I love running. I truly do. Which is why I’ve run when I should have taken a rest day whether that be due to an injury or just too tired. I think it has a lot to do with the feeling I get after. Last winter while training for my first half marathon in a few years I developed a sharp pain in the bottom of my left foot. Now I noticed this pain the second I got out of bed….I looked at my foot, couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. So I went for a run anyways. Six miles later the annoying pain became more than a nuisance. This pain began in December and I didn’t go to a foot doctor until February. Now in my defense this wasn’t all my fault. Being a member of active duty US Coast Guard I am sometimes at the mercy of Tricare…it took awhile to get my referral.
When I finally got in the exam room at the podiatrist they were shocked to hear I had been dealing with pain for six weeks and still running. I informed them that foot pain had been a part of my life for years so I just thought this new pain was something I would have to just accept. After examining my feet for about thirty seconds they informed me I had extremely high arches and very rigid feet. Still not really sure about the rigid foot thing but it was nice to know that the pain I had experienced off and on for years and years wasn’t all in my head. That there was an actual reason. What a relief. I’m sure anyone who is a runner and has experienced some strange ache or pain knows what I mean. So the doc shot me up with some cortisone and stuck me in a boot and told me no running for two weeks.
The doc thought initially that I had a neuroma http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/mortons-neuroma.htm. Turns out after two months of shots, X-rays, pricey custom orthopedic inserts and an MRI that I just have a misformed left foot. The way it was explained to me was that my bones in my toes are just too close together causing extreme pain. The only fix for this is surgery to rebuild the bones in my foot. For me this wasn’t even an option, at least not right now. I may revisit the surgery in a few years.
I’ve listened to friends and fellow runners complaints about this and that hurting. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve avoided all the usual suspects. The knees and hips and shin splints.
My feet are the bane of running existence. I try not to complain too much about them because to this day they still get me from mile one to fifteen and let me be able to still walk the next day.
I’ve tried a variety of shoes….but have finally settled on Asics Gel Kayanos….I need them in a wide because the regular are just too narrow on my left foot and after a week in narrow running shoes I will be hobbling around and near tears. These babies right here have carried me 400+ miles and I am already sad since I know they will need to be retired soon
So I’ll close with this one tip, don’t be like me! If you’re foot, knee or any really any body part is giving you grief don’t put off a visit to the doctor. The sooner you get in there and get fixed the sooner you’ll be back out there tearing up the pavement!
Until next time