I’ve had a nagging toe issue for a few months. Yes, MONTHS. I put off getting it looked at because 1) I had races to run and train for, and I wasn’t going to be sidelined from my goals, and 2) For some strange reason it didn’t hurt when I would run or wear my running shoes. Additionally, I noticed it would really bother me when wearing dress shoes-specifically heels. It was of course especially bad when I would need to do a bunch of walking (as I do when going to the courthouse, for example) for work. But if I wore flat shoes with a wider toe box, or, of course, my running shoes, the toe wouldn’t bother me-unless I pushed on it, in which case I noticed a difference between the large toe joint on my left foot (uncomfortable) versus that on my right foot (no issue).
Then I finished my latest half marathon. Time to see my orthopedic doctor. Finally, last Wednesday, I went to see her. When you run as often as I do, inevitably, you will need to visit an orthopedic doctor or podiatrist at some point, and you may get to know said orthopedic doctor or podiatrist quite well. My doctor, while great, thankfully I haven’t had to see more than twice in my adult life. Before 2014 I went to a podiatrist one time in high school, due to the beginning of a stress fracture. As a general rule, running can be very hard on your bones, especially if you do not do things to offset the jolting to your frame (proper nutrition, proper vitamins, proper strength training). I have learned this as I have gone along on my running journey (I eat as healthy as I can, religiously take my vitamins which include extra calcium, and ensure I do some type of strength training 3 times a week). But getting back to my toe issue….
I had x-rays done of my feet, and nothing abnormal was found (sigh of relief). Apparently it doesn’t appear that I have arthritis (yay, since I know it runs in my family-and I’m not getting any younger), nor does it look like there are any bone spurs (double yay because I really didn’t want to have to have those addressed because I believe that might involve some sort of surgery), and there certainly weren’t any fractures visible (thankfully). So no problem, aside from the fact that there is no explanation for the joint pain, seriously. She suggested I take an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen, or Aleve) on a regular basis for two weeks. So I’ve been doing this, on a semi regular basis (I’m really bad at remembering when there is no noticeable pain). As I said before, what aggravates it is wearing tight, narrow dress shoes, or heels. Tonight I had pain while running for the first time that I’ve noticed (definitely NOT GOOD). However, today I also did a lot of walking in shoes that have a heel, and ran in the evening after all that walking, as opposed to running over lunch. I believe when I wear shoes like this, it aggravates the joint. I managed to still complete 3.5 miles tonight on the ‘dread’mill, but it wasn’t without some discomfort.
I am SO CLOSE to hitting my 1017km goal that I definitely don’t want to stop now. So I’ve decided I need to be more on top of my anti-inflammatory medication, and I should ice my foot each night to stay healthy. In the meantime, I am hoping to reach my goal by December 31st. I’m currently sitting at 942.17km.
Once I’m done with this goal, I’m going to have to take 2 weeks off to give this toe joint a rest, I suspect. Which brings me to my next point-breaks are important. This year I haven’t exactly set a great example for the benefit of breaks (I really haven’t taken any real breaks from running), but I certainly believe they are necessary, and plan to take one. But first, I have to reach my end of year goals, which I intend to do.
In the meantime, this weekend will be a bit tricky getting my running in. Saturday my son turns 1, so we will be having his birthday party in the afternoon, and then we have two Christmas parties to attend in the evening. I may be running in the morning, but with how crazy it gets trying to get the house ready for a party that starts at 1pm, I’m not going to necessarily count on it.
Life with three kiddos sure can be hectic, but it’s so rewarding-and this baby boy of mine really has my heart! 💙
Happy 1st birthday, Charlie!