Tuesday, August 5, 2014

5K to 10K: Week 1, Day 3

Five minute warm up walk (it's supposed to be a brisk walk), 30 minute steady run, five minute cool down walk. 

Time: 40 min,distance: 2.46 miles, pace: 16:15

Course: Today I chose a course with more elevations variations. When I got back to the house I found out it was 97% humidity on those mini-hills. Okay then.


I'm going to be writing up different health conditions I'm experiencing and logging my breakfast to see what's the best fuel for me. 

Breakfast: two eggs scrambled, with a couple of spoonfuls of homemade spaghetti sauce mixed in (it includes a little sausage and a lot of spinach), in a tortilla. Coffee, 1.5 mugs.

Pictured: Not me
credit: stockfreeimages.com
Health Conditions: I've solved a mysterious mystery!

But first...a disclaimer. I am not a nurse, physical therapist, or doctor. Nor do I play one on television. I am but a simple massage therapist graduate of Cortiva Institute (Home of the Fighting Growlbacks!) with three and a half years of experience in my field, one year of which was in a chiropractors' office. I am familiar with the general nature of the conditions discussed herein, but I make no diagnoses. 

Also not me.
My experience is mine alone. I am too stubborn and cheap to visit the doctor unless I actually can't walk. And I'm just stubborn in general, preferring to tough that shit out like an idiot, because I'm a hard-headed bitch even when I'm not in pain. Don't be a hard-headed bitch. If you are experiencing heel pain and have found this page in a search, get thee to a physician. I swear they don't care if you bother them. Well, not the good ones anyway. It's their job.

Nope. Still not me.
credit: stockfreeimages.com

I had been experiencing heel pain all through the reboot of the Couch to 5K program and it was very disconcerting to me because on my first attempt with the program I had almost no pain anywhere, during or after the runs. There was typical muscle fatigue soreness but nothing extreme. That was disconcerting too, in a different way, so much so that I made a post about it asking if this was normal with this program. When I'd tried running in the past I'd had all kinds of problems: ankle and knees, shin splints, stitches in my side. With the program, none o' dat malarkey.

Not me and WTH?
But this go around, heel pain. No, that doesn't quite make it clear: MUTHER FUQUING HEEL PAIN. Not so much during the run but after. Constantly after. Anytime I was standing, pain. When I was stretching, pain.  It was definitely not plantar fasciitis. I know the specifics of that condition and that was not it. I'm a massage therapist. I know what I'm talking about. Not heel spurs. But this pain wast not stopping ME. I will look pain in the eye and PAIN WILL BLINK, GODDAMNIT! I will get to the bottom of this! And then I will go under the bottom to the sub-sub-sub-basement's root cellar! And steal their potatoes!

Not me x 11.
photo credit: BBC America
I'm the one in front.
photo credit: BBC America

I got MS Paint and I know how to use it.

The pain is all around the edge of my heel and extends to...oh, here. I direct your attention to the super high tech photo on the right.  

The arrows show the generalized area of plantar fasciitis and heel spur. The pain I'm experiencing is the red area. And this shit hurt when I walked. Hurt enough that sometimes I wasn't sure if I could keep from crying. I didn't cry, but it was very nearly out of my control. 

I tried ice. I tried Epsom salt soaks. I tried Biofreeze. I tried ibuprofen. I tried extra stretching. I got new running shoes. I got gel heel cups for my new running shoes. Nothing seemed to be working. I was almost, almost, almost ready to break down and see the doctor.

I had mentioned it in passing to my physical therapist, who I'm seeing for an unrelated injury. He noticed me constantly dorsiflexing my feet because I was thinking I wasn't stretching enough. I told him how I was trying to change my heel strike because it was really hurting my heels and I knew I didn't have plantar fasciitis. He said try to shorten my stride and that I may have bruised the fat pad on my heel.

Fat pad? Gross. I, a massage therapist, did not know there was a fat pad there. I don't know what I thought was down there besides muscle and tendon...really thick skin maybe? I looked it up. Because I have Google and I know how to use it responsibly. It turns out "Fat Pad Syndrome" is a thing and it's happening to me. How do you bruise a fat pad? And why wasn't there surface evidence of the bruise? Whatever.

Why did I experience Fat Pad Syndrome this go round of the program? Perhaps because, "The fat pad can atrophy or waste away with age."

Ew. I refuse to believe that my heel fat pads have wasted away with age. Jeez, couldn't that happen to the fat pad on my thighs instead?

I think it was because, "An acute bruise of the fat pad can occur from a sudden increase in activity on hard surfaces." That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Eureka! The first time I tried the program I was still smoking. I hadn't done much physical exercise just prior to starting. My first runs (okay, all my runs) were done with the sexy zombie shuffle. Also, I was stretching the program out, doing each day's workout twice, one day for time and one day for mileage.

Psyche! THIS is me.
I told you I don't play a doctor on television.
I play a pirate.

Second program go around. I had quit smoking so I could take a mixed martial arts class, something I'd wanted to do for a long time. I'd been walking and biking for a while. I had a new smartphone with the Couch to 5K app to keep tracking of time for me. So when I started this time I was hard outta the gate. Boom, boom, boom, baby! Okay, boom, boom, boom! 

I was working a lot harder is what I'm saying. I was pushing. I doubled down on that bet. Imma get me 21 and beat the house stone cold sober! And my feet were slamming the ground. I was trying to correct my foot strike (midstrike! not heel!) but it's hard to concentrate on that and back straight, head up, stomach in, plus all the mind wandering stuff my brain does.

My feet inside.
I swear they're actually mine.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Christ this is a long story." I'm almost done. The treatment suggested is modifying activity to take the weight off the heel, cushioning the heel as much as possible with running or walking shoes (not kicky canvas sneakers, not sandals) and heel pads...

And no walking barefoot. Damn. Damn, damn. I love walking barefoot. I hate wearing shoes. I hate wearing shoes so much I bought an expensive pair of Vibram Five Fingers (does anyone else find that name kind of kinky?) But I will not stop running. Will not, will not.

Not John Hurt's feet.
My feet outside.
I take my old running shoes. I put heel pads in my old running shoes. I wear them almost every waking moment. This morning at 5:20 am I stood in the kitchen, bleary-eyed, in my "I don't do mornings," shortie nightgown, pouring coffee and wearing coral running shoes with heel pads inside. When I get out of the shower I dry off my feet and put those shoes on before I dry off the rest of my body.

I use the Epsom salt soaks, arnica cream, and I use ice packs after workouts. I wear my new running shoes with heel cups and padded socks. 

I'm not doing extra workouts, my 5K to 10K program ONLY. I might start taping extra padding to my heels. I'm not. Quitting.

Eye of the tiger. Look into my eye. The eyes are the window to the soul.

Yes, that's my eye.

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