Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Plan Incorporates "Turf Toe" Development

Okay, I don't think I have a full blown case of "turf toe."  A full-blown case would be a sprain of the joint, which produces immobility of the big toe.  I think I have a bruising or strain of the joint, which is less severe.  I don't think I have torn the capsule or ligaments because my toe is mobile and I mostly don't feel this injury unless my weight shifts and I suddenly exert extra pressure on the spot of the joint.  It happens as I'm descending stairs, and I remember feeling it happen while running barefoot when my heel would lift suddenly when stepping on a little stone.  While barefoot running, the foot adjusts when you accidentally step on a little something and the weight will shift to a different part of the foot.  Unfortunately the weight shift sometimes lands right on that joint at the ball of the foot.

Oh, for people who think I'm completely self-diagnosing and think I should go to a doctor, know that I am in consultation with my DH who is a physician and he agrees.

Oh, and what happened to the great revelation that the problem may not have been "turf toe, but rather an embedded object in my foot which DH removed yesterday?  It seems that was an additional side problem, simultaneous to the joint issue.  It was disappointing to wake up and realize that.  However, we shall tackle this head on.

The first question to contend with is:
Will continued barefoot running interfere with it getting better?
I have been trying to answer this question both by using some logic and by Googling and trying to see if anyone out there has any experience.

From logic, I have decided that I can try some running tomorrow.  One reason is that the affected joint in "turf toe" (1st metatarsal phalangeal) would be aggravated most by a vigorous upward bending of the big toe.  There is not supposed to be a place in the barefoot running form for this kind of activity.    I believe that if I stick to my smooth terra cotta surfaces for a couple of weeks, and concentrate really carefully on form, I will be okay to keep running while the little strain heels.

From research, I found a blog -- Diary of an Amateur Triathlete -- where the blog author, Rachel, describes some experience running with a "toe turf" injury.  (Check out her post to see an illustration of the foot flexed and strained.) She finds out she was able to avoid pain while running with a toe turf injury by focusing on landing lightly mid-foot with her feet solidly under her and taking off quickly as if she had no toes at all.  Sounds like a good barefoot running stride to me!

Since my chance of forgetting and losing my form increases when I'm fatigued, I will forget about doing things that fatigue me too much -- like building distance,increasing speed, running on uneven surfaces, or trying to run my 100th mile at the 1st Annual NYC Barefoot Run this Sunday -- for a couple of weeks.

So, my newly formulated plan is to take today off and try to run a careful and mindful 5K distance tomorrow.  What happens after that will tell me a lot.  I'll keep you posted.

---------------completely beside the point-------------------------

Oh, while Googling around looking for some info, I found this great video on all kinds of little details that affect one's running efficiency.  If you have a spare 12 minutes -- which I actually don't, but it seems like I live as if I do -- it's very interesting.

No comments: