Sunday, September 11, 2011

Heal the heel

A few weeks ago, we rented a car to go outlet mall shopping. Yes, this is what you do in America. Anyways, as R. was speeding up on one of the interstates, the car was making a huge buzzing noise. From 20 miles an hour to 55, the engine didn't sound right, only when she popped above 55 did the engine settle into the next gear.

That's what's going through my running routine lately. Stuck in a gear, my feet's been making noises. Not happy, it is, with my effort. My right heel, at the back, is sore, fairly pronounced. Do I have the beginnings of plantar fascitis?

On the roads, it means I can't quite ramp up the pace. My legs will only let me run up to a certain point of discomfort. Just today, after a night of streching and icing, I went out for my 20 miler, wondering how the heel would hold. It responded okay, but my pace would only top out at a point that I was comfortable with. At the end of 20 miles, I decided to pick up but my heel was complaining.

I've thought about the reasons why i've developed this pain, and so far, I can narrow it down to this. Recently, I've been doing a lot of downhill running. My new workplace is, well, uptown and that means my commutes home has me encountering downhills. I'm used to training on flat flat waterfront land. Also, my stretching has been, well, lax. That has to change. Finally, I had a bad run in my Vibrams a few months ago on sidewalk where I pounded out a quick pace. I think I put too much pressure on my heel on that run. That run? It was in May.

I've gone through mini setbacks like this. A few years ago, I had an inflamed <a href="http://yumkerun.blogspot.com/2009/09/setback.html">achilles tendon</a> in the late summer that had me do a DNS. A month later, I toed the line at the Toronto Marathon and qualified for Boston.

I'm going to focus on icing, stretching and rest. I have one more week of heavy training this week, then taper. Lets see how this go. Worse case, I may have to scratch one marathon this fall. Even if not, a pace adjustment may be in order. But that's too soon.