Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Unshod Experiment

My lack of posts is disturbing (a bit of a Star Wars reference there)...

I wish I had more to post about. Work has been busy (a BIG plus), so any planned videos are on hold. Running is still challenging and (to be honest) frustrating. My foot is still a problem. Last Wednesday's 4x800 track workout, followed by two hard miles within Friday's 4-mile run angered my foot. I felt the repercussions all weekend. I skipped yesterday's run to give it more rest, then got on the treadmill today. I kept the run short (3 miles) and slow (9:24 pace). I focused on my turnover rate and foot strike, trying hard to land midfoot, if not a tad forefoot. Once I hit 2.75 miles, I stopped the treadmill, took off my shoes and socks, and ran the last quarter mile barefoot. I'm hoping that doing this once or twice per week will gradually strengthen the muscles and tendons in my feet. If it worsens the condition of my right foot, I'll stop.

Speaking of stopping, I may be doing that...again...depending on feedback I may soon be getting. The circumstances that kept me from seeing a new PT doctor a few weeks ago have changed, slightly, for the better, so I have the green light from the Mrs. (a.k.a. "she who must be obeyed") to seek out treatment. This time, it'll be from a doc who specializes in working with endurance athletes. I've received three recommendations from local running friends for the same doctor. He's not close, but if he can not only fix my owie, but figure out what caused it, then the drive(s) will be worth it.

I'd be lying if I said that I haven't been experiencing a mild form of depression lately. The change of seasons (here, it's been dark, cold, rainy & windy lately), coupled with my inability to run like I want to has hit me pretty hard. Like a lot of us distance runners, I have a pretty strong connection (okay, addiction) to running. While I try not to let it define me as a person, it's certainly a major part of my life. Having it taken away (again...I've been through this scenario many times before) is getting harder to deal with. If I was a drinking man, I may be working on a fifth per day by now.

One positive that has come from the down time is renewed upper body strength. During the meat of my marathon training, I neglected any strength training I should have been doing. I could do about 25 pushups, max, at that time. A few days ago I managed 50 in one set (a PR for me), along with 14 pullups (most in several years), and 30 hanging dips (another PR). Look for me on the cover of Rock-Hard Studliness soon.

I'll sign off before I start rambling about my kids and my fantasy football teams. I hope you're running strong & healthy, and if not, that you heal quickly. And put in a long run for me. I REALLY miss those.


  1. Why, in God's name, are you doing speedwork?

  2. When I started running again a few weeks ago, all indications pointed to distance and hills as the primary offender of my foot. I figured I might be able to train for a December 5k, sans the volume, long runs and hills, but with a little speedwork. Hindsight might shoot down that rationale, but until last week it seemed to be working.

  3. I'm sending you good and healing thought waves too, and am glad that you'll soon be seeing a runner-recommended PT. Hopefully through getting a diagnosis - ideally with a path forward toward full recovery - would make the long drive and expense well worth it. Meanwhile, keep-up your good cross-training and your positive mental attitude and it'll all work out.

  4. I totally feel the same crappy weather and not able to run depression. I am not fun to be around right now.

    I hope we heel quickly!

  5. Thanks Mark. Talk to you soon.
    LaVonne, I hope so too. I'm surprised by how many of my fellow endurance athletes seem to be injured right now.

  6. Colin, you know that I can relate. I have to agree with Matt. Here my foot was fine for 5 weeks after my time off and it imploded the second I started doing speed work. Just don't.

    Super glad to hear about the Doc. I'm looking forward to his prognosis. Maybe just shut it down completely for the winter..... get "into" working out. Make your goal creating a 6-pack.

  7. Yep, no speed work for sure. Keep the runs short and slow. Hope this doc can do the trick for you. I'll do my Sunday long run for you this week. Take care!

  8. Are you seeing PT Bruk? I saw him when I injured my back and am so grateful for what he does. His goal is not to get you hitting the road as soon as possible, but to guide you through a healing process that sticks. Let your mind trust him so patience can follow. He is a big reason I can even walk. And though it took a year (my injury was very serious and I opted for patience versus surgery) I can now run again. I hope the same for you! Well, not the year part, but the healing that sticks. P.S. He loves orthotics and they helped tremendously.

  9. MAN. I really feel for you man. I gotta think that the barefoot stuff can only help. Can't hurt, can it???

    Do some pushups for me. I expect to see some shirtless pictures soon.....of girls - not you. Shirtless girls. I like man things....football...beer...

  10. Sam, I think I'm going to see Dr. Jeff Hammons, of Elite Sports & Spine, in Bellevue. I've gotten a few recommendations.
    Adam, I can do shirtless for you (wear shades when looking, or I can add a "photoshop tan"). Can't help you with the shirtless girl pics. Although if I go long enough without running and eat enough, I can work up some good moobs for your viewing pleasure. Just visualize the final scene in Dodgeball, but with me in place of Ben Stiller.