Today is a first for me. I am bowing out of a race for the first time ever. This morning my husband and I had planned to run a 10K with a student who is prepping for a half marathon in a few weeks. This was going to be my first race since last July, only because this was one that both fit my schedule and felt like a good time to get back into the saddle. But earlier this week I started waking up with some pain in the bottom of my left foot. For a girl who has suffered from full blown plantar fasciitis in the past, this was nothing to take lightly. When I couldn’t put my full weight on my foot yesterday in the morning I knew we were in a bit of trouble.
Today’s race is a 10K to raise fund for a local park.
I immediately started stretching it and massaging and taped it up. With some minimal work I was able to wake up feeling almost back to normal this morning. But this is where it gets tricky as a runner. Part of me would really love to do this 10K. I wasn’t going to run a fast race to begin with. I have recently cut my weekly mileage in half and I was planning to start doing speed training again this past week before my injury. I really just wanted to do the race for the fun that these events provide and a chance to run faster than my normal pace. The other reason is there is a half marathon coming up in a few weeks that I am much more excited about doing so I would rather keep myself healthy for that one. It is a super hero event so I need my healthy feet to go walking and shopping for appropriate attire for the event. I am in New York City after all!
It is times like these when it is important as a runner to look at the bigger picture. I have a big coaching job coming up that is going to mean a lot of runners relying on me to help them get through some long and tough runs. I want to start marathon training soon myself. Sometimes you have to set aside that one run that you really want to do and decide what is best for your body. Right now it is best for me to rest.
So what should I be doing with this injury? Below are a few pointers (although many might find these obvious) that I find helpful:
Rest. That might mean laying on your butt all day for a more serious injury. In this case it means no running and light walking. Most of the time with a minor injury walking is okay and for me I would go crazy if I couldn’t wander around in this beautiful spring weather.
Time for some R&R. And weekend crosswords!
Medicate. For me this means NO drugs. I really try to avoid anti-inflammatories as much as possible. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start putting things into my body that help heal it. Bright green and red fruits and veggies are great at helping you to refuel and repair. Pack on some berries and delicious salads. Another benefit is that these are filling foods and low in calories so you won’t worry about packing on pounds while you aren’t running.
Stretch and ice. I am terrible in the stretching department and usually most runners really don’t need that as much as a good warm up and cool down with workouts. But when you are injured it is a great time to find just what the problem is and give it some tending to. For me, my tight calves are the culprit of most of my foot injuries. So downward dogs are part of my daily routine. Pull out your foam roller or the stick and beat your body up in a different way. Ice your injury and show it some love. Massage the area that is hurting and if you wish use some KT tape on it. I have learned that you can find a Youtube video on how to tape up just about any injury.
Finally, be realistic. Give your body some time. Injuries take awhile and you need to be fair to your body. If it starts to feel better don’t just jump back into your routine, make sure you have given your body enough time to heal. When you do get back to it make sure you ease back in and pay close attention to what your body is telling you.
Remember when I joked about building an ark here in New York City? Well this was what the park looked like on Thursday after the torrential rain. These are all puddles and were not there the day before. Some ducks even set up shop at one of the locations. Pop up lake house. I like it!