|Artwork By: Colleen Yorke, © 2015.|
There it was, the sharp pain in the foot arch, immediately paralyzing the foot from taking another stride. Plantar fasciitis, or runner’s heel, is every long distance runner’s worst nightmare. An inflamed plantar fascia, the thick tissue that provides static support of the longitudinal arch and dynamic shock absorption can take anywhere from 1 to 18 months to fully heal.
Just returned from a three weeks’ trip abroad, dealing with sleep insomnia, different diets, and climate changes - I should have known better. Instead I laced up shoes that should have been discarded months ago for a 25K run on the beach. Within a split second my dream of running the San Francisco Marathon this year shattered. Incredulous at first, our first reaction is denial. “It cannot be that bad”, we think. I don’t know why I ever thought that, or even considered running anytime soon, because the pain the next morning felt like the joint efforts of Darth Vader, Sauron and Lord Voldemort.
Any form of running, even a small dash across street at a changing light sends a piercing pain through my foot. The best cure for plantar fasciitis of course is to stop running altogether. For a runner like myself this would be the kiss of death. Similar to bone fractures, broken up scar tissue is an Achilles heel for future injuries. I am on my fifth day of recovery: swimming laps in the pool, walking around with an arch support and praying that my foot repairs itself. At this point it is too early to tell.