Abracadabra ⭐️⭐️⭐️ plantar fasciitis be gone!

Oh it’s been so long since I’ve written here, but I’m hoping that is going to change starting now. 

I peeked at my Facebook today (my New Years resolution is to stay off FB and check in once a month, which so far I have accomplished). But I peeked today, looking only at my “memories” which, I might add,  I haven’t liked being reminded over the past year of how many miles I used to run. Those posts have become a sad, distant memory for me. Today’s memory was just poetic- I was reminded that I had a cortisone injection 3 years ago today in my left foot for plantar fasciitis. I think that was the second of a total of three injections over the past 5 plus years for said injury. 

As I write this, I’m laying supine on my bed, my wrapped and booted left foot propped up on a super thick pillow, cat tucked in for a nap. A giant sigh escapes my body. 


Two days ago I had a procedure -a PRP injection – done on my foot. After 5 plus years of on and off chronic plantar fasciitis I decided to try something that will hopefully (and let’s all say a positive prayer for me right now) and finally end this injury. 

I researched, about a year and a half ago when I had my last flare up, shock wave therapy and found a doctor who is local (SF Bay Area) who does that procedure and does house calls, but at the time didn’t pursue him because insurance doesn’t cover the procedure and I didn’t want to spend the money when I was already paying for health insurance. I went to my regular podiatrist and that is when I received my third cortisone shot and was back in my walking boot. That worked as far as no heel pain and I only ran very short distances, 3-5 miles, closer to the 3 mile range and with walk breaks. I was terrified my PF would return if I did anything more. 

Last year I managed to run three 5K’s (2 of which I placed 1st and 2nd) and one 10K trail run (Angwin to Anguish), in the rain, where I was squeaked out of 3rd and got 4th. The 3rd place lady bamboozled me- but I won’t go there. It’s a great race btw, very scenic and hilly. 

 

The last 5K was a Turkey Chase here in Napa Valley. The whole family participated.


That was the last time I ran, and since then I’ve been mostly walking on my treadmill. After work, I’d jump on my treadmill and binge watch Netflix getting in about 20 miles of walking in a week. 

I could feel a tinge of pain in my heel coming on, but ignored it until about a month ago. The pain was coming back and I couldn’t really continue walking like I was. 

Enter depression. On top of having to put down my sweet golden retriever of 15-1/2 years in mid January, something that still makes me sad,  the pain was back and I was feeling hopeless. I would sit and think, why? Why when I finally found something that made me super happy, that made me feel like a superhero, that inspired me to push myself and encourage others, that made me feel like my life had purpose, why was this taken from me? Yes, I was feeling very sorry for myself. 

I was interested in the shock wave therapy again and decided to see if I could get that done. I called my podiatrist and asked if I could do it. Typical doctors office response “we haven’t seen you in 15 months, so you need to come in first and have the doctor exam you.” Yes, so he can tell me the same thing and charge me more. This doctor too, advised me to stop running. This is just not an option. 

Enter Doc On The Run. I emailed him all that I have been through with the laundry list of therapies I’ve done to rid myself of PF. Nothing has permanently gotten it to go away. 

Doc On The Run isn’t your ordinary podiatrist. He’s an award winning foot surgeon who is himself an athlete, runner, cyclist, ironman. Who better to consult with than someone who can relate and is an expert in the field? I’d been on his email podcast list since I researched him a year and a half ago and because I am in between jobs this week, wanted to take advantage of this time off to fix my foot once and for all! Unlike my old podiatrist who couldn’t move quickly, Dr. Segler was on it. He called me right away and we talked about my options.  We set up a formal consultation for the next day (this was last Thursday before my week off) and he told me all the options I could choose from and recommended the PRP injection as my best treatment. Taking advantage of having this week to recover he arranged for the procedure to happen on Monday giving me the entire week to rest my foot before starting my new job. 

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Dr. Segler and his services. He is available 24/7 to answer questions. He responds within hours of any emails. He calls on the Weeknd. HE MAKES HOUSE CALLS! 

Doc On The Run check him out for yourself! He works worldwide.


The big day: Dr. Segler worked some magic to expedite getting the equipment and drove up to my home in Napa to perform the PRP injection. He was very professional and took the time to go over everything and answer all the questions I had. He set up a sterile area in my living room where I would be getting my injection. 

First he drew blood from my arm. I told him I bruise easy with blood draws and he said then I would probably have a bruise. But my bruise is very small and almost unoticeable which is great since I expected it to be huge. It’s not. Then he placed my blood in a centrifuge, where it spins my blood for 15 minutes. This separates my blood into 3 sections. The middle section holds the platelet rich plasma which is what will be injected back into my foot to promote healing. 


You can see my foot is all prepped. While my blood was spinning he injected my foot with lidocane, a numbing agent. This was the most painful part. I think I kicked him during one of the injections. Sorry doc. 

Now that my foot was numb and the PRP ready he quickly injected my foot on the spots he had marked on my foot prior. I didn’t feel a thing and afterwards he showed me the rather large needle. Yikes! I kept my eyes closed for all the injections as I was already nervous about it all. I kinda wished I had watched the plasma injections. When I had dared to open my eyes he was already done.

He then wrapped my foot and leg in a wet cast and a couple other layers of gauze or dry cast material. Not sure of the technicalities of it all. He finished it off with a sock.


And lastly, the full length walking boot.

I was given a folder of written instructions and a pain script, he made sure I was comfortable and had my TV remote. ☺️Number 1 instruction: stay off my foot for 48 hours, best… stay in bed. And so here I am. I have crutches if I need to get up, and am to use for the rest of the week. Followed by a week or two in the walking boot. I’m not thrilled to be in the boot for my new job, but at least I won’t be on the crutches and frankly, the more I can stay off my foot the better it will heal and I’m 100% behind that! 

Can I say, walking on crutches sucks! My armpits hurt!! 

Dr. Segler was here for about an hour and a  half. My foot was pretty numb afterwards and that lasted for a few hours. He called me before I went to bed to check on me. How many doctors do that? Um… none! The only pain I felt was during the night. The top of my foot was super achy. I called him at 5:30 am after being up every two hours. He told me to remove the top layer of coverings on my foot. That helped. Last night I still had some pain on the top of my foot. I don’t know why things have to hurt during the night. I think it hurts because my foot is in a flexed position and when I’m sleeping it doesn’t get much circulation. One thing I haven’t felt, heel pain. The only pain I feel is from hobbling around in crutches. All those muscles hurt and make me not want to get up. I guess that will keep me off my feet! Did I mention my armpits HURT! 

So the doc will check in again this week and I will take off the bandages maybe Friday while he is on the phone with me remotely. At that point I will just be in the walking boot for a week, maybe two, hopefully not three. It will just depend on how my body is healing. This has been chronic for so many years, it could take time. I’m hoping not so much time. 

For more information about PRP click this link.  PRP
Keep your fingers crossed for me, say a prayer, send me good positive vibes. I need to get better. I need to run again. I need to be my best self. I need to be me! Whole and healthy. 

Thank you!! I will keep you posted.

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Highlights from the Napa Valley Marathon

Saturday March 3
Going up to Napa on Saturday with Sonja, a one hour drive from Marin was the beginning to a wonderful weekend. We went to the expo, got our lovely lime green (and smelly as Sonja declared-I kept mine, wasn’t that bad) swag duffle bags. I was thrilled to get a refund for the pasta feed ($30) that I had no intention of attending now that I had a group of friends with me running this marathon.

Lunch at Angéle in Napa by the very dry river front followed by a slow stroll (I was trying to be nice to my strained calf) through this section of Napa. I ate this yummy sandwich (not the salad, which was a bit salty, which I would normally have eaten, except I was limiting my fiber intake for race purposes) only to still be hungry afterwards. I satisfied my sweet tooth with a giant peanut butter cookie half dipped in chocolate and a chai latte from the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company down the street.

croque monsieur ou madame

The Inn at Southbridge in St. Helena was a lovely place to stay. They catered to the marathon runners by providing turn down service which included a GU for each runner. They also provided breakfast at 5 a.m. and a shuttle that brought us to the start of the race (in Calistoga) and also back to the hotel post race. They even extended our checkout time to 2 p.m. so we could clean up post race! Our rooms also had complimentary water and apples! I would stay there again just for fun or most likely, next years marathon. Shanna and Maurizo stayed there too just next door to our room! I had dinner with them at Cook just down the street, ordering my usual pre-race fare of pasta and seafood which we asked the chef to create especially for us since it wasn’t on their menu. We inhaled our meal as if we were in a race. Seriously, we were done in 30 minutes!

Getting a surpise text message from Athleta’s sponsored athlete Jeri Howland, (who is an incredible and accomplished athlete-check her out!) saying:
“Rooting for you-don’t worry abouta little pain! You will do it!”
That message meant so much to me, I carried those words with me throughout the race.

Sunday March 4 Race Day
Getting to sit in the shuttle van to stay warm for a while before the 7 a..m. race start. It was 40 degrees!

Taking care of business in the porta potty (a first for me!) and thankful to have that off my plate of things to worry about during the race!

Running the first two miles with Sonja and Maili, knowing that they could run much faster than me with my strained calf. I slowed down and let them go. I didn’t want them to run with me. It was hard to watch my team mates go ahead and for me to stay behind, but I had to think of my injury. I wasn’t even sure I would get that far. I watched them move further and further away and knew this race was going to be run alone.

Meeting Julie, who was running a few feet to my left. I figured she was injured like me as she had one compression sleeve on her right calf too. I had KT Tape under my right sleeve and I always wear my Zensah sleeves on both calfs. Julie, out here from Chicago, was running her first marathon too. Her husband was running somewhere up ahead. She injured her calf five weeks prior to the race. I injured mine two weeks prior. I think she had it worse than me. I asked her what our pace was and she said somewhere in the 11 min range. That was faster than I thought I would be running. Julie is a nurse, and a mother of two. I just remember her saying… it’s just a muscle (the calf), and not bone, so it’s not broken. We ran together for a while (I was hoping to run more with her), but then she said… I’m done. She meant, done with keeping up our pace. I knew I had to keep going they way I was running and we bid farewell. I hope she finished. She is a rockstar running this race injured.

Running past a gal wearing the same outfit I wore at the Spartan Race. I so wanted to pull out my iphone and snap a pic of her from behind. It was so funny.

Seeing Jim (a race volunteer) at the mile twelve aid station. We connected a few weeks back from an online fitness dating site (he’s a runner) and met for lunch the very day I strained my calf muscle just two weeks ago. I was not myself that day, and wasn’t sure how I felt about him. Nevertheless, he gave me words of encouragement and said “see you at the finish!” I said yes! and hoped to make it that far.

Running past the 13 mile marker. The first half was done (and went by rather fast I thought) and I was just so happy I had made it that far! My calf was tight and fighting me the entire way. I had to focus on it completely, the way I landed each foot strike careful not to push off with the ball of my foot.  It was time for the Ibuprofen. Sadly I had lost a few and only had one. It would have to do.

I stopped to take a photo, as the surrounding landscape was incredibly beautiful. Stopping proved to be a mistake for my calf, but the photo was pretty. The other pics I took were while I ran, afraid to have that happen again.

Hearing one man on the sidelines shout out my bib number: “Go 548! Great job!”
There were small crowds of people cheering us on when there was an intersection that crossed along the Silverado Trail. There weren’t many of these intersections, so it was great to see them and hear them say “great job.”

Constantly repeating in my head, “push through the pain!”

Constantly repeating in my head, “you can lay in bed all day tomorrow!” (which I’m not… yet.)

Repeating what Becky, my manager at Athleta said from my last half, “you can do anything for 2 hours.”

Thinking of my co-workers and the hardships they are working through and knowing that my calf pain is nothing in comparrison. I dedicated this run in my mind, to them, Michelle, Jenny and Colleen.

Thinking of my running mates Team Kick Ass… and wondering if Shanna beat Maurizio (which she did by a few minutes), and Maili, wondering how she was holding up, knowing Sonja would be there for her.

Thinking that I knew I would run this marathon alone and that I’m ok with that.

Having bananas at the later aid stations. I walked every aid station, filled up my small hand held bottle with gatorade and walked for maybe a hundred yards to give my calf a short break.

Running up the entire hill at mile 19 while most the participants around me were walking. I think this was my proudest moment of the race.

Rewarding myself at mile 20 with music. I told myself if I made it this far I could start the juke box, my iphone. Of course the first song on my Napa playlist was Kelly Clarkson’s, What Doesn’t Kill Us (Stronger). That was my theme song for this race (and last month) and it was poetic that the playlist shuffle chose this first.

Having people say they want to run with me when they heard the music. I felt like Forrest Gump in the running scenes with the group behind him running, even though I am sure I didn’t have one.

Making funny poses for the camera men when I saw them near the finish of the race.

The last two miles… they were brutal. It felt as though I could barely lift my legs.

Repeating what Becky said with a slight wording change, “you can do anything for 15 minutes.” That was all that I had left to run.

Seeing Jim again as I rounded the corner in the neighborhood just adjacent to Vintage High School where the race concluded. He shouted “you made it!” We high fived, and I thought I should reconsider going out with him again. So nice of him to be there. It spurred me on to finish strong.

Seeing Mom and Dad at the finish shoot holding up this sign.

Not even caring what my time was, just glad I finished. I never looked until later.

Seeing the first of my teammates, Jack (we hugged) right after I got my medal.

Getting my photo taken and having the photographer tell me to strike a pose like Beyonce! Can’t wait to see that!

Seeing Shanna (I cried), then Sonja (I cried harder) who squeezed me so tight I thought I was going to stop breathing. She was so incredibly happy that I made it. I think she couldn’t believe it, but also knew I would. She stayed with me while they got me on a massage table, got my sweat bag for me and some food. I could barely walk at this point, the relief of the race being over, my body was done.

Thank you to Andrea who gave me a gentle massage.

wish i had taken this at the beginning of the race when i was fresh and pretty.

Post Race
Meeting up with my team and their families at the Silverado Brewery Co, knowing that we all kicked ass at this race. Each in our own way.

shanna, maurizio, me (w/bad post race hair), sonja and maili

Having gelato (my reward for the run) with my mom and dad.

chocolate, caramel, and white chocolate... yum!

Coming home and proudly being able to put the 26.2 pendant that Maili gave me days before the race on my chain. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to get to do that.
Thank you Maili!!

I am so glad I pushed through and ran this race! It wasn’t the race I had initially hoped for, but the sheer fact that I ran a full marathon with an injury makes this journey even more meaningful. I want to run this marathon again. The Napa Valley Marathon was very well organized with a small field of participants and a beautiful course. Since I was moving slow and not caring about my time, I actually got to enjoy that part of it. The best part is, next time, or the next marathon, I am bound to PR!

Thank you to all the volunteers and spectators who were there to make this a truly great experience!

not too bad for a challenged runner

Now it’s time to get some well-deserved rest (I hear the couch calling me), rehabilitate my calf and then “get my run” back on!

Napa Valley Marathon ≠ 2 Miles

There is just 2 more days to the Napa Valley Marathon. Mid-week I was feeling as though I could pull this marathon off—running super slow. Yesterday at work I was having some calf pain, but this morning it felt better. So, per my plan, I attempted my last run on my treadmill. Three…er… easy miles. The first two went rather well but I was thinking about my foot strike the entire time. I ran a 12-minute pace, comfortable. Then, my mind started to drift off to what I was going to wear Sunday, as it will be a bit warmer than I originally was planning for, and that’s when it happened. The squeeze. My calf or the area just below it got tight. I slowed to a walk and hoped to walk it out. I got off the treadmill and stretched it a few seconds. Then walked for about half a mile or so and then resumed running even slower–4.8 mph. I think at the marathon there may be walkers who might pass me at that speed!

I’m not sure what is going to happen at the marathon this Sunday. I will go and do what I can. 26.2 miles is a long way to walk… I want to run. I want to cross the finish line, but after today’s dismal workout, this marathon might simply be a 5K for me. I guess I’ll take each mile as it comes.

Wish me luck… I’m gonna need it!