It's hard to describe how stressed and distressed I was after returning from last Saturday's 11-mile run with a left foot that felt like someone had fed it to a meat-grinder. Right then and there, with a very sore arch and pain in my heel, I had serious doubts about being able to finish the Leadville 100.
This plantar fasciitis in my left foot has really been tough to deal with and seems to have taken a terrible turn for the worse over the past two weeks.
Fortunately, I've taken some measures since Saturday that have resulted in my foot feeling much, much better. First off, I stopped running after Saturday and have tried very hard to stay off my feet. I haven't run a step since and have instead been swimming. I swam 110 laps on Sunday and 90 laps last night. I think I forgot how much I love swimming. One day I'll try my hand at an Ironman Triathlon.
Also, on the suggestion of a good friend, Ted, I've started using KT Tape. This amazing product comes with instructions for taping various injuries, including PF, and they also offer helpful YouTube video demonstrations. My foot has been constantly taped since Saturday and I've noticed a huge difference. With my arch now supported and stabilized, my foot seems to be healing. The three days from now to the race present more time to heal. I'll be wearing the tape on race day.
I also had a combination therapeutic/deep-tissue massage on Monday morning. According to my massage therapist, my calves and quads were in great shape, but she definitely had to work out some tightness in my hamstrings, IT bands and shoulders. I was in agony--a good kind of agony, if that makes sense--as she worked on my IT bands. I felt drained, but so much better, afterward.
As for my strep throat, I'm continuing with my antibiotic and have really emphasized probiotic products such as Kefir smoothies and yogurt to prevent GI distress, a possible side effect of antibiotics. My stomach has been great and the fogginess and drowsiness I felt as a result of the antibiotic have abated. I may take myself off my antibiotic on Friday night as an added precaution. Friday night will mark 16 of the 20 prescribed doses. I need to think more carefully about that to make sure I'm doing the right thing.
The ultimate result has been that I'm now much more confident, albeit cautiously optimistic, going into the Leadville 100. My goals for Leadville are:
1) Finish--always the #1 goal in a 100-miler
2) Sub-25 hours for the buckle
3) Sub-20 hours/placement
As far as the actual race, all plans seem to be in place. My don't-drop bags are ready. My mom and brother, who will be joined by Anne and Noah as my crew, arrive tomorrow and we'll drive into Leadville on Friday morning for the medical check-in, meetings, etc. My pacers, Lance and Michelle, are ready to go. You can only have one pacer at a time, so Michelle and Lance will take turns on various portions of the course during the final 50 miles.
This will be my last post until after the race. Wish me luck!
Few actors played the good guy better than Henry Fonda. A classic Fonda scene from "The Grapes of Wrath."