You are looking at an Xray of a perfectly unbroken left foot. Thank goodness it was unbroken. I admit, I never thought it was broken, but I was a little worried about possible bone spurs, thanks to Google.
I should probably back up a bit...
I really haven't ran much between the end of February and the beginning of May, due to a foot injury (which I took a week off for in November, but actually started in October), and a knee injury (taking place during the final miles of a very long run in February). A few weeks ago I finally made a appointment for a consultation with a physical therapist in Eugene.
I don't ordinarily see doctors. We have a thing against shelling out money for medical things...unless it's a vaccination or one of us is about to die. (That deserves it's own post, but I have too much to write about already!)..
Anyway, this appointment was for a "Free Injury Screening." I thought "free" sounded good, and expected that I might not get any real answers, but why not go for free?
The female therapist was nice and very professional. She poked around my foot, (my knee injury seemed to have healed, though I couldn't really tell without running on it). She asked me many questions, had me walk down the hall barefoot while she watched, tested and observed my balance and strength of legs/feet/ankles/hips. She took a lot of notes.
At the end of visit 1, the PT told me she would like to "rule out a stress fracture" before trying to treat the source of my knee and foot injuries. Evidently I am a good candidate for something called a "Jones Fracture" .
A few hours later I was in a place called "urgent care" having an Xray done...It does feel a little funny to get an Xray on a foot that you can still walk on. It didn't feel very "urgent", but you can get the pictures there without waiting a week - or two- so it worked out for me.
After the doctor came back from looking at the Xray, we talked "feet" a bit, and he let me know things looked "good" to him. That sounded good to me and I made my next appointment with the PT place.
By the time the second PT visit came (only a few days after the first- getting in on a cancellation again), my foot was starting to feel really good. At this point I had 5 consecutive weeks off with no running (plus about 3 weeks off before that, with 2 weeks of a little running in the middle). It took some serious poking to even create any soreness, but my foot still would get stiff/sore after sitting any length of time.
|This stuff really works (on knees) !|
At this visit, the PT did an even more thorough evaluation. I got to run on the treadmill while she recorded at different angles. Back in the room she measured muscle strengths, leg lengths, and various flexibility. Then she went over her observations with me:
Very high arches in feet (I had a pretty good idea)
Supinator (I had no idea)
Heel striker (Still.....I thought I was past that!)
Should wear a cushioned neutral shoe
Could improve ankle flexibility
Strong hips and pelvis
Could improve flex/push-off with hip flexor
Since the soreness has been at the plantar fascia insertion, the very bottom of the heel, and also the outside edge of my heel- leading up to the 5th metatarsal, she called it "A couple of things going on". I didn't get a fancy diagnosis; but, I did get several exercises that seem to be helping. Probably the most important exercise for my foot has been the standing calf stretch, held for ~1 minute, three times a day.
After that appointment, I decided that if I could run on a treadmill for 5 minutes, I could run outside.
I immediately left the office with my running clothes on and went to the Rexius trail for a short fix. The PT had told me that if I felt ready to run, to transition slowly...so I ran for about 20 minutes, easy. It was obvious I had lost a lot of speed and endurance during the time off. I was also a little nervous and paid close attention to my foot.
I thanked God while I was running, talking to Him trying to seek His will. And I thanked the Lord after the run. I desperately hope to have His blessing on my running. I very much would like Him to guide and heal me so I can run STRONG for Him (and me) again.
Since then I have been running every other day or so...or two days running, two days off. None of my runs have been over 4 miles. I don't want to push it.
I'm using my heart rate monitor to keep at an easy heart rate while rebuilding my base. My goal is to keep my heart rate under 140 BPM, which fits a formula from before my injury ( I really should get a new resting HR number).
About 3/4 of my runs have been on the treadmill, for multiple reasons: controlled terrain, kids are right with me and I can go any time of day. The first run I did on the treadmill was eye opening...
I turned on the treadmill, fully hooked up to the HRM and watched the numbers..climb. I turned down the knob on the lovely, rickety, belt-rubbing-against-the-edge, FREE treadmill (I am grateful!!) to the lowest setting on "Aerobic", then down to the "Fat Burn" setting.
My heart rate kept climbing....up and up. I was able to run at about 140 BPM , but my average pace that run was 11:15/mile for 3 miles. Six months ago I ran a 13.1 mile training run at less than 140 BPM at 7:50 pace.
I am still grateful...
and unworried about an 11:15 pace.
I'm still training under that same heart rate and the pace is starting to get a little faster. I am at about a 10:30 mile now on the treadmill, but managed 3 miles under a 9:45 pace outdoors yesterday. I'll take it!
I really have no idea what's in store for me with running for the rest of the year. This is where I admit, my only goals at the moment are to run without injury, steadily increase my base, and appreciate each moment I get to spend doing it.
Part 4 Faith stuff
There has been lots going on besides running with me. The boys and I have been spending much of our time "just us" lately while my Husband has been spending time with his grandma and family. There is a lot going on behind the scenes there, and the Lord is at work in many lives while she is in hospice.
I am so very proud of him for stepping up to take care of her. I know he feels torn because he is missing time with us, but he is setting an example for our boys that I hope they will always remember. A man keeps his promises. A man takes care of those who cannot care for themselves.
Our friends have stepped in and offered help to us. Tonight I am blogging because a few of them whisked my boys off to watch a small circus perform while I caught a break. Acts of service are what defines a life worthy of being called a Christian.
Often I feel like I am not doing the right things, or enough things...and then I read something like this blog post, which reminds me of God's top calling for me at this season in my life. It really is not about how much one does, as it is the attitude it is done with.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God,to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1I am glad to have had the time off of running. It has been a struggle for my spirit more than for my body.
This might sound odd, but, in a way, I feel like I have spent some time in a cocoon. Now the cocoon is starting to crack. I'm kind of excited to see what's underneath. I don't know if these wings will be fast or slow, or shiny or rough. But this much is certain, they are ready to learn to fly again!