It’s been a while since my last post which is probably a good thing! Moody, non- running Tia can be a bit of a handful. Just ask my sweet husband. Taking a 3 month hiatus from marathon training and consistent running has been challenging but it was definitely necessary. As much as I hated the break I know it was good for me. Who knew I could function without being glued to a training schedule?!
Once you get into a training groove it is hard to give up that security. Honestly it was scary for me to let go this summer. I had been in such a strong, non-stop running cycle for so long (ok, years) that it was hard to let go and rest. Sure, I took a few days (or maybe even a full week) off after a marathon but for the most part I thrived on a steady stream of races. When my symptoms for plantar fasciitis started in May I knew I had to make a change.
The first big change was mileage. Typically I run 55-70 miles per week depending on my race schedule. Since May I’ve cut my mileage 50-75%. For the first 6 weeks my foot felt off when I tried to run so I didn’t run much. Gradually the “off” feeling went away and moved into feeling sore when I finished running. This phase lasted about a month. I’m finally in a place now where it doesn’t hurt during or after a run. There is a little soreness when I first get up after sitting down a while but it’s much better than it was. Two weeks ago my doctor gave the go ahead to start increasing mileage 10% each week.
Another big change was the type of running I did. With the exception of the two Grand Prix races I ran in June everything has been easy paced. The two Grand Prix races I did were not necessarily a good idea and I know they set me back in my recovery a little bit. This summer every run has been at easy pace. Boring, yes but I was honestly just thankful for the days I was able to run at all. There were also no long runs. The only double digit run I’ve had since May was my daughter’s birthday run on July 1st (which was easy paced).
To maintain fitness I did a lot of cross training- stationary bike and swimming. Going to the gym to ride also gave me some motivation to start lifting again so I’m back in a good strength training routine.
As for my recovery from plantar fasciitis I spent A LOT of time and effort on rehab! There have been days when it’s felt like a full-time job. There have also been days when I’ve felt like “what’s the point?” but for the most part I knew I had to keep trying. The internet is full of depressing posts and articles by runners who have been plagued by plantar fasciitis for years. I was determined that wouldn’t be me!
Below is a list of things I’ve done in no particular order.
I still have a LONG way to get back to where I was 3 months ago but I know that I’ll get there. In the big picture this was obviously not the worst thing that could happen. It wasn’t what I wanted or had in mind but it forced me to take a break and put things in perspective. God knows how to get my attention and I truly believe he gives me exactly what I need.
For the next few weeks and months I’ll be cautiously increasing my mileage as I rebuild my base. I’m relying on my coach for this because I know if it were left up to me I would most likely do too much too soon. I’m not racing at all this month (this is a big step for me!) so I can focus on recovery. Huge thanks to my husband for putting up with my moody non-running alter ego these past few months. He is the best!
Happy running and recovery!!