Monday, June 06, 2005


Friday I went to the Institute for Athletic Medicine for an injury screening. I think the sports trainer was stumped. He thought it could be some inflamed cartilage or possibly a stress fracture. So I went to urgent care and had it x-rayed. The Dr. didn't see a fracture. He mentioned two possible tendons that could be inflamed. He gave a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and told me to ice as much as possible. If it’s not better by Tuesday, he said he’d refer me to the on-staff podiatrist.

One thing that came out with the sports trainer was a possible cause. He helped me remember that I ran a mile barefoot a week before. I’d think if that was the cause, it’d flare up sooner than 5 days later. In any case, I’m blaming Nike and their “build stronger feet” campaign surrounding the Nike Free shoe.

After 3 days off from exercising, I spent 65 minutes on my racing bike (I knew there was a reason I kept it) on Saturday and 40 minutes on my mountain bike on Sunday. Tonight my training group is in the pool, so I’m going to go and pool run. Then I'll re-evaluate and either try running or just workout on the elliptical machine.

Most of the swelling has gone down and it's starting to feel better. Shoes seem to really make a difference. I thought my Birkenstocks would help because they form so well to my foot, but I could really feel it in the arch. Meanwhile, yesterday I was wearing a pair of old running shoes that I now use for cutting the grass and it felt fine - even running a few steps in them.

I’m not really as pissed as I thought I’d be. I figure if it gets better and I run Grandma’s – great. If it doesn’t get better soon, I’ll skip Grandma’s, build back up over the summer and use this base for some fall races, maybe even a marathon. But right now I'm still approaching it like I'm going to run Grandma's.


Anonymous said...

I stop reading for a few days and all hell breaks loose. I hope your foot improves soon, I'm glad to hear that there's some improvement already. Even if you have to take more time off than you want, I can tell you a number of success stories about people who have taken time off just before marathons.

And even if you don't run Grandma's (but I hope you can!) you have an amazing base which will help you no matter what.

When I was in Boulder this past weekend, I heard a lot about how American shoes are so bad for us and how we need more minimalist shoes. I don't necessarily disagree, but I'm also going to continue wearing my big, clunky shoes. Everyone I met there who was wearing the Free was only wearing it for walking around. They're saying that you need to adjust to less support very gradually.

I assume the doctor also told you that a stress fracture would not show up on an x-ray right away (and possibly never). However, I've never had swelling with any of my stress fractures, so hopefully it's something else that will heal much quicker.

Good luck! The hardest part, I think, in situations like this is not going crazy. Your body is ready, you just need your mind to be really strong right now.

Chad said...

Thanks for the encouragement Alison. Yeah, I think knowing that if I had to skip Grandma's I'd be able to run a lot more shorter races this summer has helped with my mental outlook.

I was thinking this morning, things went way too smoothly during this training cycle. I'd almost feel cheated if something didn't pop up.

Your Boulder trip sounds awesome. Hopefully you can apply what you learned to your running.

No, the Dr. never said that it's possible I could still have a stress fracture. He was a runner though, so that made me feel a little better. And your lack of swelling comment makes me feel better too.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hey Zeke: I've been following your log now for awhile, particularly since I'm planning to run Twin Cities in October... Re Nike Free, I was just reading Run Strong this week and loved this quote:

"There are those who argue that running in modern cushioned running shoes reduces the work that your feet need to do to absorb and generate force. In other words, big, cushiony shoes make you soft. Wrong. Driving your SUV two and a half blocks to get a half-decaf, vanilla hazelnut, nonfat, low-foam cappuccino makes you soft. Properly fitting, cushioned training shoes are a godsend."

Best of luck with your foot...

Chad said...

Hey Carl,

I've been reading Run Strong too and I remember that quote. It's an interesting book - probably the topic of a blog entry once I finish it.

Good luck with your training for TCM. If you need any info on the area or the race, I might be able to help you out.