“Does having a sports injury mean I’m a legit ultra-runner?” I half-joked with my chiropractor last week.
“It means you need to stretch more,” he told me.
Stretching is boring, but I’m doing it as I write this anyway.
I am temporarily sidelined by a case of fairly excruciating plantar fasciitis. I say this with only a touch of my trademark melodrama: it hurts.
I noticed some tenderness in my right heel early last week. I chalked it up to my chronic IT band tightness in that leg and laced up my shoes to get a quick run in. By the end of the day, I could hardly walk, and despite a prolonged session with my beloved foam roller, it was worse the next morning.
“Sounds like plantar fasciitis,” my mom told me. I heartily assured her that couldn’t be it, then promptly spent an hour reading in horror about the telltale symptoms. This was definitely it.
So I made an appointment with a chiropractor, who suggested I start rolling out my calves with a lacrosse ball. I got home and, just to torture myself, did some research online, where several sources recommended sleeping in a brace (sexy! I’m sure I’ll keep that up about as consistently as I wore my retainer in high school).
In fact, my chiropractor surmised, all my IT tightness—which runs all the way from my hip flexor down, apparently, to my heel—is a result of years of overcompensating after I broke my left ankle bouldering in 2012. Who knew!
I haven’t run in a week. It’s the longest I’ve gone in recent memory, and my overactive imagination has me convinced that perhaps I’m simply not cut out to run long distances, and that, in any case, my fitness has surely gone to shit.
Meanwhile, the 50K I’m set to run at the end of September looms ever closer, and I’m over here popping Ibuprofen to walk the dog around the block. I wish I had a fun, nicely packaged outcome (All better now! I run even better than before! I wore the brace, just like I promised I would!). But all I have is a plea for plantar fasciitis-related recommendations and, if you can spare it, your good karma.