Health & Wellness

Ups and Downs #13in2013

I started the year going great guns with my running and planning to run 13 races in 2013. I logged my first race on January 19th with a race time of 28:36 — within seconds of my last 5K race time in November, which was no small feat.

It was a challenge for several reasons. I’d not been feeling well that week — nothing major, just low energy and sluggish. Then  I woke up on the day of the race to a blustery 24 degrees. (At least the sun was shining, right??) I almost didn’t run, but I had paid for it so I decided I might as well give it a fair shake.

Since I had no big goals for the race (and because it was so dang cold) I didn’t bother warming up; I sat in my car until the last possible second. Cuz did I mention? TWENTY-FOUR degrees?

But when the gun went off and I trotted off to Pink’s Try blasting through my earphones, all my encumbrances melted away and I started flying. The first couple miles were a breeze; I felt great. The third was a challenge, but I pushed through it and pretty much matched my personal best. Here I am with my friends Megan and Andrea after the race.

Since then (actually, it started before that race) I have been having some foot pain. For a while I ran through it, but I finally decided to get my feet looked at when a friend suggested that I might have a stress fracture. I stopped running for a few weeks while I waited for the results of my x-rays.

The good news is… no stress fracture!

The bad news is, I am dealing with bone spurs. And evidently, there’s not a heckuvalot you can do about bone spurs. I hear that it’s more about managing the pain than it is about treating them.

I’m still planning to see a specialist to make sure I’m doing all I can to take care of my feet, but I don’t intend to quit running. In fact, I was thrilled to set out yesterday morning . . . in new shoes — the Saucony Women’s Virrata Running Shoe, which I received for review through the FitFluential blogger ambassador program.

I’ve only run once or twice since I got my diagnosis, and those were easy walk/runs. After determining that my foot pain wasn’t getting worse, I decided to see what kind of time I could get for a 5K. After several weeks of minimal training, I had no great expectations so I was thrilled when I clocked in at 28:34!!!

So far I really like the Virratas.

They have a 0mm heel drop so they are considered minimalist shoes. They are ultra light and quite flexible, although not quite as flexible or cushiony as my Nike Frees. I do feel like I’m getting a bit more support, though, which I like. I also like how they look. They are currently my favorite running shoes purely for the form factor.

I’m looking forward to wearing them more and I’m very excited about the weather getting nicer. Here in the Northeast we still have plenty of winter left, but I’m hoping for more mild days as February eventually gives way to March.

As far as 13 races in 2013? We shall see. I’m still holding out hope. But even if that doesn’t work out, I just hope I can keep running.

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15 thoughts on “Ups and Downs #13in2013

  1. That is great you have the goal to run 13 in 2013. I’m signed up to do 13 5k’s in 2013, but have not run 1 race yet due to some health issues holding me back. I’m hoping I can get back into running and start checking 5k’s off my list soon!

  2. Where exactly are your bone spurs? As a PT there IS evidence that ultrasound can help to break them up a bit, I would def ask your dr about a referral. Get one that is running focused because they can also help you check out your form and make sure you are being as efficient as possible with the least possible risk for injury or additional pressures.

  3. I don’t know what bone spurs are, but I suffered from plantar fasciitis years ago and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to continue running. A few things really helped: I got fitted with really good orthotics that were molded to my feet. They can be pricey, but really helped, so worth the price. I also had my feet adjusted regularly by my chiropractor (still do) and I froze a water bottle and rolled my feet over the ice for 20 minutes at a time. I haven’t had plantar fasciitis in over 8 years.

    I’ve run in Saucony’s for years and you can’t go wrong with those shoes. Very supportive. Didn’t you used to run in Vibrams? Could they be part of the probelm?

    1. Vibrams cannot cause bone spurs…but if form is off then ANY shoe will lead to problems. Definitely with plantar fascitis you need a supportive shoe…to START with. After the foot is completely 100% healed walking barefoot and eventually progressing to a more minimal shoe is GREAT to build up the muscles. Think of it if you were to break your arm and put a cast. What happens to the muscles that you are unable to use? They waste away and it takes time and often rehab to get that strength back to a functional level. It’s the same thing with the feet. If you constantly wear shoes and orthotics that hug and support your feet it will allow the muscles to not have to do their job and slowly waste away. I have seen arches REBUILT through proper form and Vibram use. I’m not promoting Vibrams, just what I personally run in and have many friends that do as well so I am just using them as an example. Once form is corrected and injuries are healed any minimal shoe with a low heel to toe differential is a great next step. HOWEVER there are some runners that like their supportive shoes and seem to do great in them and really have no desire to change. That’s fine. But really for the sake of efficiency and proper form, a minimal shoe is the best. I improved my time by doing nothing but changing form and shoes alone. I’ve been my own guinea pig with all of this. 🙂

    2. Hey Kristia, I’m not really sure. The heel is odd b/c I don’t strike the heel when I run in Vibrams. But the other foot – which is under the ball of my foot – that could definitely be due to mid-foot striking on hard pavement. i also had a bunionectomy on that foot about 20 years ago, and I wonder if that complicates matters at all. I need to see an orthopedist and get this figured out.

  4. I’m sorry to hear that. I had a bone spur on my left heal a few years ago. It was very, very painful but I pushed through and over time it went away. I’m not sure it’s “gone” at all, but somehow my foot structure adjusted and it’s fine.

    1. I am assuming you are a heel striker? Bone spurs in the heel are usually caused by pressure in places there is not meant to be any.

      1. I know you’re talking to Michelle, but the weird thing with me is, the one foot the bone spur is in the heel (and I do/did wear Vibrams so I do not heel strike) but the other foot it is on the ball of my foot, more or less, where I definitely do strike.

        I really need to see a doctor who can help me figure out the shoe situation and give me proper exercises and technique to work thru this. I don’t want it to set me back.

        1. Hey it’s your blog, jump in whenever and wherever you want! 🙂 So I would dare then to venture that either you are heel striking and not realizing it OR it’s from your flats or boots that you wear during the day. Bone spurs don’t just happen, something caused it. I might recommend video taping yourself running next time and playing it back slow mo. Helped me a ton when I was working on form and you might be surprised what your body is actually doing. Often it feels totally opposite of what you are actually doing in reality. Hope you get it figured out soon!

  5. Ugh. I thought I had a stress fracture in my foot last fall and went to a podiatrist and it turned out to be just a pinched nerve. Now I just have to be very careful what shoes I wear which is not always fun. I had to back off on my running, too, but it was good for me to be forced to find other variety. So hopefully you can have some fun just mixing it up and still be able to run well when you want, maybe just less frequently?

  6. Thanks for the recommendation on the shoes! I JUST started looking on Monday when I was out at the stores in a “real city” and found not much. I just ordered a pair of these. 🙂

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