After three weeks of "run fasting", I had a few bites again today as I finally ventured back out for a run. It was a balmy 50-something degree first day of summer (heavy on the sarcasm). It was my first run since my heel injury. As per my wife's insistent orders, I kept it short and sweet. 2.1 miles at an average of 8:24 per mile.
The results were mixed. I was able to complete the run, but the heel was still sore. This time, though, it seemed to be more of a superficial pain - closer to the surface - rather than a deep, injury-type of pain. I'm thinking (hoping) this is good. The rest of the day, I had periods where I felt no pain at all, and periods where I'd get waves of pain in the heel. I did 40 minutes of ice alternating with heat (tub of warm water), then went to physical therapy later in the day. I've been doing more strength exercises for my glutes, hips, hamstrings and feet, as well as rolling out my right IT band.
I have a feeling that this will be a gradual process with no easy fix. It could involve custom orthotics. I may have to see a podiatrist eventually. I'm sure it'll involve more diligence on my part to stick with the stretching and strengthening, as well as paying closer attention to my stride length. The heel is just a symptom of a greater issue, so it's going to take a lot of work to iron things out. But I'm willing to do it if that's what it takes to continue running.
So how did my fast end? With a plate of Cautiously Optimistic, and a side of Uncertainty and Apprehension.
But I'd prefer to go straight to the dessert menu and order the Successful Rehab.