel fairly certain that I'll still be fine to run the Jamestown half next month. It's still several weeks away, and I have a great base built up, so even if I do end up having to take a week or two off, I should be able to complete the 13.1 without a problem. It might not end up being one of my faster half marathons, but since it's bound to be hot and humid (even at 6:30am), that probably would have been the case anyway.
It has taken a long, long time, but I have finally learned how to listen to my body. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way, but I don't think I'm the only runner who's ignored aches and pains that I shouldn't have ignored.
This time, though, I'm hoping that being smart and proactive pays off.
And in the interest of being optimistic, I do have to say that I'm glad this is happening right now, because
1. It's 90 degrees and 90% humidity, so being out there running would suck pretty bad.
2. I do have several summer races I'm looking forward to, but I'm not in serious training mode, so skipping a few runs feels far less stressful.
And 3. It's biking season! And the next best thing to a long run is a long bike ride. I'm planning at least 40 miles for Saturday. Because it just wouldn't be the weekend without a 2-hour-long workout : )