Tag Archives: plantar fasciitis

The Pickle Ruins

Suck in, squeeze, breathe.

Suck in, squeeze, breathe.

The warm wind washing my face, freedom. The light tapping of my shoes as they hit the pavement, freedom. My thoughts, not on my surroundings, but on every movement I make, every twitch of my left foot, every second without a fiery scream, freedom.

After weeks of no running, none, and hardly any walking, today my feet were finally given permission to once again feel the security of their sneakers totally enclosing their flesh.

Freedom!

Freedom!

And the freedom, ohhhh the freedom. It wasn’t Chariots of Fire or Gonna Fly Now or even Survivor filling the music in my heart. Nope, I had full on George Michael:

For several weeks, almost as long as I’ve been absent from the blog, I have been encumbered by a foot injury. It is still unclear as to what exactly that injury is. I initially thought it was plantar fasciitis, but Miss Physio quickly poo poohed that. (Thank gawd!) My foot muscles are so tightly knotted, my ankle, calf, thigh and pelvis too, causing my foot to shift outwards and my heel inwards,  almost like a clenched claw that refuses to relax. And that’s not all. I have no core strength (no surprise there), and as such I am putting undo pressure on my hips, causing undo pressure on everything else. And it’s finally caught up with me.

The heel of my foot has been on fire for weeks. I have endured rounds of intramuscular stimulation (IMS) therapy in varying regions of my calf as well as my pelvis. IMS is acupuncture-like needles being injected into the sensitive areas to release the tightness. It feels like 5,000 bouncing Charlie horses pummelling you at once!

I’ve had deep tissue massage to pretty much all the areas listed above. And I’ve been given strict instructions on how to walk.

What?

Yep, that’s right folks, I don’t know how to walk. Not sure how long I haven’t been walking right, but my guess is about 25 years… when a boy at diabetic camp told me I walked like I had a pickle stuck up my butt!!! I blame him, because apparently that’s how you’re supposed to walk. Suck in that belly, tuck in that butt, straighten that torso, no arch, no hip sway. Jerkface!

You've got to learn to walk before you can run.

You’ve got to learn to walk before you can run.

And what do you know, as soon as I started doing it, the tension around the heel started to ease. Who knew? Oh right, everyone!

I went for my first run today. It was just a quick 4 km, 25 minute jaunt. It was hard to go a slow pace, I was so excited to be out there. It wasn’t perfect. It took a few minutes for my feet to warmup, to feel somewhat comfortable again with the motion. It wasn’t perfect. My left foot wasn’t completely at ease even when warmed up. It wasn’t perfect. I kept having to remind myself to suck in the belly, squeeze the butt, breathe. It wasn’t perfect.

But it was running.

My happy.

My happy.

Plan B

I didn’t puke, but oh man, I thought for sure I’d pee my pants. Yesterday morning I discovered I was going up in a plane for work; a fast-paced, high-flying, stomach-stuck-in-your-throat aerobatic plane. And while I love roller-coasters, no roller-coaster I have ever been on has outlined a Plan B – involving a parachute no less! – prior to boarding “in case of catastrophe!”

The pilot, Super Dave, (seriously, he had to pick that name? I’m already freaking out and now I’m thinking of Super Dave Osborne’s many failed stunts) kept trying to tell me how to work the parachute, telling me it was important to look at the lever before pulling, and I kept saying “But we’re not going to have to use that right? Right?”


Note to self: next time I fly, don’t wear a skirt … in my defense, I did not know when I dressed that morning I would be flying and would require a parachute to be strapped over my shoulders and up through my legs. Awesome!

The fact that Super Dave looked a bit like Lance Armstrong helped me put some trust in him. As we flew high in the sky, I started taking in the picturesque scene before me, Mt. Baker to one side of me and the Fraser River to the other, and I started thinking this wasn’t so bad, it was actually quite beautiful. So, I relaxed. I unclenched my guts, released my fists, stopped biting my lower lip. Big mistake.

The plane sped up, like super duper fast, and we were heading straight into the face of a tree-lined mountain. With me in the front seat, I started freaking out that maybe he couldn’t see that mountain, how could he possibly see it, and if he could see it, why the heck were we going mock speed towards it? I squeezed my eyes shut, grabbed hold of that parachute lever, and prayed to every god I could think of, promising them anything if only they would keep me alive. The world started spinning. Holy crap! I screamed into the microphone. Super Dave laughed. “Did you like that?” he asked. “Want to do it again?”

Twenty minutes of barrel rolls, him flipping the plane to one side and then quickly reefing it over to the other, drawing happy faces in the sky, and speeding straight down to the ground, left my queasy guts stuck in my throat for hours after. It also left the biggest smile plastered to my face.

From Super Dave’s website:

(For the full article on my experience, click this link: Up, up and away with Super Dave)

YESTERDAY’S RUN:

  • 5:45 p.m. BG before: 7.4 (2 Swedish Berries)
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (1 hour)
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Average pace: 6:05 min/km
  • Time: 36:38
  • 6:30 p.m. BG after: 4.6
  • Temp. basal: +30 per cent (30 minutes)

Well, that wasn’t exactly one of my most favourite runs. Almost right from the get-go I was wanting to turn around. My calves were burning and the arch of my left foot was so tight, I feared the onset of plantar fasciitis, something I had a few years back, and something I hope never to have again. I had planned on running hills, but I was arguing, negotiating, berating myself the whole 2.8 km out, until finally I stopped mid step and said enough!

I was already halfway into the run, I knew I didn’t want to do hills, but I also knew I didn’t want to quit and plod back the way I’d plodded out. So, I made a deal with myself. No hill repeats in exchange for speed. The remaining  3.2 km, I ran a pace between 4:45 and 5:45 minutes per kilometre. And you know what, it felt great. The burning legs were gone, the tight hoof was gone, I was focused, I was fast. So, there you go, sometimes you just need to switch things up a bit.

Super Dave has his speed and Princess of Pavement has hers 😀