Checking in before March is over. Things are moving along relatively well; Swimming is up to about 9000 yds a week and cycling on the turbo is right around 5 hours a week. Running was rolling strong until about two weeks ago.

I was outside on a long run at about mile 6 my left foot start to cramp up. Slowing to a walk and then a stop, I stretched it out a bit and then went back at it to finish up another 3 miles. A few days later I noticed the same feeling, not quite a cramp but that’s as close to an explanation as I can give, while on the treadmill at mile 4 or 5. Then I began to notice the sensation when I wasn’t running, even had that foot cramp up on the massage table once. After giving it a few days rest I tried again in a different pair of shoes but that wasn’t solving anything so I’ve now been off the run for nearly two weeks with what I suspect is plantar fasciitis.

The dreaded PF. Shit.

Looking back at mileage, I may have ramped it up a little to much, to fast.

Week A: 16.4 mi
Week B: 9.16 mi
Week C: 15.2 mi
Week D: 14.1 mi
Week E: 13.9 mi
Week F: 20.2 mi
Week G: 18.7 mi
Week H: 19.1 mi

General rule is, increase mileage by no more than 10% a week to prevent injury. Right around Week F, things jumped about 31% and that held for three weeks until failure. Here’s the thing. I know not to increase mileage too much too fast. I knew the 10% rule. I’ve been tracking my mileage for months… but I wasn’t following a plan.

My actual training plan begins next week, 12 weeks out from IM70.3 Coeur d’Alene and now I’m not going to be able to begin at the necessary mileage but my foot is FUBAR. I know better and even further to my disappointment, I’m pretty sure the causation is at least partially due to a weak vastus medialis (inner quadricep) which was giving me some left knee pain a couple of months ago.

I took some time off, did some better stretching, knee pain went away and I was able to run pain-free for several weeks making significant gains until this. It’s a lesson in ignorance: I tend to the problem until it doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore. Can’t help but to think that if I had seriously worked on my hip and leg exercises religiously, this may not be an issue. But here we are and tomorrow I’ve got an appointment with my Athletic Trainer to see what we can do. Hopefully I caught it soon enough that a few weeks off will do the trick.

At least I’ll now have more time to devote to the bike trainer and the pool.

Speaking of the bike, the TT project I’m affectionately referring to as the Rat Rod is getting closer to build day. The parts are strewn across the “reading couch” in my home office and with the addition of a headset, stem, and brake/shifter cabling, the bike will be ready to roll! I haven’t ridden a triathlon bike before so this is going to be a big step outside of my comfort zone. I’ll be documenting the bike build and initial rides soon enough, probably in late April!

As the time for the first 70.3 approaches, my training builds up, and as I work through my plantar fasciitis issue, I will be posting more regularly. Game face on.

Update: Saw the physio and determined it wasn’t anything more than muscle strain. Just running a little too much, too soon, in shoes that probably require stronger feet (Newtons). Easing back the mileage, introducing some foot strengthening exercises, and looking into some different running shoes should do the trick.

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