Monday, May 9, 2011

Good News and a Barefoot 5K

*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


After the race
Julie, Jodi, and me

Last week's workouts:
Push up challenge week 5
Monday: push ups, full body weights, 20 mile bike ride
Wednesday: push ups, full body weights, 5 mile run barefoot
Friday: push ups, 5.25 mile run in gorilla feet
Saturday: 5K race (barefoot), 5 mile run in Evo's

33 comments:

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

TOFP is actually normal, it happens to a lot of BF runners. Remember if we listen to our feet and stop when they tell us it will help prevent getting injured.

I'm happy you found a doc that was in tune with you and took the time you needed! Even happier that you are still in for the run!! YAHOOOOO!!!!!!!

Mallory said...

That's great that you found a doctor who seems to be working out well! I'm happy for you!! Great job on the 5k as well!!

bobbi said...

I'm so so glad you found a doctor who will work WITH you rather than against you! Yay!

Tricia said...

awesome that you found a doc to work with you!

misszippy said...

Awesome Jen!! You found a great doc from the sounds of it. That will make life easier should you ever need one again (let's hope not!!). What a great few days you've had!

Stefanie D. said...

Great job!! You did so great! So glad that you found a doctor that will work with you! I seriously admire you for your barefoot running! I think I would probably cry! I'm such a baby. :)

Lindsey said...

So glad you found a great doctor! I'm SO impressed by your barefoot running, seriously!!!!

Julia said...

JEN!!! I am sooo happy for you! what great news! and I am so proud of you for sticking with what is best for you and running barefoot in that race...you are amazing and have no reason to even give going barefoot in a race a second thought. When I see people running barefoot I am just amazed...I never have any negative or any other kind of thoughts toward them. I literally just think you are so strong and brave for sticking with what you KNOW is best for you.

What an inspiring post! thanks for sharing :)

Nelly said...

Good to hear on your foot pain! That doctor does sound awesome, glad you found someone who seems to really care. That is tough to find someone who spends that much time with you. And he sounds like he really knows what he is talking about.

Hope the pain is now gone and you can continue with running!

Rachelle Wardle said...

That is such great news Jen!! I am beyond happy for you. Great job with the 5k! Like seriously you killed that, especially having to be careful about the road. I am so proud of you!

You are just such an inspiration to me and I just love keeping up with you.

Britt said...

Sounds like you found the perfect doctor for your symptoms and are on a great recovery road

Running Ricig said...

My husband gets the same question about stepping on glass and rocks whenever people find out he runs barefoot too. Lol, he's barefoot, not blind!

Glad you found an awesome and understanding doc!

Penny said...

I'm so happy for you, finding a doc that was able to help you with your foot pain. Congrats on getting some runs in without much pain.

Missy said...

Nice time on the 5k. Glad to hear things are getting better with your feet. I still give you major props for barefoot running, it's definitely not something I would want to do. Get it girl!

Deanna@MilesToRun said...

Sounds like you had a great 5K as well! So glad you got a chance to race barefoot and it went so well.

It sounds like you found the perfect doctor too. So great that there is no fracture and that he is supportive of you running the marathon.

Hope you had a great Mother's Day!

Sam {fitnessfoodandfaith.blogspot.com} said...

this doctor sounds awesome!! the tape seems to be a good solution for now? excited to hear how things progress :)

Holley @ Lunges and Lashes said...

i am impressed with your barefoot race! way to go! i hope your footsies are on the up and up!

Shelby said...

Congrats! And great for no pain, makes the days sooo much better =)

Michael said...

Sounds like that marathon is still in the books. Way to go Jen. I'm very happy for you. Mike

Candice @ I Have Run said...

So glad the news was good and the foot is feeling better. I love that you can always see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I love the race pic of the feet. And congrats on an awesome 5K!

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Sounds like you found a fantastic doc--I was getting super excited for you as I kept reading, feeling better, stronger, less pain!

I am in loe with your pics--adorable! I love your hair in braids too!

I feel off the push-up wagon when I was sick and plan to get back on next week. Week 5 day 1 was where I stoppe--It was HARD. I think I will begin at week 2 or 3 and build up strength.

How many could you punch out in a row?!?!

Jen said...

Nice! A barefoot 5K & 28:36! Way to go....

Pam said...

HALLELULAH for no stress fracture and YAY for finding a doc that will work WITH you!

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

this is wonderful news!! and yes, its always a learning experience. One that will be taken to heart. Hope the foot continues to heal!

Alma said...

Oh I love your new doctor! Keep seeing that guy, he's with the program :)
Congratulations on being able to run a race this weekend BAREFOOT.
Here's to more training!

Jennifer said...

Yay for your foot feeling better! I'm glad you got a doctor who specializes and knows about barefoot running. Congrats on the race!

Julie said...

I love the pictures of race day! Your toes always look so pretty. I cannot believe you run barefoot and have such nice looking feet. I don't run barefoot and mine are all callused and scraggly.

Korin Lopez said...

Hooray for little pain! It sounds like you found an awesome doctor! I love your pictures especially your braids! Thanks for the stretching tip it has helped me a ton!

Stephanie said...

So excited for you Jen! I'm glad you were able to find someone you could trust to see. Ryan is still incorporating a little barefoot each week and he enjoys it!

LAPT said...

Wahooooo! I hope that this helps solve your foot pain! After taping, is there something else he can do?!? Yay for your awesome runs!

Joanne said...

I'm so happy for you. I think it's great you found a doctor who is an advocate of barefoot running.
Hubby and I bought the Vibrams when we were in Boston and used them to walk around Naples while on Vacation. I'm not sure I dare to run in them yet although have tried a warm up and cool down mile on the mill with them.

I'm hoping running with no support helps fix my hamstring and hip problem since they are prob. due to misalignment.

Great Job on the 5K!

Wendy said...

Sounds like a great doctor!

So happy for you! Great 5K!

ashley & sundance said...

AHHH! how have i not seen this post til now??? SOO SOO SOO happy that your foot is ok! and i'm so happy you went to the doctor! woo hoo for intelligent docs! :)

does this mean you are running ogden with me?? :) :) :) AH! you are going to be amazing!!! woo hoo!