Posts Tagged ‘plantar fasciitis’

tick tick tick tick tick...

tick tick tick tick tick…

It is now less than 30 days until the TARC 100.

Cue mild panic attack.

Less than 30 days until I make my first (and possibly last) attempt at covering 100 miles on foot in less than 30 hours.  30 hours is the cutoff.  The race’s website states that if one is not on at least 30 hour pace when he or she reaches the various aid stations then that person will be pulled from the course.

30 hours. That’s 3.33 miles per hour.  18 minute mile pace.  Seems simple enough…until you really think about it.


My buddy JB and I have set our goal to finish under 24 hours, with an A+ goal being sub-20; but this plantar fasciitis thing has proven to be harder to shake than hoped and that has set back training for the last few weeks.  Sure I’ve continued to run through it to keep #AutismStreaks alive (I know, not wise) , but I haven’t been able to put in the miles one should when training for a 100 miler.


So what to do?

My thinking now is just finish.  In my head now I’m thinking if we go sub-24, that would be fantastic, but in reality, if I can cover 100 miles in anywhere between 24 and 30 hours, I will be pleased as punch.  In a perfect world I would have done a 50-miler last weekend.  Instead, I ran a total of 4 miles.

The world’s not perfect; training doesn’t always go as planned; ultimately we need to make adjustments to our expectations.

That’s life.

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The TARC 100 is less than 6 weeks away.

#AutismStreaks currently stands at 125 days.

For the last week or so I’ve been suffering from Plantar Fasciitis in my left foot.  I tried to burn it out of my foot early with a barefoot 3-miler, but it didn’t work…it may have something to do with landing on a rock right in the tender spot where it hurts, I’m not sure.  The bottom line is that this past Friday the pain took a turn for the worse.  After a 5-miler on Friday that was maybe just a tad bit too speedy, the pain, which had been holding steady, became a bit more intense.  As a result, the 24 miles I had planned to run this weekend turned into 2 – 1 mile on Saturday and 1 mile on Sunday.  Looking ahead, I know there is no way I will be able to run a 50-mile training run this coming weekend as I had planned.

So what to do, what to do?  I am trying to balance the need to get myself healthy as quickly as possible (i.e. rest, heal, resume a compressed training schedule for the 100) and the need to keep the streak alive.  True, my original goal for #AutismStreaks was 100 days – and I not only hit my goal, but ran more miles than I had originally shot for.  But now 25 days later, with the streak still alive, I have dared to eye the possibility of attempting 365 days.

Although the situation is fluid, as most things in life are, my current thinking is this:  when confronted with a speed bump, slow down.  So I will continue for a couple more days with easy 1-milers so I can keep the streak going while essentially resting and hopefully healing my foot.  I must say though, running 1 mile can be very dissatisfying – almost like going to a fancy restaurant for a big dinner and then being told after you’ve eaten the appetizer that you’ll have to leave without dinner, dessert or wine…not satisfying at all.

Hope you are getting in more mile than me!


you can see it on my face...not satisfying, not satisfying at all!

you can see it on my face…not satisfying, not satisfying at all!

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On Sunday I ran for the first time since the Green Mountain Relay – almost 2 weeks to the hour.  Part of my lack of running has been a purposeful rest; part has been forced on me with the onset of mild plantar fasciitis.  The run was supposed to be the first group run for locals running Boston 13.1 with Team Up with Autism Speaks.  I had been delinquent in getting a schedule out, so this last minute group ended up being a group of one.  I contemplated going home when nobody showed up, but I knew that I needed to get some miles in.

The run was awful – 6.2 miles of tired legs and weak lungs mixed with a serving of  “why am I doing this?”  It didn’t help that at the end my feet were not happy.

How the Hell am I going to lead these group runs over the next ten weeks if I can hardly walk?

I’ve been fighting this PF now for about two, maybe three weeks.  Looking back, there were twinges well before Sugarloaf, but it really kicked in a couple of weeks ago – the intense pain getting out of bed in the morning, the discomfort walking.  I was forced to stop wearing my flip-flops.  That just about killed me – I can’t stand wearing normal shoes when I’m bopping around town; my feet tend to overheat.  About a week ago I took to going barefoot around the house.  When I would take the dogs out for their walks, I wouldn’t bother putting on shoes.  At first it was a little tough on the soles of my feet, but eventually, I got used to it.  Although the pain in the morning and after sitting idle for extended periods of time didn’t go away, moving about became less painful.

Then came Sunday’s run.  I did not have a good time.  There was nothing redeeming about that run except that I ran.  That was it.  I started to think that maybe I would just run on Sundays with the group, painting a grin on my face if I needed to.  That didn’t sound like fun at all.


Over the last week, several of my running friends have offered remedies for my plantar fasciitis.  Some suggested tennis balls.  Some suggested frozen water bottles.  Others suggested going to a chiropractor.  Some suggest orthodics, special shoes and socks, even taping up my feet.

I tried the frozen water bottles.  They felt good while I was rolling my feet on them, but I’m not sure how much they really helped.

One suggestion that kept nagging at though came from my buddy JB.  You may remember JB from the Vermont 50, the Super Sunday 5-miler, the Quincy Half and Sugarloaf.  He is a VFF (Vibram Five Finger) runner (he ran the Vermont 50 in Vibrams – Rock STAR!!!).  He suggested that I pull out my old VFF’s and go run until I burned the Plantar Fasciitis from my feet.

Hmmmmm…. I thought, that could be interesting.

I was hearing conflicting suggestions about how to treat PF – more support! less support! more support! less support! more support! less support!

After Sunday’s run (in Kinvara 3’s – which I do like, though not as much as the originals), I was willing to try anything.

BUT, being the kind of person who rarely half does something, I decided that if I were gonna go the less support route, it was going to be all the way.

So I put this old pair of shoes on:

The oldest pair of footwear I own.

My plan was to limit myself to two miles.  Initially, running barefoot or barefoot style can be tough on the lower calves.  I made the mistake of running three or four miles the first time I put on a pair of VFF’s and I couldn’t walk for a week.  I was nervous as to how my soles would hold up.  Would it hurt running on the sidewalk and street?  Would I be able to avoid pebbles and glass?  Would I rip up my feet?

I knew I needed to take it slowly, but amazingly, my first mile was faster than any of the miles I ran on Sunday, coming in at a comfortable 8:09.  Having reached the turnaround point of my run, I did a quick self-check – lungs? good. legs? good. feet? just fine!!!

I decided to could go another half mile before I turned around.  When I reached that half mile, I was tempted to go even further, but I knew I ran the very real risk of overdoing it.  I knew that I may have already overdone it.  So I turned around and headed for home.  As I hit two miles, I looked at my Garmin – 8:04.  Not bad at all!!!

I decided to pick up the pace just a little – to see if I could manage a sub-8:00 mile barefoot.  To my surprise, at one point, I was running close to 7:40 pace.  When I reached home, the final mile came in at 7:55.  3 miles in 24:08 – not bad for my first barefoot run ever.  Afterward, the calves felt a little tight, as did my hips.  Hopefully the stretching I did will help speed recovery so I’m not in too much pain in the morning.

As I sit here and write this, I really want to get back out and try this barefoot thing again.  Yeah, I’ve got a little bit of a hot spot on the ball of my foot, but I’m pretty sure it’s just a matter of building up the soles a little.  I’m going to force myself to take the day off tomorrow but I am determined to give this barefoot thing another go on Thursday.  Who knows, maybe by Sunday I’ll be ready to take the Team Up with Autism Speaks group on their 75 minute run without my shoes.

This could be a whole new chapter in my evolution as a runner…

I’ll keep you posted.

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