Tuesday, February 10, 2009

(Un)Happy Feet

Hey everyone!! Sorry for being MIA. I did try to write a post last week while at Starbucks, but my computer shut down and I lost everything. Needless to say, I've been lazy since then so this post may be a bit long ...

I bet some of you are wondering how my 14-miler went two Saturdays ago. I actually went to bed that Friday night excited about it and eager to just get out there. The weather started off in the low 40s and, with no wind, it was the perfect temp to start the day.

After TEAM announcements, I set my watch, stuffed the directions up my sleeve and headed out into the darkness to Van Halen's "Right Now". I wondered how my knee would hold up, though it was feeling strong. I spent a few minutes chasing a small rabbit out of the middle of the road before settling into a slow pace. I wasn't in any hurry.

As the sun rose splashing the streets with gold, I began to feel a little exposed to the passing cars. I kept tugging on the bottom of my TNT hoodie, trying to hide my Spandex-covered bum. I gave up after a few miles -- modesty and running don't always go hand-in-hand.

Boredom crept in around mile 5. I was thinking too much and I was quickly running out of things to think about. But, it was nothing a little Lady Gaga couldn't fix. By mile 7 I was feeling a little lost trying to follow the directions, clutching the small paper in my hand and squinting to read street signs. It turned out to be a good distraction, and I was super relieved and happy that my knees were feeling great, my lungs were working and I was sauntering along at a good pace.

Famous last words. My feet began to feel a little achy at mile 8 and turned to shooting pain at mile 9. I finally stopped to walk around the middle of 9, and by walk I mean hobble. What the hell? I stopped to stretch my feet out a bit, then alternated between jogging and walking until I couldn't take it anymore. I even tried jogging in soft grass but to no avail. Halfway through 11 I began wondering if there was a short cut back. Surely you can make it the last 3 miles? I wasn't quite ready to give up, which probably wasn't a smart move.

I loosened up my laces a bit, but I was moving s-l-o-w. An old lady collecting pecans was moving faster than I was. I couldn't quite figure out the problem -- it just seemed pain was shooting from every surface in both feet. I tried everything from walking on my tippy toes to just my heels, but the pain was still there, and I wasn't making any forward progress. Each step made me want to cut off my own feet, and I'm sure anyone within earshot thought I had turrets.

With less than a mile to go, I took off my shoes. Finally, a little relief. I walked the last bit gingerly in my white socks and, as I approached our meeting spot, was greeted with a few surprised looks and a shout of "Your shoes work better when they're on your feet." Thanks Coach. I sat on the curb and he examined my feet and shoes, which were surprisingly pretty worn on the bottom. Coach thought it might be plantar faciitas because, at the time, it seemed the extent of my pain was radiating from my heels. So, he ordered tons of rest and no running for the week. He also suggested looking into getting a new pair of shoes. Once I got home and the initial shock wore off and the pain began to set in, it seemed to be radiating from the middles of my feet and not my heels.

Fast forward over a week later ... My left foot is feeling better but still some pain and tightness, though my right foot is still giving me several problems. My right ankle began swelling the other night out of nowhere and is still a little puffy today. I haven't run since my 14-miler attempt, but I did join the gym at work last week. I figured if my feet are weak, my legs probably are too and all can benefit from some cross training. I've been taking it easy on the stationary bike, catching up on celebrity gossip from the gym magazines. I did try to test my feet a bit and do some walking on the treadmill, but after a few minutes the pain set in again, and more in my right foot / ankle than anything.

After spending way too much time during lunch today Googling symptoms, I'm starting to get a little worried as to what it might be. Has anyone ever experienced something similar? Suggestions on what to do?? My marathon is only eight weeks away -- I'm open to anything at this point!

8 comments:

Marlene said...

Oh no, I'm sorry about your feet!! All I can think of is to RICE, but I know that's not what you want to hear 8 weeks from the marathon. I hope it improves SOON!

Sharneysrun said...

Hmm...not sure what it could be??? Maybe just continue to rest & R.I.C.E. it. If it doesn't get better, it couldn't hurt to see the doc - just to be on the safe side. I was training for my marathon & developed groin pain on my 13 miler. It turned out to be a stress fracture :-( Just be careful & play it safe...

Racn4acure said...

Katie - that is a bummer. One of the signs of PF is pain when you take your first steps in the morning - do you have that? I would see a foot specialist or a sprts med doc. You could try an ice massage to the heel area, and stretches to the plantar fascia. Talk with your coaches. My notes say a pair of shoes that are too soft can contribute. I think that the cross training is a good idea to stay active while you rest your feet. You might need some PT for some specific strengthing exercises depending on what the doc says. Keep us posted, thinking of you. Art

lindsay said...

:-/ so sorry to hear! i hope it's not pf and that some cross training/rest give the legs/feet enough time off to get better on their own. wear comfy shoes and stay off your feet as much as possible until you figure it out. i don't recommend googling because it always gives me the worst diagnosis and then i start making funeral preparations :) is there a sport doc or foot doc you could see?

BeachRunner said...

Oh no! PF is definitely a possibility. I hope you feel better soon. Stay off it and continue to RICE. That is always smart. But if the sharp pain persists it sounds like a visit to a podiatrist or sports doctor is in order. Sending you healing vibes.

Running Around Acres said...

Might just be simple arch pain if it is in the middle of the foot from the bottom. PF if it is from the top. No, I am not a doctor but I did stay at a Holiday inn Express last night. LOL

Seriously, go see a doctor. The Big D is only 8 weeks. Find out what it is today, so that you can still conquer the Big D.

Racn4acure said...

Good point by Lindsay, having survived cancer I have learned to try not to self-diagnose! Google and Web MD can be great but nothing beats a good doctors. Nip this one in the bud, Katie, and get ready for that race in 8 weeks. Art

TNTcoach Ken said...

Katie, sorry to read about your feet. Talk to your coach, now might be the time to switch events.

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