Category Archives: Injury

Bad, bad, feet…

So a couple of weeks ago I mentioned how I was starting the couch to 10k training plan app, and then I haven’t said another word since.

Because my feet?  Are out to kill me.  They hurt with every step, whether it’s first thing in the morning, midday, or on my way to bed at night.  They hurt when standing, when running, when walking, when I’m sitting and decide to move them.

The first time I noticed the pain, it was during our trip to Hong Kong, months and months ago.  The pain only showed up after a whole day of walking/sightseeing, when I had been walking around for about 10 hours.  Now, it shows up even if I spent the day sitting on the couch.

There are no podiatrists in Manila, so I was hoping the orthopedist would at least take x-rays before claiming to be plantar fasciitis – which I had before on my left foot, and it felt different.  It was just a different type of pain…  This pain, goes from my heels to the base of my toes.  It feels like the bottom of my feet are bruised, as if I spend my days jumping up and down on concrete, barefoot.

The right foot is worse, I can actually press on the spot that’s sore.  When I try to run, the pain is unbearable, so I stopped.  And had to stop every single time I tried since.

Sadly, the doctor didn’t ask for an x-ray, spent less than 5 minutes with me (and this was the embassy recommended orthopedist!), claimed to be plantar fasciitis (even after I explained that the pain was on the whole bottom of both feet, that I’ve had PF before and it felt different), said that my arches are too high (which I already know) and prescribed custom insoles.  “Try it for a couple of months, if it doesn’t get better, come back.”

A couple of months???  With unbearable foot pain???  I wanted to cry.

$110 later, I’m picking up my custom insoles on Tuesday and we’ll see if it works.  But I don’t have high expectations for it.  My high arches did fine during a whole season of marathon training, carry me across the finish line of two marathons in 3 weeks, and though I did end up with an inflamed arch at that time, I don’t even run as much as 3 miles/week now, and THAT my feet can’t handle?

It’s very very very frustrating. 

You don’t realize how important your feet really are until you depend on them to do anything like walk the dog to spend a full day sightseeing.

And that is the reason there hasn’t been much running talk here in a while.  I didn’t want to have to write this post – making it public makes it real, you know?  Here’s hoping the insoles are the miracle I’ve been hoping for.


Filed under Injury

Clench those Glutes!

Nothing like making you uncomfortable on a blog…

Remember that hip pain I kept having earlier this year?  It started after my December 31st run, after taking a few weeks off due to my highly inflamed plantar fasciitis.  My first run back triggered a weird right side hip pain, and I took time off and didn’t go away. 

I went to an orthopedist in VA, who had no answers except “stop running.”  So I scheduled an appointment for a second opinion.  The second doctor took an      x-ray that showed no issues and gave me a cortisone shot that didn’t do anything, except for give me hopes… 

I went back to running, despite the pain.  I started physical therapy, but saw no results…  I kept running, as the hip wasn’t getting worse, but it was constantly sore, even when walking. 

I took a bunch of time off running when I moved to Manila, sure that the time off would make things better, and that made no difference, once I went running, the hip was still hurting

I was recommended an orthopedist who quickly diagnosed me with weak core and hips, and sent me off for more physical therapy (which turned out to be $60 a pop, so I never went back – I can do planks on my own, thankyouverymuch).

But even doing weightlifting, working on my core, nothing improved my hip.

And then, one day back in September, Katie posted about her broken butt and her own issues…  (Definitely worth reading if you have hip issues!)  And though we didn’t have the exact same problems, there was enough similarities that it convinced me to at least try to “engage my glutes” during a run.  How does one engage their glutes?  Well, at least for me, I gotta clench my butt, then it actually makes it feel like it’s not just my legs carrying me on runs.

And from then on, I have been constantly aware of my butt and have clenched my glutes during runs, to make sure I’m engaging my hips with each step.  Always.

It has been 3 months since then, and I’m happy to say that since day ONE of doing that, I’m PAIN FREE!  No more weird hip pain triggered by runs!  No more wasted trips to doctors!  All I needed to do was engage my glutes with each step.  Soooo simple, no? 

So if you are also having weird hip pain, it might be something to consider. 

As for running, I got another 3 miles in this week, not an easy run, but not a bad run by any means.  I even pushed myself a bit in the last mile, getting what is probably my fastest run since arriving in Asia.


(How do I wish the treadmill gave me a mile by mile split, like the Garmin does…)


Filed under Injury, Treadmill Run


Have you heard of Graston Technique, also called i-Smart, also called Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization?

A couple of weeks ago my feet started hurting.  Not my usual plantar fasciitis crap, but at times, the whole bottom of my feet would hurt.  In Taipei the pain was excruciating.

Then I found out that our (super expensive) insurance covers acupuncture.  So I made myself an appointment, explained my issues, and was told that acupuncture wouldn’t be the solution, the Graston Technique should be used instead (and I swear I heard it “Aggression Technique” at first, which would have been totally accurate).

And I’d like to say that I’ve never been in so much pain in my life, but the 2nd degree burns I got on my leg a couple of years ago take that spot (and let’s hope it stays that way), but lets just say this Graston stuff was close. 

What is it? 

Well basically they use this curved metal of death and rub it in the spots that are tight, and where they find bumps from scar tissues on your ligaments/tendons/muscles. 


If this sounds like a massage, don’t kid yourself.  Even though it was a rubbing motion, it felt like I was being beat with a hammer.  By a very angry person.

In my case, there were a TON of those spots on my lower legs around the calves (not surprised there), a few next to my achilles tendon, and of course a bunch at the bottom of my foot.  You would think the bottom of the foot, the source of pain, would be the worst part, no?  But you’d be wrong.  Those spots on my legs?  HURT LIKE A @#@$#$%#!  In an “I need a towel to bite on” sort of hurt.  Or “can we please have anesthesia first?” type of thing.

And she even mentioned she was taking it easy today, just to loosen things up, and she will really use true force next time.  I would be surprised if I have no bruises up and down my legs as is.

On Friday, I’m meant to go for my next appointment.  I’m already dreading the thing.  But whether this works or not, I don’t know yet, but I should be able to tell after the 3rd treatment.  But my calves felt looser and lighter walking out of there for sure.  Probably because the beating had ended.


Filed under Injury

And not all runs will be easy runs…

And that’s ok.

But it’s a hard lesson to learn, no?

After getting so excited about an easy 3 miler (an accomplishment around these parts lately), yesterday I hesitated hopping on the treadmill.  Part of me was scared that it wouldn’t be easy again.  Plus my left hip has been bugging me since yesterday’s run (for those of you counting, that’s a new pain – my right hip is the one I had problems with this year).

Eventually I sucked it up and got started.  And I was right, it wasn’t easy.  Not only it was hard, but I started having odd pains on my foot.  My left foot, that battles plantar fasciitis on and off (if only I kept up with the PT and stretching, no?) was not cooperating.  Not PF this time, but shooting pain up the foot.  WTF!  (But maybe it’s bruised from the 4 massages I had in one week period?  Highly likely.)

So after a mile I figured there’s no point injuring myself.   I’m so paranoid about injuries that I rather take it easy than push it through.

I changed the pace to a brisk walk instead, and the pain went away, I still ran a bit here and there once it stopped hurting, but I had already lost my running mojo.  I finished with a barefoot half-mile walk with a little bit of running thrown in there, completing a 5k with a 12:47 pace at the end.  Slow?  YES!!!  But slow is better than nothing.  And though I still see walking as defeat, it’s still better than sitting my ass on the couch.

Hard runs are confidence killers, but I have to remind myself that even after amazing double digit runs on weekends when I was training for marathons last year, sometimes I would have a crappy 3 mile run home from work and had to walk most of it.  So just because I had a bad run, doesn’t mean it’s all lost.

Tomorrow I’ll try again.


Filed under Injury, Treadmill Run