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PF but still want to run a Marathon in 2 months

Posted by Robbie Maupin on 8/28/98 at 19:25 (001490)

I developed PF after gradually increasing mileage from 20-25 miles a week to 35-40 miles a week. At the same time that I started increasing the mileage I purchased a new pair of ASICS. I had always worn ASICS and hadn't had any problem with heel pain. These were, however, the new '98 models that were slightly different from the '97 model shoes. I am not sure what actually caused the problem to occur. I religiously stretch my calves before and after a run so I don't believe flexibility is a problem. However, after reading some of the tips found at this web site, I will probably increase my stretching routine.

I am currently training for my first marathon and I am interested in any tips that will help get me through the next two months. I have considered changing shoes and was wondering if anyone had a recommendation. I will probably take the advice of purchasing Birkenstocks and inserts. It seems that most people recommend cutting back on running or eliminating running altogether. Is there anyone who has continued to train with PF and what recommendations do you have? If I can get through the next 2 months and the marathon, I will probably take some time off. Thanks for any inputs

Re: PF but still want to run a Marathon in 2 months

Cindy on 8/30/98 at 16:55 (001508)

Your message just scares me to death! I think you are taking a HUGE risk to keep running and to try a marathon with PF. I got PF from cross country skiing, and then ignored the pain in the right heel, continued to power walk 4 miles daily, lift weights 3 times a week, scuba dive, etc. Soon, the left heel hurt, too. Ignored it again - it wasn't that bad yet. Soon, both feet became so severely inflamed that I could literally not even stand up for 5 minutes. I was listening then, but it was too late. I was very crippled for about 6 months, and underwent numerous painful treatments at PT and shots by my dr.

I finally got about 75% better after about 6-8 months - I could walk normally, with pain after about 20 minutes, but couldn't work out at all (power walking was a killer on the feet). So, I started using an exercise bike at the gym, with no resistance, just really spinning the wheels - and after a few weeks, my feet became as inflammed as ever. And, 16 months later, I am still miserable - I use a wheelchair to go anywhere I have to stand over 5 minutes. I sit on a chair to brush my teeth, I kneel on a chair in the kitchen. I am very disabled. And, if I had paid attention to my feet in the first place, this wouldn't have happened.

I know, as a former runner, that it is really hard to lay off it - but, my best advice is to stop running NOW, forget this marathon (there are others later), and let those feet heal. My husb, an avid runner with several marathons under his belt, got PF 10 years or so ago - he stopped running immediately, waited 1 month, took PT, did stretches, and was fully cured. He continues to run pain-free today. Too bad his idiot wife is crippled.

I hope you will consider what I am saying - I know its not what you want to hear. I was just told Friday by my DPM that he doesn't think I will ever recover, since I have had this so long. Best wishes

Re: PF but still want to run a Marathon in 2 months

liz on 8/31/98 at 15:40 (001529)


I'm a PF sufferer too and also a runner. I took 6 mo. off from running last winter, got better, but now I'm back to where I started. Anyway, I can give you a few tips, but keep in mind, that none are cures...just ways to deal with the pain. Here is what has worked for me: ice after every run, 800 mg ibuprofen twice a day (or some other anti-inflam), stretching (actually can cure it if tight calves, hamstrings, or achilles is the problem), deep tissue massage (helps break up the scar tissue). Also, I believe it's very important that you cut back on your mileage as much as possible. Ideally, you should only run every other day and I'd recommend eliminating any speed work and try to stay on soft surfaces...trails, beach, etc. If I were you, I'd even try taking off 3-4 days (while taking ibuprofen)...maybe even a week. Just a short break might be enough to get rid of it if you have a mild case. It is my belief that you can get through a marathon on limited mileage (~25ish) if your goal is just to finish. However, the best thing for you is rest and then figuring out what caused the problem to start with...orthotics are a good place to start and about 90% of runners need them. Tip for orthotics...ask around before chosing a doctor to make your orthotics...you want someone who knows about running and PF. good luck.

Re: PF but still want to run a Marathon in 2 months

Michael Pryce MD on 8/31/98 at 20:37 (001536)

You may be suffering from a collapsing arch. Please visit the web page http://www.flatfoot.com and read all the information. Especially read the testimonial page about the runners. Then contact us at the toll free 1-888-FLT-FOOT (358-3668) and get the information. I have recently published an article in Biomechanics Magazine that may help you too. It might be available at http://www.biomechanics.com . I think we might be able to help you. Be advised that your problem might also be a stress fracture in the foot. Hope to hear from you. Michael Pryce MD