*First I need to say thanks to everyone for your support, prayers, and thoughtfulness. I've really felt the love and once again am thankful for my support system full of friends and people I've never met yet are friends just the same!
*I decided last Tuesday to go see someone about my foot. This has not been an easy decision for a few really stupid prideful reasons. My regular doc knows about my barefoot and minimalist running and thinks I'm crazy. He thinks I'm trading my knee and hip injuries for stress fractures in my feet. So I really didn't want to confirm what he thought. I REALLY believe that this is the best option for me and it's not something that I'm going to be talked out of. I'm also really stubborn if you didn't already gather that. The chiropractor that I go to doesn't know much about it and is skeptical. I found a doctor of orthopedics who is a barefoot running advocate. He also works in an office with a podiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon. He actually lives in my city but works about 40 minutes away. I made my appointment and then started to feel better. I considered canceling but knew that if I did a long run I'd be right back in the same place so I kept it.
*Wednesday my foot was feeling o.k. and I worried that I might not be able to tell him exactly where it hurt. So being the smart person that I am I went for a run to bring it all up. I didn't go until night. I was barefoot. I figured I'd just go until my skin or my foot said to go back. I went out to that smooth piece of asphalt west of town and by the time I got there the sun was going down, the temperature was perfect, and I was feeling SO good. My foot had loosened up and everything felt good. What I really wanted to do was raise my arms up in the air and let out a big WAAAA WHOOOOOO! But there are still houses out there and I didn't want to scare anyone. But the feeling was awesome and oh how I wanted that to last! I got home after 5 miles that ended in complete darkness. People always ask me about stepping on glass. My response is that I just watch where I'm going and step over or go around things I don't want to step on. So here I was in the dark with only the occasional car headlights to light up the road. I was worried about stepping on something that I couldn't see but had good luck. Even the little pebbles didn't bother me as much as normal in the dark. Weird. Bottom line: best barefoot run to date. Everything was just working. And not much top of the foot pain afterwards.
*Thursday and my doctor's appointment. He had me bring my shoes and my training log. He spent an hour with me. He watched me run. He had me stand on one leg with my eyes closed. He said I had excellent balance. I told him I practiced that one at home. He measure my flexibility in my calves and ankles. He manipulated my feet all over. He compared the two and was so thorough. We had a good chat about barefoot running. Bottom line: he said that he didn't even suspect a stress fracture. My big toe and the toe next to it have been overextended so that during the liftoff phase of running my toe stays on the ground longer than it should and puts extra stress on my arch. The top of the foot pain that I feel after the run is a result of that extra stress that being put on my foot. He believes I can still run the marathon. He taped my arch up a little to help give support for that big toe. He wanted me to walk around on it that day and then give running a try on Friday. He said he'd then tape me again Saturday before my run if it helped. There are other ways to tape it but this was the easiest and quickest fix. He also said that my transition to barefoot running was good and that he didn't believe that it or my shoes caused this injury. He said it's not an acute injury but that it's one that happens over a lot of time. It can be as simple as the slope of the road that caused it. We're going to try to get me through the marathon and then work on a permanent fix.
*The taping was awesome. My foot felt better just walking around. Friday I went for a nice 5 mile run in the afternoon. It was a good run and I pushed it a little and things were good. I was pretty excited about the progress and the lack of pain after the run. I still could feel it during the run, but it never got any worse and the after effects were not there like they have been.
*Saturday my plan was to run 8 in the morning and then 8 in the afternoon. That was a fail. But it worked out o.k. I decided to participate in a charity 5K for a little 10 year old that has an inoperable brain tumor. I am good friends with his family and wanted to support them. As I was getting ready to go to the run, I debated what to wear on my feet. I brought both pairs of my shoes and my socks. I wanted to run it barefoot but was nervous. It was in another city. I didn't know what the roads were like. I didn't know the course at all. And to be honest, although I run barefoot around town, I've never done it in a big group and was slightly nervous. But after I registered and found two of my friends I made the decision to just do it. I scanned the masses of people and saw a sea of shoes. No minimalist shoes to be seen. And before I knew it we were off. There was a mix of road friendliness. Nothing really run to run on, but nothing too bad either. There was a huge 1/2 mile hill that sucked. I dry heaved a little before slowing down to walk for a minute. I jumped on the sidewalk after a particularly bad section of chipped asphalt but finished it strong. My time was 28:36 I think. They just called out your times as you crossed and I'm not sure on the seconds. I was pretty danged excited. I did get to talk to a guy and his daughter along the way. He had pointed me out to his daughter and we struck up a conversation. He has been working his way down to a minimalist shoe and was in a zero drop shoe from K Swiss. I'm assuming they're like Newton's. And after the race I found a guy who was barefoot. We went over to talk to him and found out that he ran in his Vibrams. It was fun to talk to a few people about it and I got a positive response from everyone. I'm sure it will not be my last barefoot race.
* My family came into town and I got to see my new niece and go out to dinner with everyone. This put my next run at 9:30 at night. I only went 5 miles but it was good. Not the long run I had planned, but oh well. Not much has gone as planned lately. And that's o.k. I'm learning to be flexible and being able to just roll with the punches. Maybe this is part of what I'm supposed to be learning from all this!
Ready to run!
Julie, Jodi, and me