It is finished.
My foot, that is.
Sigh . . .
I kind of figured this day would come. I just kept pushing until it did.
After I ran 3 miles on Sunday, my foot hurt all day long, with every step I took. I got up the next morning and I thought, “That’s it. I’m done.”
I haven’t run since.
And it still hurts.
Despite all my icing, stretching, chiropractic therapies, to say nothing of the $$$ I have spent on proper footwear, I have to finally admit defeat. I will have to stop running for a time and allow my foot to heal.
I realized when talking to my trainer on Tuesday (we do strength training workouts, no running) why I am so resistant to taking time off.
She told me the story of how she took 2 months off of all forms of exercise at one point to allow a torn Achilles to heal. She of course went back to running as soon as she was cleared and has since run several marathons.
She told me her story and said, “A couple months really isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things.”
I get that. I do, but this is what I realized.
I have never my life taken a week off of exercising — much less a month — and gone back to what I was doing before. It is like once I stop, I can’t seem to get going again. I can think of probably 10 times that I started a regular exercise program of some sort, did it consistently for several months, and then got sick or went on vacation and never went back to the exercising — usually for years.
I am terrified that if I take a month off of running, I will never go back to it. I can see myself in a few years saying wistfully, “Yeah, I used to be a runner once. I might start again . . . some day.”
And I will slowly let everything I’ve gained in the past three years go to pot.
It is that constant fear of failure that drives me out the door in the rain, cold, and heat to log the miles. And also what prompts me to be one of those annoying people who share so often on Instagram and Facebook when I meet a new goal or just have a good run.
Every day that I get back from a run that I completed, it is one more day that I didn’t quit.
This morning I went to an orthopedist and left with instructions not to run for at least one month. He prescribed what I feel is a pretty aggressive treatment plan. You tell me what you think.
For the next 4 weeks — no running (I didn’t ask about other forms of exercise; I guess I need to clarify that), Naproxen (an anti-inflammatory), and physical therapy 2-3 times a week including Iontophoresis.
And he wants me to get bone scan to rule out a stress fracture in my calf (he’s not worried about a stress fracture in my foot.)
Then after 4 weeks, we re-evaluate. If I’m not better, we will consider a steroid injection.
Which I have a good mind to request right now. But I guess I have to cooperate and see if his other method works first.
I’m not thrilled with the idea of taking an anti-inflammatory. He even asked if I’ve ever had ulcers. I don’t, but I do have gastritis and reflux issues I am always trying to manage with diet. I generally steer clear of NSAIDS for that reason.
I think the bone scan is unnecessary, and that requires a certain amount of radiation, yes?
And then I have no clue what iontophoresis entails, but it sounds uncomfortable. I hated electrical stimulation when the chiropractor did that. Does anyone know if there are any risks involved? They have to apply some sort of medicine for that.
My only other option at this point is to go back to my chiropractor and see if his methods will heal my foot if I agree to stop running for him too. I do credit him with getting me through that half marathon with minimal pain. My foot pain has gotten much worse since the half marathon, and I’m logging way fewer miles than I was when I was training. And remember how the first few days afterwards, I didn’t have any pain at all? Even when I traipsed all over the hospital in flimsy shoes?? It’s only gotten worse since I’ve reduced my running and gotten better shoes. The only other thing that has changed is no chiropractor.
But unfortunately, my insurance won’t cover any more of those visits, and I can’t afford the out of pocket charges. Or, more accurately, I don’t want to make the necessary sacrifices in other areas of the budget. Heh.
So. I think I’m gonna suck it up, do everything this orthopedist is telling me to do, and then when I’m cleared to run, I will have someone come to my house and force me out the door if I seem remotely reticent to start running again.
And truthfully, I think I’ll be raring to go. As hard as it is to convince myself to go running some days, it is much harder to see people out running when I’m not allowed for some reason. Despite my fears, I think the running bug is here to stay. At least, I hope so.
My WORST fear is that the second I start back up again, the plantar fasciitis will come back.
Everyone I talk to says it may, and it may not. There’s no way to know, but I suppose if it does return, I may be able to nip it in the bud, whereas I let this situation go on for far too long (almost a year!!) before seeking medical treatment.
Meanwhile, I wait. And go stir crazy.
I guess I should just look at the bright side. This time of year is SO busy, it’s hard to fit in my exercise, so I may as well take a break and resume when life slows down a bit in January. Happily, it doesn’t get THAT cold around here, and I kinda like running in the wintertime.
So. That is my sad song.