Monday, May 31, 2010

Plantar Fascitis Update

Well, this has been a crazy busy week.  End of school activities are taking up a lot of my time.  I found out our local Y isn't doing lap swim currently.  So I looked at local gyms and found one close by that has a great pool.  I signed up yesterday for a 14 day free trial and will upgrade to membership when that time is over.  The expense is not as bad as I thought it would be.  I'm heading out in a few minutes to get my first swim there in.  I'm really excited to get back to moving again as I've really "felt" this inactivity.  My mood was so much better when I walked almost every day.

On Friday I had my first physical therapy appointment.  My physical therapist is awesome and she's very positive and upbeat about my chances of making a full recovery and being able to do the walk.  There are no guarantees of course, but my case is very mild so the prognosis is really good.   She watched me walk, asked a bunch of questions, poked around on my foot and then started the therapy.  Heat for about 10 minutes, followed by some stretching and then strengthening.  At the end we used ice for 10 minutes and she wants me to do this routine at least once a day (if not twice) and ice as often as possible (every two hours or so) throughout the day.  She also recommended I try OTC orthotics as if they work for me then we don't have to go to custom orthotics which are much more expensive.  So I went to our local sporting goods store and picked up a pair of Superfeet orthotics.  I'm in the "getting used to them" stage at the moment.  I am not to walk without shoes on (which is a bit tough mentally as I can't stand wearing shoes in the house) and I am only allowed to wear my running shoes with the orthotics in them.

The piece of news I didn't want to hear (but I knew it was coming) was that I have to give up my tap class for now as well.  I am not allowed to engage in any activity that involves extended period of times on my feet -- and logically, pounding my foot into the floor is not going to help it heal.  As far as physical activity goes, I'm stuck with swimming and stationary bike.  I'm going to miss the tap recital and this is the second recital I'm missing for health reasons.  There will be other classes and other recitals, so it's really not that big of a deal, but it is disappointing.

So my advice to all of you out there reading this is PLEASE listen to your body while you are training.  Aches are normal.  Pain is not.  If you have any kind of persistent pain, the sooner you get it checked out and figure out what it is, the sooner you can get yourself healed up and back out there training.  I'm throwing myself into this new routine in hopes of keeping my stamina up so that when I do get back to walking I can kind of pick up where I left off.  At the moment I'm not as upbeat and positive as I normally try to be, but I am really determined to do what will get my body back into good working order.  The upbeat and positive will return, I have no doubt about it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Temporary Road Block

I'm bemoaning my inability to train right now.  I've been through a frustrating day.  My heel hasn't gotten much better, so I finally got in to see my doctor.  I do indeed have plantar fascitis (PF).  My doctor sent me to have an X-Ray and also gave me an referral for physical therapy next week.  It was a sucky meeting with her though, as she was NOT terribly supportive of me doing this walk.  She told me my case of PF was pretty mild, but she kept saying that she didn't think I'd be able to do the walk in November.  I've talked to several friends of mine who have dealt with PF and they all think that with the right physical therapy, perhaps an orthotic, really good shoes and really good stretching habits that there's no reason I won't be able to continue and do at least some of the walk.  I just think that doctors should encourage physical activity, not discourage it!  I'm not saying I want to walk despite the pain and do more damage to my foot.  I want to do things right.  I just don't get what her deal was.  I may be in the market for a new doctor.  I'll see how I feel about it in a few days when I've cooled down.

So here I am at a true road block.  I think there's construction on the other side of that road block and it's not getting finished anytime soon.  So, once I got home, had a good cry (You should know that I cry pretty easily.  I joked the other day that I will probably need to pack half my bag for the event with kleenex), yelled a little to get out some of my frustration at feeling like I'd been treated like an incompetent child, calmed down, and made my appointment for physical therapy, I started thinking about where to go until this road block is gone.  Well, what do we do when we find that our road is blocked?  We look for an alternate route, right?  Very rarely will a road block cause us to give up the idea of reaching our destination.

So tomorrow I'm planning to visit to our local Y and I'm going to sign myself up.  I'm going to start swimming there until my foot allows me to start doing training walks again.  I know it's not the same as training walks, but it'll keep me in shape and/or even get me in better shape while I'm waiting for a fully functional foot again.  If I don't get as much training in during the official training season as I'd like to because of this, so be it.  If I end up taking a sweep van during the walk and not walking the whole thing, so be it.  But I will be there at the event participating at whatever level I am capable of participating at.  It's not how I envisioned this year or the event going, but life is like that.  Things rarely work out entirely the way we expect them to.  I don't do well when my plans get all skewed (ask anyone who knows me well), but I do eventually reorient, regroup and keep going.

I know the important thing is raising the funds and raising awareness, but I'm telling you this "Passionate Pink" gal is not giving up on the walking part.  No way!  If sheer determination counts for anything I will be back out walking before you know it.  I promise you I will do this.  I also promise that I will do it while listening carefully to my body and ensuring that I stay safe. 

Eventually, almost all road blocks come down.  I'm counting on being able to get back on that road, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Fundraising: $500.00 Total: $3,520.00
Total miles to date: 225.5

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Speed Bumps

Speed bumps are something that are designed to slow traffic down.  Some were recently put in an area I travel frequently and I admit that I find them highly annoying.  They do slow everyone down, so I guess they are doing what they were designed to do.

I've hit a "speed bump" in my training.  I'm definitely finding it annoying.  My training was going along great, and then I did that long almost 9 mile walk and my left foot has been complaining ever since.  The heel now hurts when I walk any distance and from the best information I can get (without having gone to the doctor yet) it is very likely to be plantar fascitis.  I am starting by icing and using ibuprofin to reduce inflamation and I've also taken a break from walking distances for now.  I'm antsy as a result.  I know "real" training hasn't started yet, but I'm not happy about losing my momentum. 

Hopefully, resting, paying more attention to allowing my shoes to "recover" after a longer walk (i.e. switching from one pair to another on subsequent days -- this is why I bought three pairs!) will result in this pain going away.  If not, I'll be talking to my doctor and see the podiatrist if necessary.  I am determined to do this walk.  I will find a way to keep going.

My point is that while speed bumps may slow us down and annoy us and we often wish they didn't exist, they do not generally keep you from reaching your destination.  Recognize the speed bump for what it is, go with it, "slow down" and before you know it you will be back up to speed and will be able to continue your journey.

Fundraising: Total: $3,020.00
Training: 5 miles in 1 hour 55 minutes
Total miles to date: 225.5

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What a great couple weeks!

I completely forgot to mention that last week has had several milestones in it for my journey.  Two Fridays ago, I got a call from one of my girlfriends letting me know that she finally bit the bullet and signed up to join my team while she could still take advantage of the $25 discount on registration they were offering!  I cannot tell you how thrilled it makes me to know that my little team of one is now a team of two.  Besides being incredible that I get to do this walk with one of my most awesome friends, I also felt a great sense of accomplishment when I updated the "Team fundraising goal" to reflect what Joanne is hoping to raise!  Wow.  That's a lot of money we've agreed to come up with.  How cool is that???  Our team webpage (which I still haven't updated from the basic layout) can be found at

Last week I broke the 200 mile mark in my training and today I broke the $3,000 mark in fundraising!  I spent 4 1/2 days at the State PTA convention and managed to get over 10 miles of walking in while I was up in Sacramento.  I was exhausted when I got back, so I took Monday and Tuesday off, but today I walked the kids to school and will walk again to pick them up.  Looking forward to trying another long training walk on Saturday and to helping Joanne get herself started with training and fundraising at some point this week!  Hope you all have a great one!

Fundraising: $25 Total: $3,020.00
Training: 4 miles in 1 hour 6 minutes
Total miles to date: 220.5

Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 1.5 miles
Total miles to date: 216.5

Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 4.2 miles
Total miles to date: 215.0

Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 1.7 miles
Total miles to date: 210.8

Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 2.5 miles
Total miles to date: 209.1

Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 0.7 miles in 10 minutes
Total miles to date: 206.6

Fundraising: $25 Total: $2,995.00
Training: Day Off
Total miles to date: 205.9