For the past three years I've been plagued with foot issues, the worst of which was tearing my plantar fascia right before my first Ironman in 2009 (I did the race anyway). That foot has healed beautifully, but the opposite foot has become a chronic pain. My comeback in 2010 was pretty incredible and I thought I was on the right track, but then 2011 felt like a struggle to survive. Every run felt like it could easily be the last, and Ironman Wisconsin in September was the last. After several months off I was ready to go and things seemed fine... until last Friday.
My marathon training has been pretty spotty so I buckled down and stopped skipping workouts. I had a really solid week, logging 23 miles by Friday with no issues at all. But after Friday's long run, I spent hours on my feet packing and getting ready for a weekend trip, then ran for a train in flip flops carrying three big bags. When I stood up after the train ride I could barely walk. I always hobble a little after a long run, but this was ridiculous. I almost couldn't even handle a limp. It was only marginally better by Saturday and reduced to my usual stiffness by Sunday. Things were looking up.
Plantar fasciitis has been my standard ailment, but this pain was different. It was along the bottom of my foot, but more toward the outside and clustered toward the front. Wiggling my pinkie toe was excruciating. I did some self massage and manipulated my foot in an attempt to rule out a bone issue vs. soft tissue. My money is on soft tissue, particularly as I'm the queen of soft tissue injuries.
I bought new shoes and eased back in yesterday with an easy 4 miler, then followed it up with a 6 miler today. Both went well and I'm still on my feet. I'm using the foam roller liberally on my calves and hamstrings and bought a Trigger Point ball for some foot work.
One day I dream of stepping out of bed in the morning and actually being able to walk. I dream of running day after day with nothing more than sore muscles to complain about. Until then I plan to keep fighting. I have refused to let this chronic injury stop me so far, and I don't plan to any time soon.