Since we came back from France and Belgium, this is something I have been going back and forth on. On the one hand, sites like Facebook are immensely entertaining, especially when one is bored or trying to waste time (that “I’m scheduled to go for a run now but it’s 35 degrees out” time of the morning). On the other hand, almost all websites operate on an outrage-for-clicks system, which means that people are constantly posting links to articles that are meant to be provocative. These articles typically upset me. And of course, there are several studies that suggest that Facebook can be bad for your self esteem. And that doesn’t even touch on Tumblr, which is basically an entire community of people who have set out to post the most upsetting and useless “social justice” things they can think of, in addition to retumblring each others’ inane drivel about things no one cares about. That’s not to say that there aren’t a few blogs on Tumblr worth reading. But at some point, the anxiety/frustration that I get from reading this crap has come to outweigh the pleasure I got if people momentarily noticed MY drivel. So I’m trying to step away. I think it has been good for my mental health thus far.
I’ve been reading a lot of running/triathlon blogs instead. Ultra runners or “normal” distances, it doesn’t matter–if you can string your words together in a reasonably coherent and entertaining fashion, I’ll read about your climb up Pike’s Peak, your half IM, or even your 4×400 workout at the track. Maybe it’s because this foot injury has forced me to run less, but I find it quite gratifying at the moment.
So the foot. As I maybe mentioned, I’ve been seeing a PT twice per week since I got back from Europe. My therapy has typically included ultrasound, poking at it with a stick until I say “ow,” and various types of stretches and exercises. This past week, we tried trigger point dry needling, which is like acupuncture except that it doesn’t rely on “meridians.” There’s some evidence that it works (unlike acupuncture), but my understanding is that there haven’t been enough high quality studies to really draw any firm conclusions. Nevertheless, if I were told that standing on my head until I black out every day would cure it, I’d do it.
That’s rational, right?
For those wondering, here is a list of things I have tried:
- Rolling my calves (with the stick, with a foam roller)
- Orthotics (both Happy Feet and Dr Scholl’s heel cups)
- New shoes
- Heel raises (both feet on the ground, both feet on a step, one foot in both positions, both feet bent knee/straight knee, and using a leg press machine)
- One-legged squats
- Calf stretches
- Toe curls (alone, with a book on a towel, with two books on the towel)
- Side steps with an elastic band around my ankles
- Hamstring stretches
- Actually a lot of various stretches
- “Breaking up adhesions” with a plastic thing
- Trigger point dry needling
- A Strassburg sock (at night)
- A little elastic sleeve thing that is supposed to support the arch of the foot
Actually, while this looks like a long list of disparate and in fact desperate treatment options, I think they’re actually working. This morning, testing out a new pair of trail shoes, I ran twelve miles along the Ice Age Trail. At the beginning, the trail is pretty rutted and my foot was complaining, so I wasn’t expecting much, but after that calmed down it stayed calm for the rest of the run. This is definitely the best run I’ve had since the marathon, and I wasn’t taped. Was it the trails (nice and soft from yesterday’s rain), the new shoes, or the needling? I don’t care so long as I can repeat this at the 50k next week. TWO more runs before I hit the starting line!
By the way, in the comic above, Mom is carrying a cane because she fell off a horse. Presumably while chasing after cattle rustlers. Because she is a bad ass that way. (Not really–she said the straps came loose because of the humidity. But one has to admire that she came to Europe anyway and hiked around with that cane for a week and a half while she was healing. This is where my stubbornness came from.)
We’ll file this comic under HM741 .L86 2014, for Sociology–Groups and organizations–Social groups. Group dynamics–Social networks–General works.
The comic, by the way, took place on the Pont Neuf, which is a bridge. The sides look kind of neat, like this:
 If you’re reading this, I totally mean your blog, don’t worry.
 It’s plantar fasciitis (or plantar fascists, as B calls it).