A Tale of Two Feet

Probably my most annoying obstacle right now are my feet. Let’s talk about the good parts of them. I’m a size 9, they are really cute feet. All my toes are proportional to one another. My mutant little toe nails are actually looking like normal toe nails for the first time in my life. My plantar wart is officially GONE. What’s left is just scar tissue. And most importantly, my feet literally hold me up every day, through all the crazy things I do.

This is the state of my feet and toes after a race.

This is the state of my feet and toes after a race.

Here are my challenges: I have plantar fasciitis, a foot neuroma, killer callouses, blisters that seem to not want to leave me alone, and a high foot profile.

I’ve had the plantar fasciitis since I lived in Atlanta, at least. I got diagnosed right before I moved West. Really terrible in the mornings, I can remember barely being able to hobble a couple of steps when I first woke up. I got a set of orthotics here in SD for my shoes, which helped, especially since I was on my feet a lot on the job, and the floor was unforgiving concrete where I did most of my standing work. I used a frozen water bottle under my feet for massage and cold relief. My symptoms are better, but not gone.

The neuroma is something I worked on when I still lived in Maine. When my feet were squeezed, it killed, but overall I think I’m so used to whatever pain I have from that inflamed nerve that I don’t notice it anymore. I had cortisone shots and a series of shots of alcohol, in the top of my foot to kill that nerve. Something worked because I can’t wiggle my toes as well anymore.

The callouses such, but what can you do. My body creates them to protect my feet during use. So I get pedicures and work on scraping them down myself, but they really don’t go away. I do neurotically pick at them sometimes. It’s one of the compulsive things that I do in front of other people that is really gross, but I can’t really stop myself.

The blisters are a relatively new problem. They first became a recent issue at my Resolution Run and have been annoying ever since. Double layer socks help. I blamed them initially on my old orthotics, so I got new ones and new shoes. But, I don’t know if that was really fair. They hurt like hell, but I think that I can’t use them as an excuse to rest. I just have to patch them up as best I can and keep at it.

I got new shoes, new orthotics, and a new podiatrist. She didn’t like the shoes I first picked up at the running store using their advice, so I switched them out. While waiting for the orthotics, the new shoes had a big toe box for me, so I slipped a lot and blistered. I got the new orthotics a month ago and I’m not impressed. They are actually causing a new set of callouses where the insert has a “step down” from arch to ball. I’m giving them another month and taking her advice about wearing them to break them in. I probably tried a 5K on them too soon.

I really think I’d like to get a pair of shoes with NO orthotics. I tried one pair on during the first buying trip. They didn’t have my exact size, but they felt really nice. Maybe I should have them as an alternate pair?

Oh yeah, and that high foot profile thing I mentioned? The top, fleshy part of my foot is tall. I like tying shoelaces really tight so they don’t bounce around, but with this problem, that can be constricting and feel like I’m spraining the top of my foot. So, I do this weird lacing technique on my right foot (where it is worse) where I skip a loop at the highest slope. It seems to work well!

I need to get this better controlled because I’m in a Catch 22. I need to exercise to lose weight and help these foot problems, but the foot problems are a problem with exercise. And I want to beat that PR, dammit.