Thursday, December 01, 2005

Morton and me

Morton's neuroma has bugged me since my first marathon in 2000, when I stopped on the side of the road at mile 18 to "unbunch" my sock from between my left big-toe and the second toe, which was causing the inside edges of both toes to go numb. When I sat down and pulled off my shoe, I found that the sock was fine. Then I noticed how tough it is to start running again at mile 18 in a marathon after sitting down. Won't be doing that again. Anyway, the numbness eventually abated after the race and I didn't think much of it.

The numbness would rear its head occasionally when I was bike racing, but I attributed it to my foot "falling asleep" after being clipped in the pedals for too long. The numbness finally turned into pain at about mile 20 of my attempt at the 2003 P.F. Chang's Phoenix rock'n'roll marathon, and though it didn't cause my bonk there, it certainly made it all the more unpleasant.

After the race I finally visited a podiatrist who quickly diagnosed the problem, added a metatarsal "dome" or pad to my shoe, and the pain almost immediately left. It would take a few months for the numbness to dissipate, and although it did for the most part I still occasionally get some numbness between the toes during long runs, but no pain. Apparently this type of neuroma is often diagnosed for women who wear high-heeled shoes, which tend to squeeze the forefoot too tightly. Cycling shoes did this to me daily, and it wasn't much later that I stopped bicycle racing. I figured this would be the end of it.

Unfortunately, the increased mileage, speedwork, and perhaps the marathon pace work and racing I've been doing this year is bringing out the same affliction in my other foot. This time the numbness has been sporadic and low-grade, so much so that I haven't mentioned it in the blog. Today I felt a bit of pain in the forefoot though, and I'm trying desperately to get in to see the podiatrist and get a pad in place for the other foot before the race.

9:05a.m. and I just found out my podiatrist is out of town until Monday. Hmm, time to stop blogging and figure out what the hell it is I'm going to do about this. With two easy days ahead I probably won't have any problems with the foot for the race, but is is a very downhill course so I'm not sure. Now I'm off to try to find another podiatrist to get this done, wish me luck.
Between the adductor/groin/cough thing and this new malady, things are crazy enough that I believe a good race is on the horizon for Sunday. It's just the way things go for me, bad and good in close succession.

Training, 14 miles, 1:40:56, 7:12 pace. Took it easy (2 miles less than normal) with the race (half-marathon)coming up Sunday


Thomas Sørensen said...

Mike! What the ***** is going on? Don't fall apart. You will give Lydiard a bad name :-) On a serious note, I hope you can explain to another podiatrist what it is you need for your shoe and that can be the end of it.
How do you feel about the half-narathon? Are you going to mini-taper?

Susan said...

Hi Mike - I found you through Zeke . . .

I have the same neuroma . . . I got it from a combo of marathon training and high heels at work everyday. It really sucks too. I get some inserts at a store called Foot Solutions (they have a website too) and it helped more than the metatarsal pad the orthopaedic surgeon gave me . . . I think they are called Lycos Inserts or something like that . . . I was in excrutiating pain one day and the next I did a 17 mile run pain free. And it was glorious.

Good luck with your runs and your feet.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what you use for footwear, but consider switching to training in racing flats and doing a lot of barefoot running. I had a succession of injuries of such a severity and frequency that it is hard to believe that so many injuries are possible if seen in writing, but when I threw away the trainers and started training in racing flats as well as jogging or doing strides/workouts barefoot on grass, all of it vanished. If you live in Arizona, it is probably easy to find some softer surface year round and not too cold to do this, and I can all but guarantee a number of your injuries will simply go away. If mine can go away--and I was notoriously injury-prone--I think the same holds true for anyone.

Very interesting weblog you have and best wishes.

Mike said...

Thomas, I'll be fine, I'm just trying to solve the problem before it gets worse instead of waiting for it to sideline me. I'm seeing a sports PT tomorrow and I bought some fresh insoles (mine were worn out).

Susan, glad you landed here! I knew wearing those heels would cause me nothing but problems! I'll check out Foot Solutions too, glad you are pain-free now.

Mr. or Mrs. anonymous, I hear you. Starting in minimal shoes is a priority for next year, though with my hammertoes and neuromas it will be a challenge. I would have started sooner, but with the huge overhaul I've done with my training I thought changing to mimimal shoes could wait until my next build in February. Thanks for your comments, I do run on crushed granite and dirt often and I have a grass field a half mile away.

tb1 said...

Mike, listen to what you said "....but with the huge overhaul I've done with my training...."

For the short time that I've read your blog the fact that you HAVE radically changed your training immediately stands out. Perhaps some of what you are experiencing is temporary due to the radical change in training.

The suggestions made by others sound excellent, especially since they have produced positive results.

Good luck Sunday.

Bu the way, does Lydiard address the topic of injuries due to the increased milage and stress?

Mike said...

tb1, I always appreciate your comments. With regard to injuries, Lydiard advocates introducing new stimulus slowly and slowing down your running if your body is sore. Personally, I don't think it's the mileage, as I've been at or above 90 since late August. I do think it's the intensity, and how my footstrike changes when I run fast. Hopefully I'll find out tomorrow.

Catering Equipment said...

Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. Thank u.