An article around recovering from pain in training.

Me, on the Appalachian Trail, while healing from PF.

Me on the Appalachian TrailBefore Christmas, I came down with a serious pain in my right foot.  I tried to push through it, and it got worse.  It was diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis (PF).

Healing from this has tied in with Yoga and Pilates.  In my case, the root cause was an incorrect gait while running and failure to adequately stretch.  It took three distinct disciplines to help me overcome this.

Pilates has taught me to correct my form, as well as slow down.  My mind is that of a “doer” and with a father who was a former WWII Marine in the South Pacific, the idea of “taking it easy” was near profanity.  Work until you are done was our motto….even if you couldn’t work anymore.

Yoga has taught me the importance of stretching and listening to my body.  Onion Ann always says, “listen to your body,” but she never tells us how to do that.  I am lost.  For now, the best I can come up with is “if it hurts, simmer down.”

Lastly, there is one item that is missing in the description of my healing…dry needle therapy.  This made more of a difference than icing and rest.  Once a week, I drive to downtown Charlotte and get small needles not much different than acupuncture needles put into the scar tissue in my calves and feet.  Yes, it hurts, and I want to punch someone, but afterwards, it is all worth it.  I can walk without pain for a long time, and I can run and cycle on it, literally within a few hours.  It is like going into sick bay on the USS Enterprise and getting someone to use a fancy device on me that does the equivalent of attaching and healing a recent amputation.  I don’t know HOW it works, but it works.  Thank you, Mark Kane! for an example of how it works.

At the really highest of levels, anyone who goes through deep healing must have people in their lives who inject assistance.  Those people become prized.  In my case, this 47 year old body needed three disciplines, all working concurrently, to heal my foot.  All were uniquely important.

This week alone, I have ran for two days in a row, and my foot is OK, not in too much pain.  I haven’t done that in 2013.  My times need to come down by 1 min per mile, but that is reasonable…as long as I stay healthy and learn what “listen to your body,” means.