Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

help! I need to know if I can run the marathon!

Posted by Claire B on 7/31/01 at hrmin (054977)

I have recently discovered that I have (fairly mild, but sometimes quite painful) plantar fasciitis as a result of training for my first marathon. As a result, I have not run for 3 weeks (previously I was running about 30 miles a week). I know that rest is important, but I was wondering whether I will be able to run the marathon - I have just 8 weeks to go before the race, and I really need to do a lot of training.

It's not painful every day, but after reading lots of info about plantar fasciitis, I'm now v worried about making it worse. I have had 2 doses of ultra sound, but I cannot afford to go back for more physio.

I just need to know - should I tell my sponsors now that I won't be running the marathon, or should I carry on and see how it feels? I can't really afford to take it easy from a training point of view, and I so wanted to run this race...

Please, please help (preferably coming up with a miracle solution!)

Claire

Re: help! I need to know if I can run the marathon!

Julie on 7/31/01 at 16:03 (054982)

Claire, I think anyone here who has continued to run after starting PF would tell you 'Don't even think about running the marathon this year'. (But they can speak for themselves and I hope they will!) You are very likely, if you keep training and do the big run, to do permanent damage to your feet.

The marathon will be there next year. It's not the end of the world if you can't do it this year.

Was it your trainer who diagnosed PF? Is he or she qualified to work with you on a treatment programme?

Probably you should make an appointment with a podiatrist or a sports medicine doctor and get a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Read the heel pain book. Make healing your priority for now so you can run the marathon next year.

Good luck!

Re: help! I need to know if I can run the marathon!

Kelsey J on 8/01/01 at 11:40 (055078)

Claire,
This is not what you want to hear, but I absolutely agree with Julie. I was diagnosed w/ PF 3 weeks before my first marathon. I ran it anyway with the help of prescription painkillers and anti-inflammatories. That was six months ago, and my PF is so bad that I haven't run one mile since the race. REST it now, run the marathon next year.

Re: help! I need to know if I can run the marathon!

Dr. Zuckerman on 8/01/01 at 15:34 (055107)

Rest, Physical therapy, Rest and more rest. You will only do more harm. You only have one pair of feet please treat them kindly

Re: Thanks for the replies guys

Claire B on 8/05/01 at hrmin (055557)

Yeah, I'm gutted, but it was only what I was expecting, I suppose. Any idea how long I need to rest it for before I can start running again? I'm getting really cranky without it!

Re: How long?

Julie on 8/05/01 at 16:04 (055559)

Claire, that's not a question that can be answered by anyone here. How long it takes to heal your PF depends on a number of things: how long you've had it, how severe the injury to it is, and what is causing it and how that cause is dealt with, but above all on you, and your willingness to participate in a comprehensive treatment programme. Rest alone, though necessary, won't do the job. You need to see a good foot specialist, identify the cause of the problem, and address it with a sensible and consistent package of treatments.

For now, a couple of important things you should know are - always wear good, supportive footgear, and never go barefoot. Many of us like Birkenstocks and find them helpful - I keep a pair by my bed and my feet go straight into them as soon as they swing over the side, never onto the floor. My PF is better now, but I expect I'll follow this particular rule, and continue to wear my orthotics, forever. I think it's important to keep taking care of the feet, to avoid recurrence.

I know how you feel about running - all runners seem to get cranky if they have to stop. But perhaps you could regard it as an opportunity to try something new: swimming, biking, yoga (as long as it doesn't involve too much standing - many classes do) Pilates - there are lots of possibilities. And you'll probably also need to do suitable stretches, preferably non-weight-bearing, for your PF.

Did I say before, read the heel pain book?

And if you post a message saying where you live, Dr Zuckerman and Dr Davis have said that they will try to recommend a doctor whatever area you're in.

Re: help! I need to know if I can run the marathon!

Julie on 7/31/01 at 16:03 (054982)

Claire, I think anyone here who has continued to run after starting PF would tell you 'Don't even think about running the marathon this year'. (But they can speak for themselves and I hope they will!) You are very likely, if you keep training and do the big run, to do permanent damage to your feet.

The marathon will be there next year. It's not the end of the world if you can't do it this year.

Was it your trainer who diagnosed PF? Is he or she qualified to work with you on a treatment programme?

Probably you should make an appointment with a podiatrist or a sports medicine doctor and get a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Read the heel pain book. Make healing your priority for now so you can run the marathon next year.

Good luck!

Re: help! I need to know if I can run the marathon!

Kelsey J on 8/01/01 at 11:40 (055078)

Claire,
This is not what you want to hear, but I absolutely agree with Julie. I was diagnosed w/ PF 3 weeks before my first marathon. I ran it anyway with the help of prescription painkillers and anti-inflammatories. That was six months ago, and my PF is so bad that I haven't run one mile since the race. REST it now, run the marathon next year.

Re: help! I need to know if I can run the marathon!

Dr. Zuckerman on 8/01/01 at 15:34 (055107)

Rest, Physical therapy, Rest and more rest. You will only do more harm. You only have one pair of feet please treat them kindly

Re: Thanks for the replies guys

Claire B on 8/05/01 at hrmin (055557)

Yeah, I'm gutted, but it was only what I was expecting, I suppose. Any idea how long I need to rest it for before I can start running again? I'm getting really cranky without it!

Re: How long?

Julie on 8/05/01 at 16:04 (055559)

Claire, that's not a question that can be answered by anyone here. How long it takes to heal your PF depends on a number of things: how long you've had it, how severe the injury to it is, and what is causing it and how that cause is dealt with, but above all on you, and your willingness to participate in a comprehensive treatment programme. Rest alone, though necessary, won't do the job. You need to see a good foot specialist, identify the cause of the problem, and address it with a sensible and consistent package of treatments.

For now, a couple of important things you should know are - always wear good, supportive footgear, and never go barefoot. Many of us like Birkenstocks and find them helpful - I keep a pair by my bed and my feet go straight into them as soon as they swing over the side, never onto the floor. My PF is better now, but I expect I'll follow this particular rule, and continue to wear my orthotics, forever. I think it's important to keep taking care of the feet, to avoid recurrence.

I know how you feel about running - all runners seem to get cranky if they have to stop. But perhaps you could regard it as an opportunity to try something new: swimming, biking, yoga (as long as it doesn't involve too much standing - many classes do) Pilates - there are lots of possibilities. And you'll probably also need to do suitable stretches, preferably non-weight-bearing, for your PF.

Did I say before, read the heel pain book?

And if you post a message saying where you live, Dr Zuckerman and Dr Davis have said that they will try to recommend a doctor whatever area you're in.