Monday, November 14, 2011

About Obstacles To Overcome

I have been a very luck person.  During this journey through my new lifestyle I have had no serious injuries to deal with.  A bout with ITBS a couple of years ago was quickly and swiftly dealt with.  When it first showed it's ugly side, I had three weeks before my first full marathon.  I finished it with no consequence. Today, I know what I must do to keep this from returning.

Some six weeks before Ironman Louisville my heel started hurting.  At first I thought that I had changed my running stride and was striking on my heel more than before.  I went to a shoe store and purchased new shoes with special inserts.  This seemed to help the issure, but not eliminate it.  As it appears, that was not the problem.

During the home stretch to Louisville, the pain did not go away.  It did not get worst, but it did not go away.  During the marathon portion of the Ironman, I knew the pain was there, but at that point it really didn't matter.  Nothing would keep me from crossing that finish line.

As it turns out, the pain in the heel just got more intense the weeks following Ironman.  Each and every time I would run, I would be rendered unable to barely walk for a day or two after.  An appointment with the doctor was made.

The diagnosis was, as I suspected, Plantar Fasciitis.  I was told that amongst other things I needed total rest from running.  The Plantar Fascia would need to heel and running would prevent this from happening.  I had a half marathon on my schedule for November 12th.  This I needed to run.

I had not run a step for two weeks prior to the Hard Rock Cafe Run For The Party Half Marathon in Nashville.  I had been swimming and spinning, but no running.  I was not sure what kind of a day I would have.  I had never showed up to the start of an event as I did that morning.  I felt the endurance would be there, that was not the issue.  I was not sure how the heel would behave.  It didn't.

The first eight miles were great.  I was running a 9:20 minute mile steadily.  I was feeling great.  And then the wheels, as they say, fell off.  The pain was so intense that by mile nine, more or less, I could hardly walk, let alone run.  But in true fashion, I ignored the pain as much as possible, and continued through.  I had to finish.

My original goal, when I signed up for this event, was to run my first sub two hour half in over four years.  With a plan from my coach, I started training for this and in my perception I was doing just fine.  That is until the pain started getting the best of me.

I adjusted my plan.  I wanted to do the half in 2:15.  Through the first eight or nine miles I was in pace to do just that.  By that was not to be.  My finish time was 2:22:43.  Missed my goal by seven minutes.

After the race I couldn't walk two steps without taking a rest.  By late afternoon walking was almost impossible.  Some ice, a foot massage and plenty of stretching helped the issue.  In the morning, the heel was rested so the pain was not as bad.

I have a very aggressive schedule on my wish list for next year.  I have already registered for the St. Jude's Country Music Half Marathon and there are plenty of others, amongst them the Gasparilla Half Marathon in Tampa, Fl., which I'd like to run with my brother.  This one is in early February.  Not sure this one will be possible, will have to wait and see.

As obstacles come and obstacles go, this one has to be addressed wisely.  I have been told that continuing to run on a damaged PlantarFascia could result in serious damage to my plans.  So the advise of the experts I will follow.  There will be no running for me at least through the end of the year.

So, in my immediate future I see plenty of swimming; not bad because my form could use lots of help.  Plenty of spin classes; not bad because I need to build my bike strength.  Plenty of visits to the weight room, not bad because this I like to do.

So, running and I will be reunited again in early 2012.


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