Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Left Foot

My right foot runs so much better than my left foot. Barefoot running has taught me that. My right foot does not have any problems. My left foot gets blisters from running fast or far on pavement. My left heel has tendonitis that's a little too far back to be plantar fasciitis. The middle of my left heel often feels painful when it steps too hard on a pebble or stick, and I can trace that back to a hard landing off a ski jump in the terrain park at Belleayre. So my conclusion about the other heel pain that is a little too far back is that it is Achilles tendonitis. It is really hard to tell where the plantar fascia ends and Achilles tendon begins. I am also sure that pain is a symptom of a greater muscle chain of tightness that begins in my hamstring, continues through my calf and into that tendon. This problem bothered me to a limited extent last year, and it appeared this spring as I have been increasing mileage too fast, as is my post-ski-season habit. The pain was manageable up until Monday night, and of course in retrospect I should have been icing and stretching. For the last couple of weeks, once warmed up, I had no trouble with the tendon. And it warmed up fast, with just some 20 steps of easy running. But Monday night, running the President's Cup Night Race 5K, I really pushed it over its limit. This was the first road race I started without shoes, wearing socks with some duct tape on the bottom. I ran the race fairly hard, though I am not in the same shape I was in last year. I knew I was doing damage during the race, but I kept up the pace and sprinted the last 50 yards just to hang with Roger. I limped around after the race and through yesterday, enough for people to notice and comment. I am still limping today and have resorted to wearing cushioned training shoes with an elevated heel. It hurts when I step forward as my ankle begins to bend, and increases as my weight is transferred to that leg . If I walk on that foot exaggeratedly weighting on the outside or inside, the pain is significantly reduced. Yesterday I swam 550 yards instead of running. I will continue cross-training rehab for the rest of the week, because I have the Pine Beach 5K this Sunday.

1 comment:

Craig Richards said...

Dear Thinnmann

I have been barefoot running for 8 years. When I needed shoes, my shoe of choice was the Nike Zoom Waffle (which sounds very similar to the Rebok you use), but I have been working on my own 'barefoot' running shoe if you would like to have a look? It has just been honoured with its own website (not bad for something which isn't even on the market yet)- check out If you are interested I will send you a pair to try when I have some excess testing models.