About four years ago I landed at the podiatrist with what I thought was a bruise or fracture in the ball of my left foot. Every step I took was painful. It was not fun. At all. Walking barefoot was out of the question unless I contorted my body in a way that avoided the outer part of my foot. Since I’m not naturally a contortionist (although I think it would be awesome), that kind of twisting for even a short amount of time quickly impacts your entire body – and not in a good way. Laying off of exercise for a few days didn’t help. Something had to be done.
Thankfully I did not have a break. But, I did have Morton’s Neuroma, a thickening of nerve tissue between the third and fourth toes. If it’s bad enough, it can require surgery. If you are squeamish, whatever you do, do not go to YouTube and look at any “morton’s neuroma surgery” videos. Seriously.
Luckily my doc just prescribed a metatarsal pad to stick in my shoes. The pad spreads your toes, thereby taking pressure off of the nerve. I can’t remember how long it took, but eventually the pain went away and I was back to normal, or at least my plantar fasciitis-ridden version of normal.
Fast forward to last Friday. I decided to end week 6 – my first 25 minute C25K run – on the Buttermilk Trail, a hilly, rocky, twisty, single-path mountain bike trail with 109 stairs between your car and the starting point. The last time I did this run it was much cooler and I was in much better shape. It was fun! Well Friday started out great but I ran out of gas running up a big hill at 14 minutes and then spent 5 minutes walking and taking a break at a conveniently placed port-a-john. From there it was flat lands for the final 11 minutes. Even though I didn’t exactly do what I set out to, it was still a great challenge with no major dramas.
Except. Sometime late in the day I felt the old familiar pain in the ball of my left foot. Damn it. That was Saturday. It’s still just as bad three days later. I’m sure it didn’t help that I spent all day Monday standing and painting window trim. Today I ordered a pack of metatarsal pads that I hope arrive soon.
In the meantime I’m trying not to hobble when I walk and trying to stay off of my feet. So, I will be doing mat work for my workouts for a little while. And maybe bike riding. I did a 50-minute pilates video tonight – accelerated body sculpting. The good news is that I can tell I’ve been getting stronger – the last time I tried that video (a few months ago) I didn’t make it all the way through. So yay for that anyway.