Foot Fetish

I have developed my own little foot fetish over the past few weeks. Don’t worry, my foot fetish is only for my own feet, not yours! I’ve spent so much time over the past few months and, more specifically, weeks worrying about my feet, i had no choice but to become a little neurotic about them.

I spent several months (much of jan through may!) in physical therapy working on my muscular imbalances in my legs (most likely caused by 8 weeks in the damn boot for the stress fracture), getting ultrasound on my tibia (which tends to swell in the shape of an egg at the slightest amount of exercises), massage on my calves (which have become so tight it sometimes hurts to walk), and lots of foot and ankle exercises (because my feet are the source of all of my problems). Well, after all of that, i can finally say that i am seeing some progress.

My physical therapist has cleared me and has me going in on an “as needed” basis. He knows i’m pretty diligent about doing my exercises at home so we agreed that i will go back at any sign of a setback. After having the Canadian foot specialist (aka The Olympian 🙂 ) also look at my legs and feet, he agreed that my feet are the source of many of my problems. Not that i didn’t believe my PT, but this just added to the list of experts telling me a lot of the same things. Ever since this i have done my foot exercises every single night before bed without fail. As my runs have increased, i’ve had a little residual swelling so i had a massage this week specifically for my calves and right quad. Well, as it turns out, what really needed to be worked on was…you guessed it!…my FEET! Good grief!

Ed (massage guru) said my tibial tendon is so tight that it is pulling my feet in a way that’s basically the same as if i had my feet put on sideways. He spent about 20 painful minutes on each foot / tibia and suddenly my feet were straight. It was like i was looking at someone else’s feet. I literally feel like i have spent every waking minute since Thursday thinking about my feet. I am so incredibly conscious of how i am holding them when standing, sitting, driving, or whatever. I have stretched this stupid tendon as much as i can. Yes, they are drawing in a little- this is the tendon that had my PT so worried about possibly tearing if i weren’t careful because of how tight and shortened it is- but i’m going to keep working on it and hopefully i’ll get to experience a running season without injury!

I have returned to running…slowly but continuously. I had to start all the way at the beginning with 20 second intervals which is less than i’ve ever done but i stuck with it and each time i tried to push it a little too much, my body quickly let me know to back off. I have worked really hard over the past month to increase from 20 minutes of running to 50 minutes of running and so far so good. I’m paying more attention to my feet than ever before but i figure if i expect them to get me to all of the things i have planned for the fall (most specifically, Ragnar and St. Jude!), i owe it to them to pay attention to them anyway!

I’ve developed a love / hate relationship relationship with my feet that i didn’t even know was possible! My plan is to give my feet lots of love and hope that, in return, they love me back 🙂

Vacation head

People always go on vacation and come home talking about how refreshed they feel. My body may feel refreshed but my mind sure wishes it was still in Mexico! It seems like it had been ages since we went on a vacation that wasn’t also tied to a race or wedding….or tainted by whatever weird injury i had at the moment!

Well, this one was perfect. Although i’m still nursing some issues, we were still able to get out and run several days, went to the gym on other days, and keith even swam in the ocean so he wouldn’t feel too behind for this weekends race. (Ask him about the 3 foot sting ray he accidentally swam with!) There are so many highlights from the trip, it’s hard to pick out which ones were best. We spent the mornings getting our exercises out of the way, the day basking in the sun or napping, and the nights eating delicious meals and walking in the sand.

Although this was all perfect, one of the biggest highlights that keith and i will always remember is hanging out with Olympians! Yes, i am kind of a running geek. I follow lots of runners. I am inspired by their 2:20 marathons even though i may never break 5. I love to read their books, root for them, and keep up with who makes the Olympic trials and who doesn’t so for me to meet an Olympian, a Track and Field Olympian!, i was pretty excited.

I must preface this story with the fact that Keith and i are typically pretty anti-social on vacation. We really like our private time and don’t really care to find out where the people at the next table are from. We choose the more private area of the resort with our own pool so we don’t really have to talk to anyone if we don’t want to. We both have very social jobs so this is our one chance to really have it all just be about each other. So, the fact that we even started a conversation with this couple is shocking. Must be fate 😉

We had small talk with this particular couple, Mike and Sylvia, on day 1 of the trip, found out they are from Canada and that’s about it. As the days went by, we saw them around the resort and Keith had even noticed that the lady was wearing a necklace with the Olympic rings. This intrigued us so we decided to talk to them at the pool one day. The lady was wearing a dri-fit race tee so i asked her if they run. This conversation led to her husband explaining some races they sponsor in Canada….long story short, they were both Track and Field Olympians in the 80’s and he is currently a foot and ankle specialist. Next thing i know, i’m out of the pool and getting a foot and leg exam by him, bathing suit and all!, while keith is headed to the bar with his wife. It was pretty funny, all the looks we were getting.

So, not only did we talk about past and current runners that i’m intrigued by, we talked about his thoughts on barefoot running, vibrams, racing AND i got a diagnosis with some tips and techniques. We had to pull ourselves away or we would still be there asking them questions about Carl Lewis and Edwin Moses- famous track and field olympians that they knew and even ran against (Mike ran against Moses in the 100m hurdles!).

It was definitely a cool highlight of the trip and although we are still suffering from vacation head, we are excited to get back out there and pass on some of the infectious excitement that comes along with meeting Olympians!