Over the weekend, I had what I call a “freak out” moment. I thought that I was dealing with an injury. I spent time researching it, coming up with a plan and writing a blog post about it. This is how the post began:
2 Words a Runner Fears……..
Do I dare say, “Plantar Fasciitis?!!”
On Facebook, I recently posted that my feet felt bruised. I also wrote in a recent blog post that I was having a little issue with my foot. Well, I do think that my feet were bruised as well as having an unhappy ankle.
This pain led me to believe that I may have plantar fasciitis. However, something just wasn’t right. It seemed that when I stretched and then iced, the pain would go away. I hadn’t heard of this nor read about this happening with plantar fasciitis. Another factor that didn’t add up was when I woke up yesterday, my feet felt great! I was under the impression that morning was when plantar fasciitis was the most painful.
Over the weekend, I bought a new pair of shoes and decided to take them on a trial run yesterday since my feet were feeling so good. When I started off, my feet were a little sore, but the pain was soon unnoticeable. The new shoes provided just what my feet needed, support and cushion.
I had a great run and felt relieved! After the run, I did a few of the exercises, stretched and iced. By the afternoon, I could feel a little soreness, but nothing like I had in the past few weeks. I don’t want to say that all the pain is gone. But, I think I found the source of the problem.
After letting out a deep sign of relief, I now think that I did bruise the bottom of my feet a few weeks ago and that they have been sore since. They may be sore until they have enough time to heal. Hopefully during my taper phase, which is coming up really soon, they will heal.
I have to take full responsibility for this issue/discomfort. I have always been one to keep an eye on my shoes’ mileage. Somehow, I racked up the mileage really fast and without being aware. I had over 400 miles on them which is a lot for those particular shoes and my body. I guess I’ll consider myself lucky if sore feet is all I have to deal with. It was definitely a rookie move on my part!
Starting tomorrow, I’ll be taking a 3 day running break which will give my feet a chance to rest. In addition, I’ll continue to do these stretches to help reduce the chance of getting plantar fasciitis.
- Calf Raises
Strengthens the tendons in your heels and calf muscles, which support your arch.
To Do: Raise up on the balls of your feet as high as possible. Slowly lower down. Do three sets of 10 reps. Progress to doing the raises on stairs (with heels hanging off), and then to single-leg raises.
- Step Stretch
Improves flexibility in your Achilles tendon and calf—when these areas become tight, the arch gets painfully overloaded.
To Do: Stand at the edge of a step, toes on step, heels hanging off. Lower your heels down, past the step, then raise back up to the start position. Do three sets of 10 reps.
Works the arch muscles and the tibialis posterior (in the calf and foot) to control excess pronation.
To Do: While standing, press your toes downward into the ground while keeping the heel planted, so that your foot forms an arch (or dome). Release, and do three sets of 10 reps on each foot.
- Toe Spread and Squeeze
Targets the interossei muscles of the foot, which support the arch.
To Do: While sitting, loop a small resistance band around your toes. Spread toes; release. Then place a toe separator (used at nail salons) in between toes. Squeeze toes in; release. Do three sets of 10 reps of each exercise on both feet.
- Towel Curls
Works the toe-flexor muscles that run along your arch to increase overall foot strength.
To Do: Lay a small hand towel on the floor, and place one foot on the towel. Using just your toes, scrunch the towel toward you, hold, then slowly push the towel away from you back to start position. Do three sets of 10 reps on each foot.
In case you’d like to read more about plantar fasciitis, here are some good links: