Girl Gone Loco

I got my custom orthotics the other day (Wednesday). I had meant to post just how excited I was to be getting them. Yes, you heard that right… EXCITED! Me. The girl totally against wearing orthotics. But, not running for 4 solid months can drive a person crazy and I think that is what has happened. I’ve gone loco.

The orthotics are half hard plastic, something you would think is totally uncomfortable to wear, and half soft.

hard plastic and extra cushion beneath small toes

hard plastic and extra cushion beneath small toes

But they are actually almost unnoticeable. With the exception of my left foot with the PF, there is a slight indication of their presence in my arch. This is because that poor little arch has been so unhappy and in pain for so long, that it is going to take up to six weeks to get used to feeling better. I don’t think it will take that long.

The right foot feels great. Mine are already a little broken in as you see. So far, the PF has not been bothering me. Also, notice that there is a thicker section of padding under the outer toes on my left troubled foot. This is to help me not get blisters from putting added pressure on the ball of my foot which always gets swollen when I run. I hope it works! There is also a hard plastic heel that is slightly raised with ridges on the bottom. I guess that is too keep them from sliding around when I run? I didn’t ask.

typical foam tops ~ can you see the heel?

typical foam tops ~ can you see the heel?

I will confess, I started running a little about 5 days before I got the orthotics. Just quarter mile jogs with walk breaks. I wore my old green Superfeet with a hole cut out for the ball of my foot. Those actually felt WORSE than the new orthotics. I am so happy to be starting back. Just that little bit of running makes me feel so much better!

Now for the real loco part…

The other exciting thing that happened to me on Wednesday was I got to pick up something I ordered a week and a half prior when I was down in La Jolla for a mini break with Tom. It wasn’t too crazy a purchase, as I have been looking at these things for over a year now. It was crazy in that I have opened myself up to other possibilities than just being a runner. Yes running… you have to move over now for some other activities.

Meet my new friend.

shiney bright red fuji ~ it was love at first sight!

shiny bright red fuji ~ it was love at first sight!

Isn’t she just B-E-A-UTIFUL! I knew the moment I saw her that she was going to be mine. I seriously haven’t been all that excited about a bike the whole last year looking at them. Funny, that old saying, what a difference a year makes! (I need to remind myself of that often I think.)

Tom was as excited as me, if not even more so, as now we will be able to ride together on occasion. I am really looking forward to spending that time together.

I have so much to learn about bikes. I am really a total newbie. In the bike shop the specialist there, William, fitted me to the bike. He was talking derailleurs, and cranks and hoods and well… he might as well have been speaking to me in Chinese. I just sat there pedaling along nodding my head for the most part acting as if I understood everything.

getting fitted, it was fun

getting fitted, it was fun, and yes, those reflectors had to go

I did understand the idea behind fitting me to the bike and that worked out well. Tom got me these awesome clips, that match the pretty red on my bike and my white shoes and a helmet I dubbed the batman helmet. He is the best!

We He set the bike up on my trainer (that I had previously rode a very old, flat tired mountain bike on-don’t ask) so I can practice clipping and unclipping. I rode it for about 30 mins the other night.

indoor use

indoor use

It is a really nice bike. It’s the Fuji Gran Fondo 2.3 carbon frame something or other. Yes, I have a lot to learn. I think Tom needs to make me a chart with all the fancy names a bike now has. What ever happened to seat, brakes, pedals and gears? Now it’s so complicated (and ESPEN$IVE!) I bet the folks back in the early 1800’s on the first bicycles made would fall off their bikes at the prices and think we were speaking Chinese too!

I just love the red color. I think I have a thing for Fuji’s. I am really into these red ones too.

the only apple i'll eat!

the only apple i’ll eat!

I’ve already bought a few cycling skorts to ride in. Super cute stuff I found at Team Estrogen. I’m not a huge fan of regular cycling shorts, but that is because I beat to a different drum. That’s not to say I will never wear them, I would rather wear the skort. Much more feminine. I like my running fashion, and I plan to be the same crazy fashionista on the bike. That’s half the fun!

Last night Tom took me over to the local high school football field to practice riding and clipping in and out. He said the soft surface is a good place to practice in case I fall over. I may have been a little smug in thinking that there is no way I am going to fall over. That theory lasted for the first few clip in and outs, which at least my feet clip out fairly easily. And then boom! I actually fell over one time. Just went PLOP! I couldn’t believe it. Just me and the bike laying together on the ground, still attached. Damn, I hate it when Tom is right. Hit my knee pretty good on the fake turf, and my entire left side was covered with the prickly green shreds, but overall, it was pretty frickin funny! I hope that doesn’t happen on the road. I did a few laps on the track, which felt great and practiced slow and fast stops. No more falls at least. Riding a bike is trickier than you’d think. As I’ve said… I have much to learn.

I decided that the best way for me to avoid the PF is to run 3 days a week and ride 3 days. I’ve already worked out how I will divide that time. Right now I’m waiting for the raining skies to clear so Tom and I can do my first real ride. I’m not sure that will happen today as the weather is not cooporating, but I am excited! I might even be up for a short spin in the drizzle… yes, I have gone loco and loco feels good!

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Because I’m Happy…

Doc M to the Rescue
I went to a new “foot” specialist this past Wednesday. The previous week I had seen an orthopaedics and sports medicine specialist. I saw her a year ago, and although not too impressed with her then (I swear she keeps her office temp at 101 degrees), I did get the results I needed which was she referred me to another doc that gave me a cortisone shot. After that, it was all good from there on. I never went back. My PF got better and I went to see the wonderful Dr. Chappy, the chiropractor who helped, I am sure, in keeping me out on the road.

But then the Plantars came back and here I am today, not running for 12 weeks. Except for 3 days ago.

So why did I go to a new doctor? Simply put, this first Doctor, Kristin Wingfield, would not let me get another cortisone shot and suggested I get an MRI. She thinks I could have a tear. Then she told me to “go to the gym, work out your core, strengthen your legs and come back in 6 weeks.” I actually felt like she was making me feel like I don’t ever excercise. I felt insulted by her. It was a strange visit. I felt like she wasn’t even listening to me and I left frustrated and in tears on the drive home.  Plus, her office was so damn hot… I was sweating in there (again). I did not like this doctor, and I would never, never recommend her to anyone, EVER!

In my previous post, my friend Andrew taped my foot this past Sunday, as he has been doing for his PF and I got to run for the first time. I took it easy, I warmed up with a 1/4 mile walk (all on the treadmill here, I’m not trying to be a hero), then a 1/4 mile run. Pretty slow, 5 mph, but still running, and pain free. I continued this alternating pattern until I hit 3 miles total, making my run a 1.5 mile run.

I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to run again. So I will let you hear it here, in this video of my favorite song right now (and a great run song.) It says it all:

My little run, it was PURE JOY! It was so wonderful, and I had forgotten just how much I love to do it. I’m sure some  people will think what a crazy lady… she wants to run… she loves to run. I’m sure it sounds like drudgery to some. That is what house cleaning sounds like to me—drudgery.

I won’t lie, although my foot didn’t hurt even a spec while I was running, it did hurt later. Which was ok, as I had my doctor appt. the next morning.

Enter Dr. M.
He was friendly, he listened to my entire tale of my PF, which spans over a year of time, trials, and woes. I told him how I get blisters on my feet, that I’m a toe runner, that I’ve broken the small bone (years ago) in the ball of my foot, etc. I told him of all the doctors I’ve seen, the therapies I’ve done and of course he never heard of the previous not-liked doctor. HA! He had heard of all the others I’ve seen including the one Andrew goes to.

He did some mobility tests. It was interesting. I could bend the normal foot fairly normally, but when it came to my left one, the PF Pain-in-the-butt foot, I could bend my toes abnormally way back and not a spec forward. Not so good. He said I am really tight.

He also told me I didn’t need an MRI and that if I had a tear, I would not have been able to run the day before and I would be in a lot more pain. He said that 98% of people with PF can cure it conventionally. And even before surgury for the other 2%, they can do this shock wave therapy, which is non-invasive.

I wish I had an awesome memory like my son does, but I don’t. I can’t share all the details with you. But what we concluded was this. I will get some custom orthotics insoles, which I have been so against, but enough is enough, and he promised they won’t be all that hard. And that they would help me not get blisters like I’ve been getting. Thanks to ObamaCrap ObamaCare, I have shitty insurance now with a company that used to give me great insurance, so I will likely be completely out of pocket for them. Way to go Barack!

OK… the best part. He said, ‘I’m giving you a cortisone shot today.’ Woot Woot… I didn’t even mention wanting one. He also said I should wear small heeled shoes the rest of the day… UM… do you know who you are talking to? I am the HEEL QUEEN! That was music to my ears! He said normally he doesn’t recommend his female clients to wear heels, but in this instance, it would help take the pressure off my heel. He said ‘doesn’t wearing heels feel better when you wear them?’… um yeah! He said, ‘but I bet the ball of your foot hurts too?’… um… yea, I said sheepishly. He told me to ice it at night the first few nights and to make sure I stretch my calves as I had done that run and would be tight.

Get a second opinion
I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere with solving my PF problem. I even think that if the orthotics work how he was describing, than I will be able to run like the wind again. I am so excited. First, though, I need to let the cortisone do it’s job in making the pain go away, which so far has not happened. I can’t remember how long it took the last time to kick in. A week? I hope only that long. Next step: the new orthotics and then hopefully some awesome running and no more pain or blisters are in my near future!!! I CAN’T WAIT !!

Have a wonderful weekend. Run safe.