Yesterday morning I got some of the worst news a runner can get; I had developed plantar fasciitis, probably because I increased my running after the start of the year (I was up to about 18-20 miles a week). Unfortunately, the best remedy for PF is rest, which means no running until my feet are 150% healed. I tried running on Tuesday when I had mild aches, and I could barely walk after I finished the run and walking my dogs. I am not a happy camper…I like running plus it’s a wonderful energy burn for my youngest dog, Patience, who has no play buddy at the moment (Suzu and Miki never played a lot because of size differential, and Perdy is too tired from the cancer most of the time). What’s an insane endorphin junky to do?
I pondered my options Tuesday night before my Wednesday morning doctor’s appointment. Patience and I needed more exercise than walking, but running made me feel like I walked on broken glass or sharp knives. Fortunately, I remembered my bike living abandoned in the garage since Akane blew out her right rear ACL about 3 1/2 or 4 years ago. I have a special attachment on the bike that hooks to a dog’s collar or harness, so Patience could run behind me, and I wouldn’t have as much pressure on my feet.
The CareSpot doctor okayed cycling during my recovery, so all I needed to do was convince Patience this was a good idea. When I first tried introducing her to my bike she freaked out so much that she pulled the bike over; obviously this would not work to exercise anyone. However, this morning I tried a new method: I put Patience’s running harness on and took her outside on leash to hook her to the bike. Our months of running together paid off; after an initial attempt to bite the leash part of the bike attachment Patience settled in to run. She’s not crazy about the arrangement so far since she can’t investigate the grass (I don’t bike on the sidewalk), but we put in a 4.14 mile ride in the dark, trying to avoid getting hit by the few cars we saw (I wore a reflective vest and rigged my head lamp to shine behind me on my bike helmet, but we could have been more visible). The bike definitely needs some serious service after sitting idle for so long, but it felt good to be moving more quickly again. For the time being it’ll do, and maybe we’ll switch off running and biking when my foot finishes healing. The difference is good for both of us!