You know that saying about how you don’t know how good you had it until it was gone? Well, even though that saying refers more to sweethearts and soul mates, I’m going to use it to talk about sole mates.
About 6 weeks ago, I woke in the middle of the night with intense pain in the center of one of my heels. It progressed, and I determined it is the dreaded runner’s affliction plantar fasciitis. It’s a particularly frustrating injury because the recovery time is so wildly variable. I’ve heard some people get over it in 2 weeks. My sister had it for about 8 months. I am praying I am completely over it far before that, because I’ve had the epiphany that I now really do like running for the sake of running.
I’ve always seen running as a means to an end–losing weight, weight maintenance, sculpting my legs and butt. I’ve run 10 half-marathons, but many of those races were run for the finisher’s medal and because I needed a goal to motivate myself to run, not because I genuinely enjoyed it. I am realizing that, somewhere along the way, I truly became a runner for the love of the action itself, because I miss it so much! Please do read this fantastic piece by John Bingham from the September 2007 issue of Runner’s World entitled, “I Am Not A Jogger: I May Waddle When I Run, But I’m Running All the Same.” I have the original magazine page ripped out and tucked into my running scrapbook, along with race numbers and photos.
I’m on the mend now, and some of the “tools” that have helped me during this road to recovery include:
Alphabrace Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint: This is a contraption that keeps your foot in a controlled amount of dorsiflexion to gently stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. I could tell a difference after just one night of wearing this, and it definitely seems to be helping the healing process.
Profoot Plantar Fasciitis Shoe Orthotic Inserts: These have truly been a lifesaver. They are the only inserts that have helped me walk pain-free in shoes during the day.
Pedifix Arch Bandange: These are just simple elastic bandages to support the arches. I wear them when I feel like I really want to be “barefoot,” and when my feet are particularly sore, I wear them inside my shoes. They help support sore, achy feet.