Going Where the Path Leads You

I got back into town from San Francisco and the Nike marathon, and I hit the ground running. Not literally but figuratively — I had lots to do. When the hubby picked me up from the airport, I found out there was a family get-together out at Central Market that night. All I wanted to do was go home and quietly rest and perhaps have a bit of a fuss made over me. Nope.

The next day, I started out with a stressful meeting with the Westwood principal and RRISD athletic director to work on some soccer booster club issues. I felt exhausted and stressed; fortunately, I wasn’t adding exercise into the mix. Monday was traveling all day, Tuesday was meetings and wading through emails and what not. I intended to get up Wednesday morning and go to Gazelles but I was so tired when I got up that morning…and my foot was sore. The prudent thing to do seemed to be another off day, at least until my Finding Your Inner Runner group that evening. The workout was short and out-and-back, and it seemed to be the perfect “test” for the foot.

My foot hurt the minute I put on the running shoe Wednesday night. Holy crap. Drills made it worse; the actual running was not so bad, but my foot was definitely complaining. I got home, iced, ibuprophened and wondered what the next day would bring.

I cancelled my regular Thursday morning run with Dr. Stephanie primarily because my friend was in the hospital in Kyle and I needed to go see him but I doubted in any case whether I could’ve run 4–6 miles on my foot. It just felt beat up and achey. I iced as much as I could but I had another full day, with meetings stacked in the afternoon and evening. I squeezed in a post-race massage with Gayla. She told me, aside from the foot issue, she’d never have known I’d just run a marathon. Sigh. My experience is that, when you walk it in, your body recovers pretty quickly. She encouraged me to see Dr. Ellspermann again to deal with my foot issue.

After ending the day with another meeting, I was exhausted and, when I got home, I dropped into a warm bath with Epsom salts and then elevated and iced my foot again. I got up Friday morning to go to my son’s cross country meet. I put on the running shoes and then stood, jogged, and sprinted around for the better part of three hours. Ouch. By the time afternoon came around, I was just DONE. Tired, worn out, achey, almost in tears. I needed quiet time STAT.

Thank goodness we had a restful, unscheduled, quiet weekend. I slept in Saturday and then dozed in the chair during the Horns’ game. In bed early that night.  I decided to try the HCTR club run on Sunday. I was curious as to the effects of trail shoes and softer surfaces. The run was a blast! It was a lovely bunch of people I knew well and didn’t know, and the trail (as always) just seemed to renew, refresh and restore something in my soul.

While I know that trail and road shoes are very different in construction…and I even understand what those differences are…I was shocked at the amount of play in my ankles as I bounded along. Every uphill felt like a stretch in the bottom of my foot; every time I leapt and landed on that foot, I got a little jolt. The cold water of the stream felt nice at the end. But for the rest of the day, my foot felt extremely beat up.

After my trail experience, I think I can safely say that two things happened at Nike: the hills exacerbated my foot problem by stretching on my already-irritated and sore plantar fascia. I sent Dr. Ellspermann a note on Friday, giving him a summary of what had happened at the race. To be honest, I waited because I just wanted to have a few days where I didn’t have to deal with it. I got a reply back today; he told me that treatment would only further irritate things at this point, and he recommended going two weeks to see what happens. Like me, he thinks it was just too much on an already-irritated area.

So I’m going to keep up what I’m doing (icing, elevating, going easy on the running) and see how it feels to ride my bike with this foot issue. I have to be philosophical and not get all hung up on where I thought I’d be and what my event plans are for the future. I have to do this right so that I don’t wind up with some chronic issues that sucks all the joy out of my running through constant discomfort.


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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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