Couch to 5K
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Running... the agony of de-feet!!

Since my last post I have only managed one run a week. Partly life circumstances, and partly (mainly) pain. Excruciating heel pain which is really really frustrating. On the days that I run I can't walk - I am completely hobbled and it takes a few days until I can walk "normally" and my heel always has pain.

I have self-diagnosed this pain as plantar fasciitis - not before buying gel heel inserts (which caused more pain) and then full on insoles (which solved no problems).

Since this self-diagnosis, I have been trying all of the exercises/icing etc. that Dr. Google tells me to do.

I have also gone to spend more money, this time on Birkenstocks to wear around the house (Dr Google says never to walk with bare feet) and a pair of Dansko "outdoor" shoes. Sigh.

I have made contact with a highly recommended outfit that does custom orthotics/ gait analysis and in-depth biomechanical analysis of ones lower foot. Hopefully they can offer some advice so that I don't blindly go out and spend more $$ on things that don't help/I don't need.

Fingers crossed, boy I miss the days of just putting on my shoes and going out for a run three times a week! I will not take this for granted if/when I get back there....

Better sign off, must go to the drugstore (chemists) to pick up some arch supports to throw into my trainers so that I can try to get another run in before my appointment in a weeks time! Between you, me and Dr Google, I am sure that this quick fix will work!

6 Replies

Oh, poor Anna! :-( I feel for you! I had problems a few years back and it is total misery. When we started running Steve had to end up getting a cortisone shot because of the pain. I will have him post to you tonight. Maybe he can offer some suggestions and input. It really is a struggle to make time for runs after Graduation and with the earlier evenings. Wishing you a complete healing although I do love your play on words with the title of the blog. :-) (((hugs))) :-) Gayle


Thanks Gayle! One step at a time!


Oh my goodness no, Anna!! I was wondering if you had given up posting to us and just ran off, but now I know. As Gayle mentioned, I struggled for several weeks with heel pain and tried many of the self remedies. I will never forget how much it hurt to put my foot on the floor first thing in the morning. You used the word "excruciating," just as I had told Gayle. I think that she thought that I was being a weakling. There is no other word to describe that pain!! I had used ice, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories (Aleve) and stretches, but it just didn't seem to help. Instead, it gradually became worse.

I am sure you have read tons about plantar fasciitus and heel spurs which can develop because of it, so I will not bore you with that business. Here is what I learned from the specialist that the internet didn't go into enough detail to explain. First, until the inflammation goes down the pain won't go away. Sometimes, all of the ice in the world and regular strength drugs won't take care of the inflammation. I was given the choice of HIGH dose oral anti-inflammatories or a steriod shot into my heel. The advantage of the shot, but it doesn't work as quickly. I opted for the steroid shot. Over the next few days the pain gradually lessened, but it took several weeks to completely go away. I was able to run throughout the healing and found that the worst pain wasn't when I ran, but later after I sat or cooled down. Throughout this time, I continued with ice (both before and after runs) and stretches.

I had already had a gait analysis and bought new trainers with added support. I had been using orthotic inserts in my shoes for years and continue to use them in my trainers now. I also use padded heel inserts (1/4 inch thick foam-rubber pieces.) I need all of these just to get all of the support that my feet need as I give them a good pounding as I run.

Now, onto stretching. The specialist explained to me that everything from your toes to your knee is connected in one way or another. To help with the plantar fasciitus I now am very careful to stretch everything from my toes to my calves before and following my runs. I stand with my toes on the front of a step and raise and lower myself, making sure that my heels go above the step height and all the way back below it. Another good one is to keep your leg as straight as possible and using your hand, pull your toes up towards your body. I drive a lot for work so I also will spell out the alphabet with my toes and foot as I am sitting. The tighter the strap of flesh between your toes and heel becomes, the more pain you will often feel. The stretches help to keep it stretched. Don't stretch so much that it hurts, but stretch thoroughly and often.

At night it is natural to lay with your toes pointing down. It helps with the initial morning pain if you can do just the opposite and stretch your toes up towards your body. This is uncomfortable and unnatural, but it helps. I would accomplish it by laying on my stomach, wedging my toes between the mattress and footboard and then sliding my body towards the foot of the bed. It forced my calves and acchilles to be stretched as I slept.

All of these things can help, or at least they helped me, but nothing would relieve it until the inflammation was under control. In my case and possibly in yours, medical intervention was needed to accomplish this. There are also surgical interventions, but if you cause enough damage it will tear the fasciitus loose and basically this is the same as the surgery, but without the anesthetic!! :-) Let's avoid the surgery, either by doctor or self, ok? :-)

I hope that this helps. I certainly know the pain that you are feeling and it is excrutiating, indeed!! Take care of yourself and keep me posted. If you have any questions, let me know. I will do what I can to answer them for you, but please know, I am not a doctor...I just play one on the internet!! :-)

Again, keep Gayle and I posted. We went through this program and graduated with you...we aren't deserting you now!! :-)



Thank you thank you for all of the advice. Although it is not nice that you went through it, it is nice to hear that you went through it and continued on with the programme to graduate with Gloria.

Attack the inflammation it is, I can speak to my doctor about this. I am looking forward to the gait analysis and getting proper shoes.

Thanks to you and Gloria for all of your support, it really helps!


Good to hear from you Anna though with such bad news!! I feel your frustration and really hope this eases up for you real soon. My mum had this, not through running though, and I know it is very painful so I wish you a speedy recovery.

Sue x


Thanks Sue! I should have posted here about the issue before trying all of the things that I have been trying.... Hearing how other people are dealing with this really makes a difference. I just want to keep running!


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