Sunday, September 30, 2007

Off my feet

Today's rainfall: .08"
September rainfall: 12.96"

I spent the weekend lying low with foot pain that Geoff pinpointed as a likely case of plantar fasciitis. Basically, it's excessive wear of the tendon-like tissue that stretches across the bottom of the foot. The common term is "policeman's heel." Between that and my "runner's knee," I'm feeling a bit bogged down with overuse maladies that supposedly have nothing to do with my lifestyle.

I think this effectively ends my hiking season, not that the downward-creeping snowline wasn't already threatening to do so. I keep trying to convince myself that it's just as well. It's time to leave the unhindered days of summer behind; time to return to the bike and the more regimented lifestyle of training I have been known to say I miss. But I believe a larger part of me still clings to the hiker's high - the carefree zeal in which I attacked elevation and hoisted myself to the craggy tundra that seemed worlds apart from my home, mere miles away.

And now it's gone. I'm more than a bit annoyed. I'm hobbling around like Gimpy McStiff at work, yet again; and the frequency of my limping, I'm sure, has my associates questioning my basic competence as a bipedal human. You can call me whiny, I don't care, but I think my body is being wholly uncooperative and unreasonable. When my knee cried overuse and decided to stamp out cycling for a while, I re-evaluated the virtues of cross-training. Now that the foot has nixed the cross-training (because pretty much all weight-bearing activities fire up the pain), I guess it's cycling or nothing again.

It seems we can't win, in this battle everyone shares, when age is our enemy and experience our friend.


  1. Hi Jill, hope you feel better soon. Regards.

  2. Ooooh, owee. 3 words; ice, ice, baby. I worked through PF with lots of ice theropy.
    Wow, awesome pics of your 'three mountains'. Good eye candy.

  3. I'm sure you will find a way to carry on! You know there are a lot of us out here who envy your lifestyle, (and your scenery, bikes and tenacity) plantar fasciitis and all!

  4. If the bike is your only option.... I guess thats not so bad?

  5. Plantar Faciticisisiss sucks Jill.
    I used to get on and off for years running and hiking.. when I used to run.

    If you can swing it I'd suggest you get Orthotics for your shoes. Check you insurance and call around to PT's who might make them. Once I got a pair two years ago I havent even had a hint of a problem since.

    Ice is your friend too...

  6. Jill – you ramp up your mileage way too fast. A 10% increase over the prior week is a SAFE and proven method (although a bit tedious)…. The overuse injuries you describe can be avoided by taking it slow. As you get older (and your still a pup) going ballistic with your mileage, be it hiking, skiing, or riding WILL bite you in the (pick your weakest body part) every time.

  7. Sorry to hear you are hurt! I don't know what I would do if I couldn't run/hike. Maybe back to swimming for you?

    As someone above said, at least you still have the bike.

  8. Sorry to hear about your latest pain challenge, I had similar earlier this summer. Google plantar fasciitis, there are several remedies and different ones work for different people with the same condition. I have Dr. Scholls inserts designed for heel pain, they add arch support and I wear them all the time, even cycling, and don't have a bit of pain any more. You also should stretch your calves and hamstrings and even the bottoms of your feet, tightness in any of these places can contribute. Rolling a golf or tennis ball under your foot may help. Ice might help. A lot of cycling can cause this even if you don't hike much. The good news is that the condition is not permanent and with care can be beaten.
    Once again, I really love you pics!

  9. Yikes, I have that, too. Gary and Eric are on the money. Get good shoes and orthopedic inserts - the ones that are custom-made are the best. Start slow and build up to wearing them all the time, even around the house, and do stretching exercises for your feet. You'll beat it.


Feedback is always appreciated!