We had a lovely holidays around our house. Busy as usual but with lots of family and friends around, it was relaxing and fun and everything Christmas should be. Santa was pretty good to each of us but sadly, I ended up with one thing I really didn’t want this Christmas.
A sore foot!
A little while ago, I posted that I had a mysterious pain in my left ankle. I’ve had it once or twice before in the past couple of years but it never amounted to anything and this time it totally came out of nowhere. It was also a bit different because the bottom of my foot was a bit sore too.
And sadly, it didn’t just go away like it has in the past.
I did all the usual things a good runner should do when experiencing a new pain. I rested it for a few days, stretched it, iced it and pretty much babied it until I could get a better idea of what it was and how much it was hurting.
I tested it every couple of days to see how it felt but ultimately decided that I should stay off of it for a good little chunk of time. After all, it seemed to be feeling better with each additional day I rested it. Phew. Sadly, all of my plans for fun Christmas runs and jaunts on the snowy trails went out the window.
Running is certainly not the meaning of Christmas but it definitely dampened my spirits this holiday not being able to run and not exactly knowing the reason why.
I rested it about 2.5 weeks and then cautiously gave it a little test while we were up at the cabin for New Years. That felt fine so I ran again when I got home and that too, felt okay. I didn’t want to overdo it but did a couple longer runs this past weekend.
Aside from feeling a bit sluggish from carrying around all those yummy holiday treats I ate, the runs themselves went pretty good. Well, mostly. Saturday was fine but because we were on a pretty snowy, icy trail a lot of it was actually more like hiking so not too much strain on the feet. Sunday, I hit the roads for a medium distance run and felt pretty great until about the last 5 km.
My feet were starting to ache.
Coming to the realization that no, this foot problem hadn’t gone away and completely irresponsibly making up a diagnosis in my head as I finished up my run, I arrived home deflated, sad and convinced that my year was over before it began because of plaguing foot pain.
But as I sat in the tub, sadly drinking what I had convinced myself was my final chocolate milk ever (you know, since my bum feet were going to prevent me from ever running pain-free again) I figured I should probably go see a professional before writing myself off. Isn’t it funny how your mind can get running way off on you before you even know what’s going on?
Anyhow, I saw my doctor and chatted at length with my most trusted professional, my chiropractor. The sore feet obviously make everyone think of plantar fasciitis but my sore foot doesn’t quite fit the bill. Phew.
It seems that the muscles (and possibly the fascia too) are definitely irritated or inflamed but after much poking around, examination and physical testing it seems more likely that some of the little muscles deep in my foot are just strained for some reason. It’s not terribly specific but I am unbelievably relieved that it doesn’t seem to be the dreaded and much-feared plantar fasciitis.
So, my chiro and I have devised a multi-part strategy for the next week to test our theories and try to narrow down what’s going on (and more importantly, how to fix it!):
- Lots of foot rolling with my little green ball of pain (aka a Foot Rubz ball)
- Targeted exercises for my toe flexors, calves and glutes
- Targeted stretching for all the same areas
- A visit to my orthopaedist to check out my orthotics
- A visit to my physiotherapist to get her take on it all (and to catch up, at one point in my life I saw more of my physio than I did my own parents!)
- And of course, some of those traditional PF remedies can’t hurt like wearing good supportive shoes (even in the house), icing, being mindful of toe position, stretching etc.
It’s tough to start the New Year off with an injury but I have to be realistic and deal with this first so that the rest of my year can go on as planned. It’s still early and even though I’m going to have to make some tough choices about a few January/February running goals, the bigger things are planned for the spring and summer anyways and I want to make sure I’m healthy and strong for those.
I am no longer (stupidly) convinced that my running career is over and I’ve managed to reel in my over-active imagination and stop it from making up crazy self diagnoses for the time being. Please reassure me that I’m not the only one who torments themselves like this… Anyone?
Admittedly, I’ve been a bit quiet on the social media side as I figure this out and have neglected to partake in all those annual bloggy-type New Year’s rituals like posts about goals, recaps of the past year etc. etc. But I have some really fantastic things to write about and all kinds of 2015 racing plans (knock-on-wood) to share with you so stay tuned, I’ll bombard you with some New Years optimism in the next few days.
Here’s hoping you and your families had a fun New Year’s Eve and are pumped and ready for a wonderful, healthy year ahead.