Saturday, August 24, 2013

Finding my way OUT of the tunnel

It's been a lovely summer vacation away from running and blogging....

I believe I'm back now... knock on wood. ☺

Thanks to those of you who checked in on me during my absence. I was in a bit of a funk... life crisis, faith crisis, running crisis. God never left me and I praise Him for his faithfulness.

The downward spiral of my left foot led to some new education in running injuries-- and a whole lot of time on social media, where I am having fun learning the ins and outs of G+.

It is there I made a PT friend from Australia, who gave me an internet diagnosis and provided some advice for my foot injury. It's amazing how just having a name for an injury can aid researching how to treat it....Turns out my heel problem is/was a complicated form of PF. 

Plantar Fasciitis, the sneaky, evil, persistent demise of many an unsuspecting runner, actually crept up on me first in October, 2012.  It took hold in a terrible way in March/April. After multiple failed attempts to return to running, I am now up to 20-23 minutes every other day, or about 6-8 miles a week. That's down a bit from the 55-65 miles per week I had been averaging.

Given my high arches, I never expected to get PF. It disguised itself by attacking my heel and outside edge of the foot, rather than the inside arch. But some of the symptoms were the same...like not being able to walk when I would get out of bed or up from a chair.

The combination of exercises, stretching, careful running, and trigger-point massage from an LMT has me optimistic this will soon be behind me. I won't lie though. It has been hard to stay positive through this experience..and it wasn't until things started to look better and I was able to begin running again that my attitude improved. I discovered how weak my faith really is. If something so small as a running injury causes me to question God's love for me, how much do I really trust Him? Thank God He loves me anyway.


I like to keep my posts short, so I will save my running/cross training and injury rehab details for another time. But, if you are still reading here, thanks so much for dropping by. 



74 comments:

  1. Raina, my friend! I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles. I feel awful I didn't know this had been so bad for you. I am positive it won't be long and you will be right back where you were before the foot disaster. Good to see you posting again!

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    1. I think it's good now, Aimee! Thanks so much for reading after I had disappeared. ♥♥

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  2. Good to see you blogging! Hope you can start upping your mileage soon.

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    1. Thank you Mike! It's good to hear from you. I look forward to catching up with your blog now. :)

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  3. I was excited to see you had a new post!
    goodness, I remember my faith being shaken to the core when my first son wasn't born before his daddy went out to sea (Navy) He ended up being 17 days late! It wasn't until after I saw how much his daddy fell in love with him that I realized how hard it would have been for my husband to have had to leave him behind. Sometimes, it's not about us... and that's one of the hardest things to grasp in the "me" generation!
    I'm hoping for a full recovery for you! I suffered from PF for almost a year before I found something that worked. it can be a pesky little injury! But, I haven't had a single twinge in 2 years, so it is beatable!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with me. I cannot imagine the strength it must take to be a military wife and mom...You are right. It's not about us.
      I would love to hear what your PF solution was, if you'd like to share!

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  4. You know I dealt with that for 2 years!! I took a totally different approach to cure mine, but regardless I'm glad that you're doing much better and glad to see you back on the blog (not that I blog much at all).

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    1. I KNOW Jill!! I think I inherited it from you....You got better right before my foot went south. Hahaha :))
      In regards to the approach differences, are you referring to going minimalist?
      Thanks for the welcome back...I have missed your notes and running stories. You have done amazing things since I was away. :)

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    2. Raina, it was Astym Therapy! I wrote a post about it which you can find in a sidebar on my blog under "popular posts".

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    3. Thanks for the reply! I hadn't heard of astym therapy. The tools look a lot like graston type tools. ? Posting a video link for anyone else who's curious. HERE ► Astym therapy video

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  5. Thanks for being real Raina. I wondered how your summer was going.. I'm glad you've got a label for your foot injury, that you're on the path to recovery, and that your faith is being restored. God always uses our challenges to bring out about character development if we let Him. Glad you're feeling better.

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    1. Thank you Jodi. Always good to hear from you ♡. More character development on the way...He is still not done with me! :)

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  6. Good to hear you're back to running, even though mileage is modest. Keep taking it easily - PF can be a tough injury to overcome. Had it once, but must have been a simple version - I was only off running for 3 weeks. Cushioned shoes and heel inserts helped when I resumed, plus avoiding hills at all costs - hard around here.

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    1. Thanks Ewen! So good to hear from you. You were fortunate to shake it so quickly!

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  7. Dear Raina . . . don't worry about the test of your faith in God. Did you read the reading from Hebrews from today?

    My Child, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
    or lose heart when reproved by him;
    for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
    he scourges every child he acknowledges.”
    Endure your trials as “discipline”;
    God treats you as His children.
    For what “child” is there whom his father does not discipline?
    At the time,
    all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
    yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
    to those who are trained by it. (Heb 12:5-7,11-13)

    I think that reading is just for you. You are simply in training for Him. And I know that you know all about training and discipline.

    gil

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    1. That was exactly what I needed today. I was reading in Proverbs yesterday, something very similar, and it's made more powerful to me when it reappears in the New Testament. Your wisdom is always welcome here. Thanks for commenting, Gil!

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  8. HE is faithful! Even when we question a thousand times per day.

    Welcome back to this lovely blogging thing and here's to a successful, smart run:)

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    1. Thank you Adrienne ♥. I missed you!

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    2. Missed you too! We'll have to chat soon:)

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  9. I'm glad you have a diagnosis and can start the healing process knowing exactly what's going on. I hope you are back to running 60 miles a week soon :)

    And welcome back!

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    1. SO good to hear from you, Michael. It's going to be a while until I see that kind of mileage again, but patience pays off. :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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  10. Well shoot, you've just described my newest ache. The outside of my left foot, not the arch side.
    I'm glad you've worked through it and are on the mend. I've missed you this summer.

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    1. Oh, no!!! I hope it is not PF, Kim! Start stretching your calves often, and get in for a trigger point massage ASAP.
      Thanks for still reading!! I have missed you too...

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  11. Oh goodness, I totally get it. Cutting running way back is HARD! I'm so glad to hear you're on the road to recovery, and coming out of your funk!! You were missed!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment Laura. I look forward to seeing what you have been up to with running also. :)

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  12. Missed your posts...sorry to hear about your injury.
    Glad you are healing and back at it:)

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  13. I feel your pain, girl. I, too, average a maximum of 8 miles/week...very, very slowly. It's been astonishing to me how weak my faith is also.

    But, you know, God loves us even though we're weak, and He can make weak things strong. Hang in there. x0x0x0x

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    1. Well, I am glad to have some company, Keeley! I need to catch up with you. True words. When we are weak, He is strong.

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  14. SO glad to hear you are doing better!! My dear husband had to rehab (meaning absolutely NO running) his very bad case of PF for nine months. It was a long, long, looooong nine months, thankfully behind us now.
    I'm happy that you're taking it very slowly to start, I think that's the key to long-term recovery. May you continue to run pain-free and happy!

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    1. Interesting about your hubby, Pahla. I had to take a lot of time off, and thought I had kicked it with the rest...I took off quite a bit of time, but not 9 solid months. :/ Each time I resumed running it came back. I am still kinda holding my breath. And give yourself a hug. It's hard to be in a house with someone who wants to run - badly - and can't. Thanks for your comment today!

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  15. Glad to see your post and that everything seems to be improving for you!

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    1. Thank you, Tina. And thanks for still reading. ♥

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  16. Welcome back and thank you for this blog! I too have been in a funk. It is a long story, but it has been a long year, and I too have questioned God. I know I am wrong, but it has been one thing after another. Your advice in this blog is uplifting!

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    1. Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one! :) It took me long enough to get to a point where I could even read or write about running. It's been a rough year here too... I am encouraged that it might have helped you in some way. Thanks so much for commenting.

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  17. Sorry about your funk (I completely understand) but happy you are back and out of it! :)

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  18. I am glad to see that you are back, but sorry to hear about all of your struggles. :-(

    PF is a nasty little thing! Glad to hear that you are back up to getting in some miles. You are running about as much as me so I am pretty impressed.

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    1. Looks to me like you have been doing plenty of running, Tasha. :) But you have a great excuse to cut back now!

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  19. Welcome back, you were missed!

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  20. Keep the faith Raina! My injury sounds tame compared to yours but it did stop me from running. There's nothing more frustrating than not being able to complete a simple form of exercise as running. Got my fingers crossed for you that the worst is now over! :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind reply here, Steve! It's not that it hurt so bad, it was just very limiting- like having something wrapping my foot to keep it stiff, with some soreness added.
      I believe it is over...:) God is good either way!

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  21. It's so easy to rely on God when things are easy, for some reason our first instinct is to get mad at him when things go wrong. It's not hard to know who whispers that thought in your ear in a moment of weakness!

    Injuries are so hard! Mentally it's a lot to deal with and additionally your normal form of mental therapy is taken away from you! You'll be back soon and stronger for it!

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    1. Thank you, Amy! Wise words. I am so glad you came and commented. :)

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  22. I have also been struggling with injury after completing 9 marathons (and having three children in that time) injury free. As my youngest turned 2, I figured I was then free to focus more on my running. Just then, she faced some health issues/fears and I began a three year struggle of injury! First, my right foot (jammed joint), then for the past 2 years, an Achilles problem with my left. I also have heel issues, which your post sparked my interest to hear of someone else in a similar situation. I would be very interested in hearing what exercises you are doing. I haven't run a marathon for 3 years and have not been able to train much at all. I love running and although I really hope to run marathons again, if I can only run a 5K-5days a week injury free, I will be happy. I, too, love the Lord and seek to learn what He wants to teach me from this experience. It has been tough and I can't say I have learned well. I look forward to following your journey back!

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    1. Thank you so much for coming by here. I am sorry about what you have been dealing with regarding the injury. I sounds like you have been blessed early on with some fantastic running- as I was for the last few years. This has just been one challenging year, running-wise, but also in other respects. I know God will show you something good in all of this.
      Since you mentioned it, I think I will work on a post about my exercises. Maybe there is something that will help you.
      God bless you, today!!!

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  23. So good to have you back my friend! :) I hope the foot issue is a thing of the past and you're back to your usual splendor asap!

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  24. I am actually dealing with PF right now. Mine flared up for the first time in June. I think its a more moderate form of PF (caught early), but it isn't going down easily despite all the "stuff" I'm throwing at it. I've had three chiropractic soundwave (EPAT)treatments, and one acupuncture session. I've also been wearing heel seats. I ice my feet whenever I can too. I think that all the treatments have helped. I also think that the plantar fascia takes a lot of time to heal, partly because of where the the micro-tears occur. I think it can be a very complicated injury! Tearing there can even cause the arches to collapse a little. Every case seems a little different. Some cases last 6 months, while others can take 3 years! I learned a lot from this site: http://www.irunfar.com/2011/02/how-to-recover-from-plantar-fasciitis.html
    The commenting thread also mentions astym as a good treatment for PF... I know this PF episode for you will pass. Just like I know mine will too. Some things just need to run its course. Trust in God. Do what you can to heal and strengthen all the supporting muscle groups. Hang in there, Raina!

    I was still able to run a 12 hour race with the PF, and it didn't get any worse (although I did take two Advil midrace)... And Kinesio Tape might be helpful when you do run.

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    1. Thanks for your great comment, John. It sounds familiar... Mine usually was not terrible, but it just got very hot, stiff and swollen at it's worst. Running through was an option at first....but then I couldn't mentally handle it when it became hard to walk. It's one of those injuries where you can run if you must, but pay for it later- if that makes sense.
      Hope yours goes away QUICKLY. I had to rest mine to get it to where I could get better..And I've been doing some BF running. Maybe yours will go away with just some treatments. I hope so!
      Thanks again for your words of support, John.

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  25. RAINA!!!

    I read this earlier but I have issues commenting from my phone so I had to wait until now. I have thought of you several times over the past few months and wish I would have just checked in. I didn't want to be "that crazy Arkansas stalker lady" but I was genuinely concerned when I hadn't seen any posts in a while. I'm SO SORRY you've been battling this injury. PF is one of those injuries I'm afraid will just pop in out of no where on me at any time. It's actually the one injury I haven't had so I'm sure it's only a matter of time with as long as I've been running. I had major IT band issues after my first marathon and then that stress fracture two years ago. Both were traumatic enough and I know I didn't handle them as well as I could have.

    I admire your courage and openness. I think it's safe to say we've all had struggles with our faith at different times but not everyone comes out of them stronger.

    Hang in there! I hope that your foot continues to heal and you feel a calming sense of peace. It is hard to find contentment sometimes when as runners our natural instinct is to want to run more or to want to be faster. I pray that you continue to get stronger and heal but also that you will find contentment with where you are right now.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Tia. It definitely blind-sided me- You've had some issues to work through, so you understand how things get. I still marvel at your resiliency, though! Thanks for your prayers. Contentment in any circumstance is worth far more than running :)

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  26. Hey you!
    So happy things are moving in the right direction...everything:) Running injuries suck and are unfortunately somewhat of a guarantee. I've had so many of them! I am excited to see you coming back slowly. I hope I stil get to see you in Boston this year. I would like that very much!

    Once one knows running like we do, life without running becomes so difficult. There is nothing to replace it, and there is nothing that can clear the mind like running does. Nice to see you appreciate even the shorter runs you are doing now. There is a freshness that comes with returning from injury. So many possibilities, so much progress to be had, so many different things to try, trails to explore. I am so excited you are back! I missed you! XO AM

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    1. Thanks AM. You are right about appreciating even the shortest of runs- it is nice to have a fresh start. Just got to make sure to throw the old one away :)
      Looking forward to the day we can finally run some trails together!

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  27. Hey girl! Okay we need to talk bc this injury sounds exactly like what I'm dealing with! Pain in the outside if my foot when I wake every morning for the last. 6 mos. also lead to some tendinitis and now I'm dealing with my 3rd stress fracture! Can we chat about your rehab? I need help! I have been so depressed too this sucks so bad:(:; xxx

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    1. Very happy to hear from you Nicole! We should talk. yes... set up a time to chat? I'm sorry. I had no idea you had SFX again. :( Giving you a hug and wish I could make it all better. Praying for you tonight too. It will get better!!!

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  28. I was thinking about you just last week. Sorry about the foot, but as you say, soon it will be behind you. I'm just starting with G+ but haven't had the time to really get into it. Keep faith and stay strong!

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  29. Things happen for a reason, sometimes we just dont understand why, but there is a plan involved.

    I am rehabbing myself as well after a very bad accident.

    Good to see you blog again

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    1. Oh. I am sorry to hear that, BDD. I hope you mend up well and soon! Thanks so much for the comment.

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  30. Great to see a new post!! Prayers headed your way for peace and joy despite the trial of your foot!!

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  31. Welcome back to Blogland!
    I cannot wait for reading another race report. Good luck my friend!

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    1. Thanks Stefano! I missed your crazy stories.

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  32. So glad you are on the mend!! Sorry it was such a challenging time - I know how it goes. Big hugs!

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    1. Thank you Erin. Missed you. I hope your foot is better!

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  33. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

    Chris aka C2Iowa

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    1. Thank you for that verse, friend. :)

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  34. While struggling with my own injuries, I can truly relate to it eating away at all areas of your life. It's hard to feel like "yourself" when you are covered in a fog of pain. Especially when you don't know how to fix the pain. I'm glad to hear that you are starting to figure things out. I wish you well!!!

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    1. Sorry to hear you have been injured too. I hope all is better now! It is good to hear from you ♥♥

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  35. Of course I a still reading.
    I was in the tunnel too.
    I am now getting out.
    It's hard but I refuse to give up.
    The funk hit me also..
    I am happy to see you back and I hope you will continue to do well.

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  36. PF is miserable. I had it two years ago, but not nearly as awful as you. I bought flip flops from Orthoheel. I love flip flops and I know they are horrible for feet. I love them and I really think they helped in my healing process. Maybe worth checking out. Wishing you the best on increasing your mileage!

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  37. http://education.synergyphysioregina.com/Injuries-Conditions/Foot/Foot-Issues/Plantar-Fasciitis-Heel-Pain/a~259/article.html

    A link that might be helpful to read through. I sure hope your heel is feeling better. I have been dealing with Achilles issues that have now seemed to move into my heel...pretty sure I also have plantar fasciitis now. Praying for you and for heeling for your foot. I will follow your recovery and I go through it as well. :)

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