When my race was cancelled due to weather I was sad, but also very relieved because I knew I would have been in excruciating pain during the last half. I just assumed that I had fallen arches or even a case of plantar fasciitis. Over the last month or so my pain has increased dramatically, to the point that I can no longer run for more than even a 1/4 mile without my feet starting to hurt. I've also noticed that I cannot even walk or stand for more than an hour at time without feeling the same pain. Even after almost no running for an entire month my symptoms have not improved. I made the decision last week to go see my PCP and he diagnosed me with tarsal tunnel syndrome (like carpal tunnel syndrome but in the feet). It's basically swelling or inflammation on the inside of the ankle next to the bones that causes compression on the posterial tibial nerve and can lead to pain anywhere along the path of the nerve.
|Photo courtesy of: http://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/tarsal-tunnel-syndrome.htm|
After learning a little more about it I now realize that the symptoms are very similar to plantar fasciitis and even my Dr. said the two diagnosis are often confused. The primary distinguishing factor in my case was that I didn't have the sharp shooting pain in my heel like most people with plantar fasciitis do and the area around my ankle is sensitive when touched. My pain is more localized in my arch and literally feels like my arches want to fall to the floor. We discussed in detail my options, none of which included any running until at least May. For now, the Dr has prescribed me an oral steroid and requested that I use a post-op shoe during normal daily activity when I need to be on my feet for long periods of time. Have you seen a post-op shoe?! GOOD-NESS! I'm really worried about my feet but I just can't bring myself to wear this dang thing.
|The family offered to bedazzle it for me but I declined lol|
I have a follow up appointment with my podiatrist next week when I complete the oral steroids. Thus far, I still have not seen an improvement with my pain. My next options are a custom orthotics and cortisone shots in BOTH my feet. From what I hear, those feel like red hot branding irons. Joy! It has been SUCH a frustrating month! I had two races planned that I have now have to cancel. With the cancellation of the marathon and the start of my triathlon season also looking glum I'm beginning to feel my 2015 race season excitement quickly turn to resentment. I'm trying to stay positive. I've turned my focus on to other sports. Luckily, in triathlon, you have three sports to focus on so running isn't the end-all-be-all of my training season. I've been in the pool and bike riding as much as I can. Hopefully, this week I will begin spin classes at my local gym. I'm NOT looking forward to the 5:45am spin class but I know I need to keep myself busy and stick to my training. I've never actually taken a spin class so I'm excited to try something new. If all goes well and I'm healed, I can still make my summer races and stay on track for Ironman 70.3 later this year. I just need to rest and work on fixing these feet.
I hope you're all having a healthy and injury free race season!