Sunday, December 2, 2012

Conversations with my body

I'm not sure if other people "talk" to their body.  I hear/read about the importance of listening to your body, but most of my conversations tend to be pretty one-sided.  In fact, my gut reaction to the whole listen-to-your-body ethos is to roll my eyes.  Personally, I tend to talk, and I expect my body to listen.  This has probably been the case for a while, although the conversation has changed over the years (my adolescent conversations bemoaned typical adolescent themes, which I won't go into here).

As I've entered the almost-middle age period and try to maintain an active lifestyle, most of the conversations are bargains that I make.  They follow these lines: "Okay, just get through this training cycle and then you'll get a nice break!" or "I promise that I'll go to the chiropractor AND get a deep-tissue massage, so don't be angry with me!" or "Don't get a cold now, wait until it's more convenient, please!" or the biggie "Just get through one more month and then I'll go to the knee doc and get a cortisone shot".  So, yes, I wheedle, plead, cajole, and make deals so that my body stays functional.  Usually I follow up on the deals in one way or another, and it does seem that I have a nice team of people that keep me going.

I think, however, that 2012 has been a pretty high-intensity year for my 40-year-old body, and it's performed for me - with the exception of bonking on the 30K trail race, but that was a mental problem as much as it was physical.  At some point, I had promised myself to take a nice long break from running after the trail race, and I did take a week off before testing out my legs this past week.  The two runs went well - they felt slow but weren't terrible.  However, the aftermath of each run was not exactly pretty.  On Monday night, after a 5.5 mile run, my hip and back started hurting.  Hmmm....  So, I took a few days between and then went on a short run on Friday.  Again, I hammered out the miles without a big deal, but then the same weird hip/back pain flared up afterwards.

So, Friday night, I promised myself that I would get to the chiropractor within the next week and try to see what was going on, but I wasn't overly concerned.

That was until yesterday morning, when I woke up and could barely walk because of a stabbing pain in my right heel on the bottom of my foot.  What was this?!  Pain that continued throughout the day and allowed me to walk, but with a hobbled gait.  After checking out my symptoms on the interweb (always trustworthy), I self-diagnosed plantar fasciitis, a common yet, from what I gathered, fairly debilitating condition.  I know several people who deal/have dealt with it, and I'm aware that it is no light matter.  Maybe it's something else, but I'm about as sure as I've been about any self-diagnosis thanks to internet information.

So, fine, I'm officially "listening" to my body.  Yes, I'll take a break from running, and I'll pay much closer attention to stretching and icing, and I have an appointment for Monday afternoon to deal with my body in general (hips, knee, ITband, foot issues).  I had already planned to spend more time in the pool this month, so this gives me a good push to do so.

Taking a longer-than-planned break from running does not make me a happy camper, but I'll take it if I can run pain-free in the long term!

And, yes, it seems that I'm finally listening to my body.


Anonymous said...

Well, you will like my comment then because I developed plantar fasciitis in my 40s and its not really an issue now. It does suck and it can be hard to get rid of, but it's DEFINITELY possible.

A couple of things I do that are easy and I think help is 1) I don't wear flats. Even my flip flops have a low heel. The doc told me it was better to wear shoes with a 1-2 inch heel. And 2) I keep a pair of tennis balls underneath my desk in my office, and whenever I'm just sitting alone at my desk, I roll my arches back and forth over the tennis ball. 3) Doing yoga once a week probably helps, too, because you work with your feet a lot. (In your case maybe a new pair of shoes would help?)

It's probably PF if you have the heel pain and stiffness when you wake up in the morning. Good luck with it!

Katie said...

I talk to my body ALL THE TIME. Just in case that makes you feel better.

mindful mule said...

Plantar Fasciitis.Yuck. Maybe give it a nicer sounding name and it will leave you alone. Call it Heel Tap-Tap. Hope it goes away (along with everything else on the injury list) soon. Rest rest rest…

Kristina said...

ChezJulie - I've read a lot over the weekend about different techniques that are pretty easy. The tennis ball thing seems strange to me, but I'm going to try it. Also, picking up marbles with toes?
Yoga is not at all a part of my routine, but it might become that...

Katie - I do talk to my body, I just don't let it entre in the conversation, usually. That doesn't seem to be working right now.

Rob - So glad that I didn't sign up for a crazy race in early 2013.
Heel tap tap - sounds like a dance move!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristina, you probably read that plantar fasciitis is caused by tightness in the muscle that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes. The tennis balls just give you a nice stretch for that poor muscle.

Angela @ Fit Fun Mom said...

Hi Kristina -- I just wrote a post today about how to recover from plantar fasciitis (based on my experience with it):

I hope you feel better soon!

Kristina said...

Angela - sounds like you've had quite the experience. Glad that you've recovered!

kilax said...

Ugh! How did the appt go last Monday? Did they think it was PF? Are you feeling better? :(