As you may have noted, I am an older runner. I turned 62 on June the 8th in 2011. When I speak of injuries, I am relating my issues as I have aged. When I was racing in my late 20’s through my early 40’s, I was fortunate not to have any injuries.
In my early 50’s I began to have some trouble with plantar fasciitis. A few days off and some ice usually took care of it. I also began to have some hamstring issues. When you get older, unpleasant things can begin to happen. In my mid 50’s I can remember just jogging up a rather steep hill during an easy ten mile run, and I suddenly pulled my left hamstring. That knocked me out for a week. I probably started back too soon because I then pulled my right hamstring. That was a mess. I missed a lot of time recovering. Later I started having achilles tendon problems.
In an unrelated accident, I broke a toe back in late November, 2010. That kept me away from running for a while. I began running two miles every other day in early January, 2011. I had put on about twenty extra pounds, so I wasn’t feeling all that great. I felt like an elephant. I built my mileage up very slowly until I reached 50 miles a week in June. I was not doing any speed work. My weight was coming down.
I started doing speed work (30 x 30’s) in mid June, and that did my left foot in. Plantar fasciitis struck my left foot with a vengeance. I had to stop running and get on my bike to try to maintain my fitness level. I was doing fine with the running until the extra stress placed on my feet took its toll.
I’ve did a lot of research on the injury and began self treatment. I bought an ice boot, a night splint, a small ultra-sound unit, orthotics, and a new topical rub. I’ve been at it for a few weeks now, and it seems to be healing. I do not have anymore pain. I just ordered some new shoe inserts that got very high praise from uses. When they come in I am going to try to get back on the road. If successful, I am going to cut my running mileage and keep working hard on the bike – alternating days. The years of racing and the high mileage may have caught up to me. I’ll see how it goes.
I do not recommend attempting to treat all injuries yourself. Some can be so serious a specialist must be consulted. The plantar fasciitis, if there are no bone spurs, is one I decided to treat after reading about the treatments people received at the doctor’s office. Aside from a cortisone shot, which I will not get because of the potential side effects, I can handle the other options myself. I may need to see if I have any bone spurs. That wouldn’t be good.
As we age, many of us will have to deal with injuries we never got earlier in life. That’s part of living. I never liked taking time away from training. Now I’m getting used to it.