Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It couldn't be helped

I actually ran today. I know, right?! shocking. In case you haven't been reading this utterly compelling, ongoing saga, I hurt my foot. That meant I wasn't running. Which meant I I began to question my running philosophy and values.

Yes, I do realize how ridiculous that last sentence sounds.

Don't be ridicaloos. That's right; you've been Balki'd

Sure, the fact that I ran a mile today is only a big deal to me (well, and maybe my doctor; he probably wouldn't be... what's the word?...pleased. But whatever. His advice has been crap). In truth, I probably shouldn't have done it, but I just couldn't take it any more and, plus, I had to test it out and see how things go. Right? Right? I mean, you'd have done the same thing in my (figurative) shoes...

Which brings me to the question no one everyone is asking: Did you run it barefoot, dumbass?

Yeah. I like TV.

No. I didn't. I wore shoes. At first I was going to keep my shoe-status on the downlow while I recovered to avoid "i told you so's" on both sides of the shoes/barefoot argument. Then I remembered no one involved in that argument cares enough to read my blog. Phew! That's a lot of pressure off. I split the middle, in fact; I wore the minimal shoes (My New Balance MR10's, to be exact). Of course, none of the Mnmlst rnnng (it's so minimal they left out the vowels) community will claim the MR10 as "minimal," but whatever. I can feel the ground and the orientation of my footstrike in 'em so I'm counting it. 

Running today was awesome. It wasn't a fast mile, but I was out there less than 10 minutes (so I didn't run too long, in all reality). It felt like an accomplishment just to set my mind on the fact that I was going to run today and then stick to it. That has been my biggest fear; that I'd get lazy by not running and lose the motivation to get back at it. Today affirmed this not to be the case and for that I am proud of my ill-advised (probably) little run.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

full circle...again

So yeah. I'm starting to think doctors know no more about what's wrong with me than I do (or anything I found on Google).

May as well get your opinion, too, Doc...

After about a week (I know! that may be a personal record for following orders) of diligently following the doctors recommendations (cushioned, running shoes all the time, orthotic and metatarsal cushion, no running) my foot began to feel.....


Yep. worse. So, today I walked around the house all day barefoot and took the metatarsal pad torture device thing out of my nice flat, wide minimal running shoes and felt unrealistically (like so much better it seemed implausible) better. Seriously, the met pad was the worst. It felt like I had a pointy rock in my shoe at all times. I really think that another day or so of letting my foot be and it will be better. it's still sore in the spot where the met pad was poking me, like your foot would be if you had a piece of gravel stuck in your shoe for 5 days. 
Sure, they look all soft and fluffy. Liars.

I got myself all spun up in the lack of information about my injury and lost sight of the simplest truth: I stepped on a rock. It hurt. I didn't take enough time to rest it before running some more. It hurt more. The end. Barefoot running didn't do it (OK, well it kinda did. if I was wearing shoes I may not have hurt it as much), or make it worse. 

Will I run barefoot again? who knows? I still think it's a perfectly viable alternative and will not rule it out; my form and running enjoyment improved so much last year through barefoot running that I have a hard time dismissing it. Right now I'm taking it easy, still not running or doing any high impact exercise and will reassess in a couple more weeks. I'm tired of not running. That is for sure.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Giving the Boot the, erm...boot

OK, so that sounded better in my head, but whatever; after my podiatrist appointment I sat the boot down and had a long conversation with it. It went something like this:

Now, it isn't all sunshine and roses; I'm not out of the woods yet, and a few other cliches to say...I'm still banged up. However, I do NOT have a stress fracture and podiatrists aren't evil naysayers bent on keeping me from running.

barefoot running, on the other hand...Well, that is likely off the table. Sure, barefoot running didn't cause me to break my foot or hobble me for life, but it compounds what I discovered were underlying issues. Yes issues, with an S. More than one. what issues? Glad you asked.

First, I have 'Morton's Toe.' You've all heard of it; it's the one where the second toe is longer than the first (Well, it's more about metatarsal length and a disproportionately longer second...yeah. longer second toe works juuust fine). This drives to the second issue, where my second metatarsal sits lower in my foot than the others. Considerably lower. As in, if my foot were one of those cool British doubledecker buses, they would be on different decks. This makes my second metatarsal bear the brunt of my running. Add a forefoot-first running stride, take away the cushioning of, well, anything, and you have a recipe for metatarsalgia (fancy medical term for "the ball of my foot really hurts, man.").

no, I'm not flipping you off..I just happen to have a long birdie toe...

I never make absolute proclamations (Yes, I realize I just did...), but it seems unlikely that barefoot running is in the cards for me. I'm one of the people Jason Robillard was talking about when he said bfr may not be for everyone after all (and there's nothing wrong with that...). Actually, I don't know his specific thoughts on a case like mine, but an exceedingly vulnerable bone structure seems like a valid case for some manner of protection...

Anyway. For now I'm not running, barefoot or otherwise. I still have some healing to do. When the healing time passes I'm not certain what I'll do; but, I am pretty sure it will involve shoes and very close, careful attention to proper running form.

As the title says..Restart, rinse repeat, no?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Dark Boot Rises

nice, right?

First, to answer the question you're all wondering: Yes, this was absolutely a barefoot running related injury. This would not have happened if I was wearing shoes.

As far as I can tell, this actually happened October 23rd in the Run LikeHell 5K. I distinctly recall coming down too hard on a sharp rock (either a loose piece of gravel or the horrendous Naito Parkway paving), leaving a bruise right under the 2nd metatarsal on my right foot. I went to the doctor. Twice. And neither time did they suspect more than a deep bruise. I was told to take it easy, that I could still run (first one said as is, second recommended a more cushioned, supportive shoe), and to just cut back on mileage. Did all that, and it never got better.

so this week I called the HMO and pushed for an appointment for another opinion. New doc was great and immediately decided to treat for stress fracture despite the fact that the x-ray didn't show anything (Stress fractures often don't show in x-rays). He was dismayed no one else had put me in a boot and got a little concerned at that point. So I got the boot and bonus crutches, with orders to put no weight on the foot. Awesome. I also got a referral to podiatry (they're going to LOVE the barefoot running bit) to further investigate the injury and determine if it's a stress fracture or something else. As it stands I'm in the boot for six weeks at least, and crutches until I get into Podiatry (at a minimum).

I'm so excited I can hardly stand. Ha. I crack myself up.
Chill, bro. I'll give your boot back when I'm done