Sunday, October 01, 2006

Plan B, and picture day

The Shrinking Knitter is a no-whine zone, but today is a day in which I have to be honest, and in order to be honest, it's going to sound like whining.

First, let's get the first-of-the-month, then-and-now photo out of the way. Obviously I don't have one of those new HP cameras with a "slim" setting, nor did I Photoshop away any of the lumps and bumps. I just thought you might want to see The Dress. Moving on!

If you've been reading carefully, you've learned how much I enjoy walking and jogging outside for exercise. Last week I found a novice half-marathon training schedule, and this week have been trying to determine if I was fit enough to begin – meaning, could I run three continuous miles, three or four days per week.

I've done so twice – today would have been my third attempt. But when I came back from the Friday run I knew I was in trouble.

I've been ignoring some heel pain the last month [maybe more], hoping it would fix itself, or go away. Funny how the body doesn't work that way if you continue abusing it. The morning run went pretty well, but by Friday afternoon I could barely walk. And you know how when one part of you hurts, the rest of you just kind of breaks down as well? I was a mess by Friday night. The reason Thursday's eight-mile walk was so hard was because of the heel pain from Tuesday and Wednesday's workouts.

A little research – I love Google – leads me to believe I have plantar fasciitis. Treatment? Among other things, rest. [I'm seeing a podiatrist Wednesday; being able to continue running is too important to me to self-diagnose or self-treat.]

Which leads me to Plan B. In order to continue burning calories through exercise, I'm going to have to step up the weight training and start using the rowing machine. I know I need to rest my heel. The reason I know is that this morning, after sitting on my ass in the car and at NoSo all day yesterday, I feel like I could go running.

Danger, danger, Shrinking Knitter! Bad idea! As lovely and cool as it is this morning, I need to be prudent.

I also need to change my attitude about the rower. It's not boring; it's a full-body workout!


Marilyn B. said...

A couple of things about plantar fasciitis.

1. NEVER go barefooted when it is there.
I used my burks at house shoes for the arch support and never even padded to the bathroom in the middle of the night without the burks on.

2. Do achilles tendon stretches. There are several, just pick one or two and do daily.

3. I lied, I have three. Always wear some sort of arch support in all shoes. Usually doesn't have to be a specially made one, just a good one. I got mine from a running shoe shop.

As you say, get an expert opinion for a diagnosis first but the above can't hurt.

dg said...

ow! you poor chook, that sounds bloody painful! hope you're on the mend soon...

PS love the new photo... you have such foxy little ankles :)

Greta said...

I had plantar fasciitis. It was handled HORRIBLY wrong when I went to a podiatrist!!!! He made a "custom" insole for my shoes that was created by planting my feet on the ground and then forcing my knees out to the sides until my arches came unnaturally up. What this did was to create an insole that was NOT AT ALL suitable for my body. I exchanged heel pain for BAD BAD knee and PLUS heel pain. The insoles did NOTHING to alleviate my heel pain and the knee damage was PERMANENT. It was the BIGGEST MISTAKE I EVER MADE TO HAVE THE INSOLES MADE AND THEN STUBBORNLY USE THEM DESPITE KNEE PAIN. About a year later I went to a sports medicine doctor because by this point I could barely walk due to both heels and knees. He said throw away the custom insoles and instead use heel cups which are simple rubber cups that elevate and cushion the entire heel. I have moved from those to Dr. Scholl gel heel cushions which do the job PERFECTLY and once the heel pain went away it has never recurred. I use the Dr. Scholl heel gels (they are blue and available in the drug store) in ALL my shoes including dress shoes. Since having this problem I ran across an article at one point that said that a study had been done which proved that the solution to plantar fasciitis is not stretching or elevating the arch, but elevating and cushioning the HEEL. I hope you reconsider seeing a podiatrist. If I could change one thing from my past it would be to NOT go to a podiatrist. The podiatrist also YANKED my leg HARD without warning which was supposed to do "something" but that yank caused HORRIBLE knee pain in and of itself. I would never see a podiatrist without strong ace bandages wrapped around both knees because they can hurt your knees just in the office visit. I really hope you don't do this. Was a BIG BIG mistake for me. It essentially led to my not being able to run again. I used to LOVE running.

mehitabel said...

Have to respectfully disagree with Greta--my podiatrist has done a great job of getting my feet back on track, without damaging my knees. Proper support, rest, and those heels will be back in shape soon. And the rower? Well, maybe you could move it outside?? Open a window to get fresh air? Or watch a movie while you do it??

Greta said...

I have talked to a lot of people about their custom orthotics (which is what you are likely to get as treatment from a podiatrist). People who have high arches seem to love them because there is no realignment of their knees when the mold is made. People who were born with flat feet get knee trouble from them because the podiatrist moves the knees outwards in order to artificially create a high arch. If you are a person who CAN wear Birkenstocks then you probably have high arches already and will feel fine wearing orthotics. If you were born with flat feet I'd see an MD in sports medicine, not a podiatrist because it seems that most podiatrists think that everybody ought to be forced into high arched shoes regardless of the way they were born.

The mother of one of the grooms I photographed came to the wedding with casts on both feet almost up to her knees...due to plantar fasciitis. I was smiling at that wedding because I had heel cups in my shoes by that time and I felt sorry for her wondering what her treatment path had been.

Podiatrists have an ax to grind. They are not unbiased. They want to sell you orthotics. They don't want to cure you with a $10 pair of heel cups or Dr. Scholl heel gels. I would try heel cups and/or heel gels FIRST and see if that works. Plus cut down on the high impact running. Go back to walking or better yet swim or row for a few weeks. Ice your heels. Take aspirin. Elevate your feet.

You might try swimming laps if you can find a pool.

Cindy said...

If you love working out outside, have you considered cycling? As you know, my husband became addicted to it after it was suggested that he cut back on the running-which he only did to lose weight... never gained a passion for it. He loves the cycling... the way I love knitting. (ah, if only knitting for 2 hours would burn 1200 calories!) It's low impact and would still let you workout in the outdoors while the weather is still nice!

The pictures are very motivating! Congrats!

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Hi Debbi! A chiropractor certified in Active Release Technique will cure the plantar fasciitis. Find one in your area:

My doctor here in MA has changed my life with his treatment. I had severe tendinitis but he cured it with his ART treatments. I had gone the medical route and also had acupuncture but with no help. ART treatment is big in the sports field. My chiro actually went to the Olympics in SLC a few years ago to treat the competitors. NAYY! Good luck! Kate/Massachusetts

PastaQueen said...

Dr. Google diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis about 4 years ago. It was such an annoying pain, but it eventually went away on its own. Hope yours goes away too, by whatever means you deem necessary.