I felt a great sense of freedom after questioning whether or not I should continue with my trail (aka adventure) running. My Plantar Fasciitis has grown so bad that it is practically crippling when I’m not running. I have so little time to get out to the trails that I adore, and I have lost much endurance. After I considering throwing in the towel, I remembered something very important. Merely contemplating quitting reminded me that I am free. I run because I choose to run. And I can choose not to whenever I want. That single notion helped me a great deal mentally over the past week.
Last Tuesday (3/31) I had little time, so I ran out the front door for some beach front running. I got in 5.43 miles. (8.74 km). Two days later, I ran practically the same route (with less than 200’ elevation gain) for 5.23 miles (8.42 km) before heading off to work. It wasn’t fun, and I wasn’t pretty. But I was very glad afterward for the time on my feet.
Finally, on Good Friday (4/3) I had all the time in the world to get in some long trail miles. Instead, I chose to hike with Chalynn, wonderful woman is who a canyon activist and also the race director to one of my favorite races (The Great Silverado Footrace). Chay lead a group of us (about 8 total) along 7.05 miles (11.35 km), climbing 1,755’ (535 m) to a gigantic cross in Baker Canyon (very near to Silverado Canyon). We met many hikers out there, most stopping at a number of stations along the way to commemorate The Passion Play.
On Saturday, I did some cross training at the gym and then returned home to run a quick 1.16 miles around Doheny State Beach. My middle son wants to increase his mile pace and asked me to help. Thing is, he runs quicker than I do, and I struggled to keep up. I will be good to increase his endurance. If we are lucky, he will help me speed up as he increases his own speed.
Monday (4/6), I was finally back on the trails. The weather was warm with a lovely cool ocean breeze. It was absolutely perfect for the 11.90 mile (19.15 km) run with 1,221’ (372 m) of elevation gain. Sure, I could barely walk after resting back at home due to foot pain and stiffness. But during, all was well as I made my way through Aliso and Wood Canyons, and up to the ridge for a glorious view of the Pacific Ocean.
Not only am I grateful for the peace and beauty this last run provided me, but I am also grateful that it beat the crap out of me so badly. It was this run that prompted me to take my husband’s advice on a new stretch to alleviate the PF pain. The new stretch is similar to my old stretch (dropping my heal down off a stair step), but it is more extreme due to the fact that my toes are raised over a rolled up towel. It has helped immensely with immediate relief. Time will tell if it will help “cure” the PF. I am not overly optimistic. But in the scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. What matters most is that I am free.
It is good to realize my freedom. Freedom alleviates a lot of the stress.