Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How To Give Yourself Plantar Fasciitis

Ahhh, plantar fasciitis... Welcome back old friend! I've missed you so. It's been years since I gave you the boot from my right foot (Ha!), and I've wondered why you never came back. I guessed that it was the occasional barefootery in my running routine that was keeping you at bay. Or my shift to a standing desk at work. Or perhaps that we had simply outgrown each other. After all, I had moved on. I'd run several marathons and even a couple of ultra marathons with nary a whisper from you. I assumed you were now miserably married to some other runner's foot, and that was fine with me.

And then, seemingly out of thin air, you show up at my footstep. Finding the doorway to my right foot firmly locked, you slithered under the archway of my left foot and latched your red hot claws onto my heel. But how? I'm usually attuned to every whimper and creak coming from my feet and knees. Why didn't I see you coming? Could I have seen you coming?

I Should Have Seen This Coming
Well, as usual, I have only myself to blame. Want to give yourself plantar fasciitis so you can suffer with me? Here's a sure fire formula:

  • Run faster. No, really, FASTER! Take your normal training paces and knock off a good minute. Now, attack every run for the next month at your new faster pace. Pat yourself on the back and brag about your newfound speed on your favorite run tracking website. It will add some zest to your future humble pie.
  • Race in new shoes. And I mean race! Break some long standing PR's by totally flailing your body through the last mile of the race. Make sure you lose all semblance of proper form in that last mile. Slam your heels into the ground on each stride, but remember to wear shoes with absolutely no support and no cushioning. We don't want any shoe technology to perhaps save you from yourself.
  • Cross train in stupid ways. I don't just mean the normal sort of overdoing it with CrossFit or the like. Find some activity that isn't even tangentially related to running, and commit to it with idiotic zeal. Springboard diving at your local pool is a nice choice. Slam your feet onto the board and spring off your toes with all your might. Repeat this until your feet hurt so much you can barely walk away from the pool. Now, go jump on a trampoline until your knees buckle.
  • Skip recovery days. Even though your knotted calf muscles look and feel like cheap plastic shopping bags full of golf balls, and even though both achilles feel like leaky, acid-filled surgical tubing, don't you dare take a break! Recovery days are for the weak. You are a badass runner. Just look at those new, faster paces!
  • Ignore the pain. Pffft! You call that slight burning sensation in your foot "pain"? Run an ultra-marathon, then you'll know pain. Remember, you are a badass runner! Use pithy movie quotes to rationalize your stupidity. Tis but a flesh wound! You ain't got time to bleed. 
Stay tuned for my next post, where I'll tell you how to get rid of plantar fasciitis. Really.