Plantar Fasciitis and Rethinking the Marathon

The arch in my left foot felt strange on Sunday night. When I woke up on Monday, the bottoms of both feet, but mainly my left, hurt badly. Oh no. Oh no. I was pretty sure it was the first sign of plantar fasciitis. No google result for “arch pain runner” turned up anything besides plantar fasciitis. Increasing mileage too quickly is a major cause of plantar fasciitis. Tight calves are a big cause as well. Despite my extreme stretching, I still got PF. How will I significantly increase my mileage, more than the advised 10% each week, injury-free until the marathon? I know people who have PF and it can take so long to go away. I’d rather catch it early and focus on icing, resting, stretching rather than letting it get too inflamed.

So after thinking about this quite a bit, I’ve come to the conclusion that the smart, safe solution is to post-pone running the Richmond marathon. My body is clearly telling me something. In addition, running has become stressful and not as enjoyable as it used to be for me. The pressure of hitting higher mileage every week with such a short amount of time to train is hard to handle. I do think I probably could still run the Richmond Marathon and cross the finish line. But does that align with my earlier goals? Sometimes I think it’s good not to change your goals too much or else you just won’t be happy. What’s the point in doing it if you change your goals so much? I wanted to run the marathon to go through the training program; I saw that as a significant part of the entire journey and something I was excited about, something I thought that would be fun. I wanted to run the marathon strong, confident and healthy. Is it worth putting all the stress and pressure on me just to run it to cross the finish line? Perhaps I’ll be happier working on rebuilding strength, flexibility and cardio, and getting back to my fitness level before injury. I remember easily running 10-mile FAST training runs for half marathons on the treadmill. And I thought that was fun! I want to get back to that place. I know I will but I need to let my body fully heal.

So what about the half marathon this weekend? I have no idea. I think I might decide Friday or Saturday. I have no doubt I can complete it. But I’m going to see how my feet feel. I’m looking forward to the weekend visiting friends in Philadelphia so I don’t want to push it, hurt myself and not enjoy the weekend there. I’ll see how I feel. I’ll just put it out of my mind for now.

So what about Richmond? I have until the end of September to officially switch to the half marathon the same day. Or the end of October to defer. At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll run the half and/or defer until next year. With grad school full-time and working 30 hours a week, it’s difficult to have the additional pressure of training (coming off injuries) for my first marathon in just 10 weeks. It doesn’t seem like a smart decision. I love running and I’m worried of all the risk of injury that comes with training as a professional athlete would in such a short amount of time, while still recovering from injuries. Maybe I could run the Half Marathon that day. I’d finish probably by the time Matt and Mike reach mile 7 in the marathon so I’d have plenty of time to cheer them on. Maybe I could even PR šŸ™‚

In the meantime, I tried out my KT tape on my foot for PF. The first application (following a YouTube video) fell off while I was in the gym. Maybe I didn’t press hard enough on the tape. So put on a second application post-shower. It feels pretty good! This morning I did 60 minutes of leg exercises, back exercises and core work, following the P90X workout.

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