I got my cast off today. I posted a photo of my cast-freed atrophied leg on my Facebook page with the caption, “Yikes! The horror! The hair!” The leg is cleanly shaven and sterilized with antibacterial soap now. Thank goodness.
Here is a summary of what my orthopedic surgeon told me that I need to do in order to go back to running long. If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, I will tell you right now, I don’t have the answer. I only know what didn’t work for me. This is the second time I’ve had it this bad where I had to completely stop running for over a month. The first time was just after I got Achilles Tendonitis in the last mile of the Chardonnay 10 mile race in 1995. (I think it was from under-training, not stretching before the race and from wearing racing flats for the first race of that year.) It took about four years and two non-running periods of pregnancy to get rid of it (the plantar fasciitis) the last time. The Achilles problem only lasted about six months.
“You still have plantar fasciitis,” said the doctor.
So, that means that I still need to sleep in a night splint, wear my store-bought orthotics (Superfeet and Spenco), can’t wear flip-flops, and can’t walk around barefoot. My foot doctor wrote me a prescription for physical therapy, 3 times a week for 4 weeks. The doctor wanted me to wear the felt heal lift I got from his office, too. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit in my shoes with the arch supporting orthotics and my husband cut a hole in it. I asked him to cut a hole in it because the pressure of it was hurting the inflamed area on the front of my heal in September–before I got cast. So “no go” on the $58 felt heal lift thingy.
Okay, so does that mean I count 10 months from my first blog posting about it? Or, when I stopped training with Inside Track, June 28th? I stopped running all together the day after the Carpinteria Triathlon, when I got my cast on, September 28th.
Crap! That means I won’t be back at 100% until May 2010. 🙁
I’m going with the first blog posting date, minus one month. That way, I will be back at 100% in March. That’s not really scientific but I’m an optimist. (That’s me at the Carpinteria Triathlon in the photo on the left. Not in the photo is my daughter yelling, “Mom! What the heck?! I thought you weren’t going to run!” The ambulance in the photo is significant. It is symbolic of the damage that I did to my foot that day. Next time I will listen to my kids. Photo by Christine Paone)
“Before you can run, you need to walk.”
Here’s my walk-to-run training regime per my doctor — as I remembered it (I was still in shock at the time after he said, “it takes 10 months to heal…”:
- 1st month: I need to walk up to a 1/4 mile the this week, then the 1/2 mile the second week and by 4 weeks be able to walk 2 miles.
- 2nd month: I need to then add 1/4 of slow jogging (8-10 mpm) then walk 1/4 mile and so on the second month. By 8 weeks, I should be able to jog 2 miles–pain free.
“This will get you running again but you won’t be able to go back to doing 10 mile runs until March.”
Stand facing the wall with feel comfortabley apart (8-10 inces) Put your left foot about one foot length away from the wall (about 10 inches), toes pointing straight towards the wall. Put your hands on the wall and push back so your weight goes on the left foot. Keeping your back straight, slowly bend your knees, keeping your weight on your left foot. Hold this position 30 seconds before slowly rising to a standing position. Switch to the other foot and repeat. (The image on the left is not correct. The feet need to be closer together. The back foot’s toe needs to be just behind the front foot’s heal.)
- Calf raises
- Wall hamstring strengthening exercise. We called this “The torture chair” exercise when I was in Track and Cross-Country in High School.
- Calf raises over steps–later when my foot gets stronger
- Do the leg extensions to strengthen the quads and hamstrings in the gym
“Your range of motion is much better after four weeks in a cast.”
Apparently, my left Achilles tendon and calf muscles were so tight before he casted my foot into a 90