I am a bit of a complainer where my feet are involved. Things that wouldn’t phase me in my past (pre-injury) life, now annoy me to no end. Whether it is a rub, pressure, or even the smallest of twinges, I am driven to find a solution.
Because of my new hypersensitivity, it is no surprise that I was driven to stop several times during today’s run to attempt to rectify the feet issues of the day.
It began even before I began running. Just out of the car, I could feel my left foot sliding into the lateral (outside) edge of my shoe. I pulled out the stock insole and the orthotic that sits below that. I attempted to adjust it so that my foot was more level in the shoe. As soon as I re-laced my shoe I could feel the same feeling. I did it again and then wiggled my foot inside the toe box to try to achieve the desired position. Then I began running.
The final adjustment seemed to settle down the annoyance for the most part. The pressure to the side of my foot, behind my baby toe, would come on occasionally. I found if I ran on the flat, or parts of the trail that slant down to the right, I could make the feeling go away. But after a while, even that wasn’t working.
I was climbing the steepest part of the trail when the pressure was really getting to my head. What should I do? Should I turn back and end the run way early? Should I pull out the insole to see if the extra room in the shoe would help (as it did on my last run)? I used some self-talk to keep myself going. I promised my body that I would fix the problem at the top of the, 2 mile, hill that I was climbing.
When I reached the top of the hill (that part of the hill) I stretched and then began trying out the adjustments. First, I tried removing the insole. This gave me more room but did not fix the feeling of running outer edge of my foot. I was very aware of the hard edge of my orthotic. It was clear that this would not be a good enough solution.
Next, I removed my orthotic and put the stock insoles back into the shoe. It fixed the leaning issue, but my metatarsal cushions are attached to my orthotics and I would be running without them. I decided that I would give it a try for this run and then use the moleskin foam to create new metatarsal cushions for future runs.
I made the same modifications to my right shoe, ate a GU, and started up again. I immediately was aware of every little rock under my feet but the change felt good otherwise.
I was greeted and given passing room whenever I met up with other runners or hikers on the trail. Everyone was friendly and accommodating. The special attention helped me travel along the single track well past the spot where I turned around the last time I ran on this trail.
My legs could feel the difference in miles. Again, I began talking to myself to keep myself going. “You’re doing good. Just keep going and you’ll be at the top in no time.” When I was sure that I was nearly to the power pole that marked my turn-around, I breathed a sign of relieve. I took another stretch and GU break and then headed back on the same trail.
I passed the same friendly hikers who stepped aside to let me pass again. “Relax. Nice and slow,” I told myself. Aware that this was a time when the metatarsal cushion would be optimal, I wanted to minimize the pounding. It worked out fine until I hit the same steep portion of the trail that had aggravated my foot on the upward climb. I returned my orthotics to my shoe and finished up the run.