I have succumbed to what many runners have to face, injury and pain when running. It isn’t in my knees, hips or ankles – I’ve developed plantar fasciitis, and I can tell you that it is such a constant and lingering pain that I would not wish it on anyone. It’s really curbed my running, unfortunately, and really slowed me down quite a bit. One of the things that anyone that’s read my blog for a while might have gleaned is that I’m stubborn and obdurate. So, when I developed a pain in my right heel at the end of July, I thought… hmmm… well, I’ll just run through it. I run through everything else. When I feel a cold coming on, I go for a run to try to chase it away (and it works about 90% of the time). Other stuff I’ve just run through. Why not this? After two weeks, I went to my doctor, who told me to just take it easy and stay off it. He hasn’t figured me out yet, not at all. I took it easy – I cut my running back, slightly. I still have to get a new pair of running shoes like he recommended. But I have to do keep doing something. The straw that broke the camel’s back came last week. I participated in a very small charity 5k run, and it felt really good. My heel bugged me, but it always does after a run now. No big deal. I had spent all of the previous day on my feet. And then all the day of that run, and the next day, and then went for a second run on top of it. And during that second run, I had to stop a couple of times over a 6k jaunt. I never stop. Stopping is, in my mind, bad. I’ve done it a handful of times, and I hate each and every one. I hate those two most of all. So, I rested a few days. Monday night, my regular badminton competition night, and I found that my foot was doing everything it could to compensate for my heel. It got so bad my balance was off, my footwork was off, and I fell – and I was in danger of really injuring an ankle or a knee or a hip. I had to do something. As of Tuesday, I’m in physiotherapy. I’m not running again until the Run-for-the-Cure on the 30th, and then plan to take time off again through to nearly the middle of October. I’m not enthused about it, but it’s what I think I need to do right now. All of which brings me to my helpful tip: listen to your body. People say that all the time. I do it all the time. When I feel low on energy, I listen, and I run to rev myself up. But when I need rest, I take it, and don’t beat myself up over it. If I’m hungry, I eat. I probably should drink more water, but my body says I’m doing ok. But I completely and obstinately ignored the pain in my foot. I didn’t really take it seriously, and now I’m paying a longer-term price for it. So listen to what it tells you. Be safe. Pain in tendons and joints is horrible – my therapist is helping me strengthen my ankle which is weak due to a 20-year-old tendon injury. Seek help and get treatment. I was being as stubborn as a mule, and now I’m stuck being much slower than one. It’s very disappointing, but I’m trying to be positive and think that I’ll come back even stronger. Until then, it looks like a regular diet of yoga and exercise bike for me.