Preliminary Race Schedule 2015

Black Cat 20 miler March 2015
Boston Marathon April 2015
JCC sprint tri May 2015
B2B bike race/ride June 2015

? Musselman July or Lowell Olympic
? challenge Maine olympic in august
sprint or half September

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm a heel striker....

So my injury ( left heel plantar fascitis) started pretty much right after Lake Placid. As I discussed in a previous blog, after riding 112 miles on the bike I felt severe burning in the bottom of both of my feet in the front ( right where the cleats are located on my bike shoes). This pain I experienced was very severe and it actually hurt the entire marathon. My feet felt awful and during the marathon I think I changed my running mechanics a bit to be more of a heel striker to lesson the amount of pressure off of my front foot. Anyway, soon after LP when i started gearing up again with the running I noticed I was running a bit off but just shrugged it off. Within 2 1/2 weeks of ironman I had developed plantar fascitis of the left heel. I was away on vacation and new ( since I had a small bout of it 2 years ago) to lay off the running, ice/motrin and stretching with the hopes that it would resolve in a short period of time. Well, we are at almost 1 month and its just now just starting to feel a bit better. I have seen a physical therapist twice a week, icing/motrin/stretching, going to bed with a sneaker on to keep my foot flexed, its driving me crazy. However, today, I ran 3.6miles on the treadmill at 0% incline and felt minimal discomfort. I was so happy, however, I know I am not out of the woods and I need to continue to run conservatively and to continue my therapy to make this heal.

One of things Sara my PT wanted to do during our session last week was to evaluate my running gait, to see if she could tweek anything to help my foot recover, here is what she saw:
1. I am a big hell striker
2. most of my stride lands in the front of my body
3. I land with my foot locked in full supination- which she noted is not ideal as you will not absorb shock as you land.
4. I have very limited movement at the pelvis- she wants my pelvis to open up so my hips can follow through behind my body
5. I am stiff in my lower thoracic spine 9 which is contributing to my inability to get my pelvis to open up)
6. I am lacking in hip extension- I have a tight Psoas- which is also limiting my hip extension/stride behind me

She is having me do:
try quiet running-avoid hell striking- let my foot fall directly below the hip ( at the mid-foot or apex of the arch)
2. avoid landing with the foot in supination) run quietly
3. let the pelvis and trunk rotate back as my stride opens-I should rotate just above my lumbar spine ( around T12) as my leg swings back, I need to let my hip go and feel the rotation all the way up to T12
4. Lean forward from the ankles-do not bend at the waist- keep my core tight.

I tried this again today and it seems to be working. I would be a fool to think my foot pain is going to go away right away but at least I can correct all my running issues while I'm running conservatively and hopefully we can prevent this from happening again in the future.

My issue is: I have a sprint triathlon this saturday and I really want to do it. My problem is that I have run 4 times this past month and obviously no speed work. A. I am afraid to injur myself more, B. I don't know if I can handle everyone passing me on the run, which was already the slowest part of my Triathlon. I will give it another few days and make my decision at the end of the week. We'll see. But keep your fingers crossed that things are getting better, I know I am.


  1. Oh, things are definitely getting better!
    I have had the foot pain on the ball of the foot that you had at Placid. In fact, the first time I had it was at the marathon at Placid. Weird.
    The one thing about striking with your forefoot more is that is will tighten your calves more, which is (in part) connected to your plantar fascia problem. But still, I have heard heel striking will cause problems too! And the hip thing and the leaning from the ankles thing? Bobby McGee! Remember from our coaching class? He did those funny dynamic stretches to open the hips. Have you tried those???

  2. good point about the stretches from the hip, I have to try those, thanks Mary.