Why I Won’t Stop Running ….

Since I moved to Indiana, I’ve had a lot of foot pain.  I took most of the spring/summer off running.  Actually I was running, but very little.  Sporadically, if you will.  Sometimes not at all.  Hubby had moved to Indiana before the kids and I.  Therefore, I was alone with the kids & pets.  I was trying to find a house in the new area.  I was traveling back and forth every weekend (400 miles round trip) on the frustrating great house hunt.  I was trying to keep the kids from killing each other fighting.  I was chauffeuring them to every doctor/dentist appointment that they needed before they transferred to a new school.  I was also trying to pack up a house.  Train a new puppy.  Plus I was working full time with a nasty commute each day.  Life got in the way of workouts.  It happens.  But one thing was constant, my foot pain.  Thank you Plantar Fasciitis. 


Once I returned to the run, the foot pain went from discomfort to full blown pain.  Every step hurt.  A lot.  So I decided to try to find someone to help me.  When I was in IL, Dr. Alexis kept me up and running.  She was a Chiropractor but more than a “bone cracker”.  Her family practice focuses on the health of the family.  She has a lot of skills and treatment methods that a normal Chiropractor doesn’t.  Big shoes to fill.  Plus she was a runner.  And never complained about my running, at least to me.  Yeah, REALLY big shoes to fill.

After asking every fitness person I knew, wasn’t a big list in my new town, I was directed to my first Physical Therapist.  He didn’t like runners.  Not sure he even liked me.  He hurt me badly.  He made my PF worse.  Then I saw another PT.  He was a Cross County Coach.  So he liked runners, right?   Maybe.  He was all business.  Not sure what he liked.  Very firm as to what I could and couldn’t do.  I actually took 2 weeks off cuz he scared me.  Then I moved on again because well, I wasn’t getting better.

What did the 2 PTs have in common?  They focused specifically on my calves and soleus. Both did Graston.  The first guy would make me cry because he scraped my calves so hard.  The second guy was more gentle but still, it was the same.  Scraping, scraping, scarping my calves and soleus.  And a shit-ton of stretching exercises.  Nobody touched my feet.  They both thought my PF problems were centered on the tight calves and soleus.  Both of which were marbled/bumped up like a “gravel road”.  I didn’t get better.  I spent a lot of $$.  I stopped going to PT and I’m not sure I’ll ever go to another PT, short of being forced.

Now I’ve found a Chiropractor, 7 minutes from my house.  A family practice guy.  Big on rehab.  Diet.  Exercise.  With a bag of tricks.  So guess what, someone finally cares about my feet again.  He says they are the “worst” he has ever seen in his practice.  Must not see many distance runners, huh?  Lots of Graston. Lots of Rapid Release Technology (description below). 

RRT relies upon the science of resonance.  Like the piano note vibrating the corresponding guitar string across the room, the target absorbs vibrational energy and oscillates.  Same principle as the opera singer who can vibrate a crystal glass across the room until it breaks.  RRT operates at a frequency over 3 times faster than the fastest competition.  Notice the symmetry of high speed compression waves through healthy tissue.  Now notice the lack of waves when RRT is put over chronic fibrous tissue.  The energy is absorbed by the denser tissue and it begins to vibrate. 


Lots of talk about what I should do besides running.  He used to run but has done extensive research and has basically bagged running for other things.  Good for him.  Not good for me.  So this week, after suggesting for the 2nd time that I take 6 months off, he basically said, “why do you have to run”?  Good question.  My quick answer was very basic:  Cuz I might kill someone otherwise.  It keeps me in check mentally and regulates my mood.  Some people take Prozac, I run. 

Long answer is a bit more complicated.  I run because I can.  Because I like it.  Because it gives me a big bang for my buck, exercise wise.  Because there aren’t any CrossFit gyms close to me.  Because it gets me out of the house, or allows me to zone out on the treadmill for hours at a time watching crap on Netflix that I can’t let my kids watch.  Because it makes me feel good.  Because it helps me realize that life really isn’t so bad after a long ass run.  Because it drives me to challenge myself and consider goals which I never thought possible.  Because it enables me to see things that I would never see from my couch.  Because it forces me to be social at times when I don’t feel like talking because I’m emotionally overwhelmed.  Because it allows me to be social while doing something healthy.  Because it helps me not take myself too seriously and sometimes allows me to wear silly outfits.  Because I can control it. 

I run when I want.  Where I want.  And the only thing that stops, or slows me down, is the family schedule.  It gets me out of bed in the morning and energizes me throughout the day.  If I take a weekend day off the run, what happens?  I sleep in but am always still tired.  I get up grumpy cuz I never feel refreshed.  Then I get a cup of coffee and sit in the recliner or on the couch and veg out on Facebook or TV.  I’m not motivated to do anything.  I don’t want to do anything.  Different story after I spend a couple hours running.  I’m motivated to LIVE life.  That’s why I won’t stop running.  Maybe tomorrow or the next day will be different and I will no longer have the desire to run.  But as for today, I want to run.  Nothing is broken.  Nothing is torn.  Let’s just fix this and then maybe we can be friends.  I mean, I’ll waive to you as I’m running laps at the Y and you’re below with your buddies beating the crap out of each other playing basketball.  Winking smile

distance runner

Related post.  It’s an oldie but goodie:  I Am A Runner.

Run happy, if that’s your thing.  If you like football or basketball, find a league.  If you like to lift weights or CrossFit, awesome, go kill it.  Cycling?  I’ll see you on the road come spring!  There are so many different activities, go find one that you love!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

11 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Stop Running ….

  1. This post sang to me. I’m staring down another injury too, my piriformis which is aggravating my hip and shin on the same leg…

    I had PF for a long time. Yep, saw a podiatrist who put me in orthotics, even tho I argued with him about it bc I have a neutral gait. Lots of calf and soleus deep tissue massages. Feet too. He finally did the shockwave treatment on my heel for a bone spur and that fixed me. But then the big toe issue kept getting worse. Last spring, when I broke it, I went to see a foot orthopedic surgeon who told me the orthotics were most likely the cause of the big toe pain and injury. No more orthotics for me.

    Who do we trust with our injuries? I’ve gone the PT route in the past and had a bad experience too. There’s so many misinformed medical professionals out there too. Trust me, I know these things… My crossfit coach is a corrective exercise specialist and she’s helped me more than anyone. It’s frustrating because sure, if we took time off of running, we’d heal our bodies. But what about all the other health and psych benefits?

    I hope this guy helps you recover fast! And I hope to see you at some races this spring.

  2. Yes running motivates us. Hard to tell someone who doesn’t run, that running actually gives you more energy than resting. Anyway, sorry to hear about the PF. I have PF. You’ve probably heard these, but these seem to bring me lots of relief: 1) I sleep with a Strassburg sock at night 2) I use a Shiatsu Foot Messagers from Bed Bath and Beyond that has these rotating balls that work wonders, and 3) roll my foot on a tennis ball at work. I think my flare ups are worse when I change running shoes or when I try to run too fast, too soon. Anyway, hope you feel better soon, and hell yes keep running! 🙂

  3. Well I have posted on this before that the person to first see about PF is a podiatrist. The one I saw when PF in R-foot got serious did mention orthotic inserts and mentioned custom ones, but said just try over the counter one they sold in hospital store. Spent ca $25 on it to help soften the impact in the short term. He mentioned “micro-briding” as possibility, but felt injection the best way to go. He used Zeel injected into just anterior to heel bone where plantar ties in. Zeel is homeopathic anti-inflammatry that they sell a cream over the counter, but the injectable version was apparently only supplied and administered by DRr’s, though there was no limit on how often it could be administered and you could go back the next week and get another Zeel. This Foot Dr. did not like cortisone approach, but he was big on PRPT…Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy. It is essentially taking your own blood, centrifuging it, the injecting the platelet rich portion into your foot guided by ultrasound. The concentrated injection is concentrated in human growth hormone. It worked…within 5-days…totally pain free. The bottom of foot is notoriously lacking in blood vessesls…which is why it takes so long to heal. The concentrated HGH of my own body’s making…helped speed up healing of the inflammation. Dr. Pappas from CFIM down the road year or more later told me health insurance plans don’t approve of PRPT therapy and won’t cover it, but my was fully covered and at the time I was in an HMO network! I could forward Dr’s name and location to you…not that you want to travel to Munster, Indiana for treatment, but maybe your Dr could contact and explore potential to help you. Most of the therapy I did was focused on the foot itself…stretching plantar pulling backward on toes…using Strassburg sock at night….ya flexing foot against wall that does put stretch on calves…and using some hard-ball with little spikes all over it to rub and roll on underside of foot as massage. Not a fan of expensive custom-made orthotics…but something less expensive, over the counter can help in short-term. Given the severity and prolonged duration you have suffered with this…seems like PRPT might be something you really want to explore having done. I will be like those adds on TV about drugs and such…”Ask your Doctor about…” My experience with Drs is you have to be really involved, proactive…question at times…do research on your own and ask questions why not consider…or why don’t you think it is appropriate. Sometimes it is simply a Dr is not versed or aware of some of these special treatments…seemingly their is wide variation and not all keep up on the newest approaches, or take the time to learn how to apply them. I am a big fan of getting injections…if and when they have applicability to “turn-the-tide” in what injury one suffers from. In the case of Plantar in R-foot…it was prolonged impact over 6-months trying to contend with it doing the therapy and stretching and you name it. But it was Zeel injections that immediately turned the tide, then PRP injection that got ride of it completely within a week! When I was out last winter with the simple tear in R-knee medial meniscus that had me on crutches in midst of training for Boston Marathon. It was a cortisone injection ca 2-weeks later that had me back to walking within a few days…back to run-walk in 2-weeks…and doing run-walk at Boston…managed a 4:33 finish! Sometimes the body needs help other than “natural” approaches like PT…to get it over the threshold. The choice is you…prolong the agony of contending with it…or getting it healed! Wish you the best in getting back to running!

  4. Yes! I couldn’t agree more. My uncle is on my case… “you are going to get shin splints… do you have shin splints yet?” No I don’t! He’s uninformed, has heart problems, my aunt is hugely overweight. Which is better? Not working out doing something you love or sitting on the couch taking medication? I just don’t understand why non-runners give runners such a hard time! When crossfit became the rage (and still is), I didn’t judge them when I didn’t know anything definitive about it from my own experience. There are so many different viewpoints on whether running will hurt you or not. So let me do something that makes me happy! I’m not hurt either. I take care of myself and seek out professional opinions when necessary. People drive me nuts with their judgements. Doctors can be the worse! Ok rant done! Keep doing what you are doing Amanda. Wish you didn’t have so much pain and hope you can get it more manageable!

  5. I’ve recently dealt with a PF flare up that lasted a good 5 months!!!! I didn’t see a Dr. I did run into my PT and she reminded me of some good stretches, but otherwise knew that I would not do what she told me (stop running). And I do see my chiro on a regular basis, but not for my PF. Through it all I just kept on running. And for now everything is doing ok. I don’t know or understand PF, but I just keep going and it all turns out ok. It may bite me in the butt someday, but for now it has worked out.

  6. Oops, forgot to mention I did add insoles to my shoes. They were $70 a pair, but another running friend and fellow streaker swore by them and said they last 2-3 years. He runs waaaay more than I do. So I took his word for it. Wearing them wasn’t an instant fix, maybe it wasn’t the fix at all, but overtime I’ve seen where my feet feel so much better when I wear them. Let me know if you’re interested & I’ll pass along the info if you want to try them.

  7. If you haven’t tried AIS (active isolated stretching….Google it) then I highly recommend it. Thought I was going to have to quit my dental hygiene job and running until I stumbled upon it. Had done PT and the chiropractor with no results. Now I’m doing a half marathon a month and some marathons AND I’m 58 years old.

  8. I really love your blog! I am in total agreement with your love of running. It really is a strange addiction isn’t it? And yet I would not trade it for anything. I have a running partner and it is emotionally therapeutic on our runs as we as we share our ups and downs on life. We always feel better and more hopeful after.

    Hope you get some relief with your foot so you can enjoy a good long therapeutic run.

  9. Lot’s of good comments!! I am finishing up 8 weeks of NO running and I might kill someone soon….it is my prozac and my energy. Trying swimming, weights and bike, but nothing does it like RUNNING!!!! So I completely understand you and that is it with runners, we understand each other. My issue is bones that suck, and I have done dietary things and cryoTherapy, herbs…. taking forever to get the fractures to heal. What Frogger is talking about PRPT, I have heard really good things from many people about.

    Let’s run together again soon!! You will get this figured out soon, and keep running, because we need to!!

  10. It takes a village of doctors. One can fix this but not that, the other can fix that but not this. Sucks. I’m off running too, for those damn shin splints/tight feet and calves, and I’m chomping at the bit to get back after another week off to heal. I hope. Good luck with yours – sounds like you run for all the right reasons!

  11. I love my runners! I loved running and miss it everyday. And when i gave it up by choice (Coach’s orders) i knew i would be back because of all the reasons you stated. Now that i will never physically be able to run again, my heart is broken. It makes me crazy when my fellow trainers tell clients they have to stop/running is terrible/etc…they have valid points but running is far from the “worst thing ever for your body” as Coach is fond of saying. if a persons passion is running then work with them. Injury prevention, joint maintenance…runners are every bit an athlete as other athletes and deserve as much respect, care, and attention to keep them in their sport. And as a trainer, they give me an opportunity to write some incredibly fun workouts!

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