Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Finally - I'm Back!

So as a result of my run on March 29th I clearly messed up my foot. I eventually had an appointment with a podiatrist about 2.5 weeks after the last run and an x-ray showed no stress fracture, which was to my surprise. At that point my foot had been very slow to show signs of improvement. Probably at about week 3.5 it felt improved a bit more - to the point that a few times a day I would maybe bounce up on the balls of my feet to test if any sign of a strain still lingered. By about exactly week 4 from the last run I felt I had improved to the point where I could try a short run. I ran to the end of the block and back - around 200/300 meters. It felt great to be back in stride. My foot didn't show signs of pain, though it was tight. After, I felt it was a definite step forward. The next day my foot really felt better - no signs of injury or soreness. It was almost like running again helped it loosen up and heal even further. In the last week and a half I've only run 4 times (end of the semester is bad for personal time). I ran .5 miles a couple times. Then about .75 miles the next time and finally two days ago I ran 1 mile. Afterwards, the pads of my feet were sore. I had a hotspot between the balls of my first two toes in both feet - something I've felt several other times - like how it feels when you're working your way to a blister but not quite there yet. Yesterday they were still a little tender but significantly improved. Today I could probably run again but I'm being very conservative since my last injury.

I'm back!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Small Setback

So, I was stupid to run as much as I did last time. I have developed a classic case of metatarsalgia in my right foot. Metatarsalgia is the inflammation of the metatarsal heads in the foot - aka the balls of the foot. I only have symptoms in my right foot on the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals. This is very frustrating but I understand it was my own enthusiasm that did this. After doing some reading about the injury I have learned this is very common for people starting out barefoot running. When I've lived nearly my whole life in shoes I shouldn't be surprised - barefooting is a drastic change.

I haven't run since Monday and will be taking at least another day or two off until this pain goes away. It has already subsided substantially. Though I had no pain in this area after I ran on Monday, by the end of the following day I could hardly walk on my foot. It has improved since then and today I have to really focus to even feel the pain. Many people severly hurt their foot this way and have to take several weeks off to recover. I'm hoping to only be resting it for about a week.

My frustration level is high but I understand this is just part of my experiment - lesson learned!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Very Sore

No running today. Yes, yesterday was a big step but today I'm very sore. I'm not injured, just really sore. Throughout the day my arches would randomly tweak every now and then and the sides of my ankles are sore (inside and out). I've never felt soreness in my ankles like this before. It's not intense, actually, it kind of feels good but different than I've ever felt before because of the locations. The small stabilizing soft tissues in those areas have probably never been stimulated like this before. Cool.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Big Step

Today was a big step forward. I got up this morning excited to run but still wanted to remain cautious that I wouldn't over do it. I went around the block and felt good. I would have loved to keep going but I could feel the balls of my feet increasing in sensitivity as I neared the end of my loop. I wasn't sure if it was the road wearing on my feet or the fact that the street was about 30 degrees F and my feet were getting cold. Through the day I had a lot of energy and really wanted to get back out and run when I was done with class. When I got home it was still unseasonably warm for March in northern MN (high 60s F) and I decided to head out for a short one. I was halfway around the block and felt amazing so I went past the turn home and extended my jog to a distance of about two times as far as the loop I had been doing around the block. It was so fun and easy! As I neared home, my arches began to tire but the soles of my feet felt surprisingly good.

Yay for progress - whoohoo!

After the jog I went out with my bike (with cycle computer) to check the distances I've been running. I'm not at all focusing on speed or distances for these runs but I was curious to see where I am at. The short loop around the block is .5 miles and the longer loop I did today was 1 mile.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Interesting Article On Shoes

I came across this interesting article on footwear which was written by a podiatrist in Mass. I swear I'm not getting all granola on you guys and throwing out my shoes - but it is interesting! And of course, the perspective being offered is only that of one doctor.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Making Some Progress

The temp was up a little higher yesterday around 50 F so I figured I would venture outside. I was able to make it all the way around the block without shoes. I think when I ran last time my feet were extra sensitive because it had just rained outside and the moisture made my soles even more sensitive. The jog felt great. I was very light on my feet - you have to be without footwear. By midway around the block my soles were starting to burn but not alarmingly. I made it home just fine but I wanted to keep running. It was so fun just cruising along but my soles were really burning at that point so I knew it was enough for that day. 

I had a nice long sleep this morning and woke up with lots of energy. I thought starting the day with a little run would feel great. Wow, I made it about twenty steps out the front door and turned around; the bottom of my feet were on fire! I guess the 18 hours since my last run wasn't enough to allow my feet to recover. I hope they're ready for a run tomorrow!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

First Run

This past Sunday I went for a run around my block in my new Five Fingers. It must have been about a 400-500m jog. It felt great to have such light shoes on and landing on my forefeet was a nice change. I felt like I was just bouncing along the street. It was much different than the pounding I am/was accustomed to. I must say the Five Fingers felt great and didn't really require any adjustment.  I got the sense that the placement of  the thicker rubber of the sole under the balls of my feet wasn't perfect but I am definitely satisfied. I easily made it home.

After my jog around the block my calves and achilles tendons were really sore for several days. Also, several small stabilizing muscles in my ankles were sore that I haven't really felt before - I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. As I mentioned before I have decided to set the Five Fingers aside for the time being and go completely barefoot. By Wednesday afternoon the soreness was nearly gone so I went out sans footwear for a jog. I bet I didn't make it more than 200m on the street. My feet are definitely tender since I've never really gone barefoot, not to mention run barefoot. I can see how running completely barefoot enables a self limiting training mechanism. While I'm waiting for my soles to toughen up I expect the muscles/tendons/ligaments in my feet/legs to condition for the motion as well. Wearing Five Fingers allows you to run further than your body is conditioned for.

Today's high temperature was right around 30 degrees F and even colder this evening when I had some time for a run. I didn't feel like going out in the cold barefoot so I just spent a few minutes on the treadmill barefoot. The rubber track is so much easier on my soles than the street. I'm not sure how much that will really help my feet toughen up but it was still a good activity to continue adjusting my joints and muscles to the new technique.

I am hoping for some warm weather so I can take this experiment back outside soon!