Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Light at the End of the Tunnel

"You have plantar fasciitis? When I had that, it took me over a year to get over it!" I received many such comments over the past few months, each of them making me increasingly nervous. I didn't have a year. I had a few months at the most, with the 60 mile 3-day walk for a cure coming up on September 23.

In the three months and a week since I discovered that I have PF in my left foot, I've been trying everything I can think of to get over it. Probably the most significant thing was to start with Doctor Green and the active release therapy (ART) two months ago. The progress was slower than he or I wanted, but it finally seems to all be paying off. And progress has suddenly been rapid, after 6 weeks or so where it moved at the pace of a glacier. It was July 16, the day of the TNT Silent Mile that I finally walked more than a couple of miles. In the 2.5 weeks since, I have noticed less and less pain. Yesterday morning, I walked 4 miles, and realized that I didn't get a little shock of pain with each step. It was more a feeling of discomfort than pain, although I had some minor pain at the end.

During my ART session yesterday, it still hurt when Dr. Green dug his fingers into the sore spot on my heel. But it was not the near agonizing "drive a railroad spike into my heel with a sledgehammer" kind of pain that it has been as recently as my last time (July 22). And when I roll my foot on a frozen water bottle or my foot log, it hurts when the sore area of my heel rolls over it - but not as much. I also stopped wearing the uncomfortable night splint the middle of last week. When I roll out of bed to head to the bathroom, I might hobble for a step or two - but don't almost fall over from sharp pain as I previously did.

I am feeling quite encouraged by all of this. After three months of not being able to walk without pain, I finally can! With the 3-Day just 53 days away, there is no time to lose. My training schedule calls for something like 14 miles Saturday and 12 miles Sunday. That would be crazy to attempt, so I am going to try for seven and five. Seven will be the most since my painful 7 mile walk in Washington, DC to pay respects to our former neighbor's son three months ago, and it will be a good test of whether or not I can start adding miles each week to prepare.

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