Foot Update

Whew! I feel so much better and I’m glad I went to the doctor.  This morning, I saw Dr. Jay Spector at Northside Podiatry.  I’ve been here before and saw a different doctor that I didn’t really care for, so I was glad to get a different doctor and I must say, I had a fantastic experience.  He’s run a bunch of marathons and also is a running coach, so it was nice to have a doctor that could relate.

He did a pretty thorough exam on me and also did x-rays.  The good thing (?) is that I was there about a year and a half ago and they did x-rays when I had Achilles tendonitis and it was the same foot, so he was able to do a little “before and after”.  The big toe definitely has a more limited range of motion, but he said it’s just due to inflammation and you could see it on the x-ray.  He also had me do some balancing tests and watched my feet as I did them (and afterwards complimented me on my core strength…yeah!!)

I have a mild case of distal plantar fasciitis which is the less common PF and has symptoms at the ball of the foot (the more common PF is proximal which has pain at the heel of the foot which is what most runners get).  Distal PF is so uncommon that when I Googled it I had to put that phrase in quotation marks.  Anyways, the treatment is similar.  He took a look at my running shoes and he believes the cause is a lack of support – either my insoles, my shoes, or both.  He made me a little brace thing out of the stretchy/sticky medical tape and some foam that he custom cut out for me.

He marked the brace so I would be able to put it on right before my runs!

He marked the brace so I would be able to put it on right before my runs!

Here you go, a yummy shot of my foot. But also, if you look closely you can see the padding in the brace.

Here you go, a yummy shot of my foot. But also, if you look closely you can see the padding in the brace.

A better shot of the brace, sans foot.

A better shot of the brace, sans foot.

He told me to wear that running, cut out speedwork for now, and it’s okay to run through some achiness but if it lasts for more than a mile to stop.  I’m also to ice for 15 minutes 5 times a day and GENTLY use a lacrosse ball along the bottom of my foot while sitting down.  We went through my running schedule and he said I should be fine the way we have it set up, just no running on Sundays after my long Saturday run, and he cleared me to try to run about 14 miles this weekend.  He wants to see me back on Monday so we can course correct if needed so that too much time doesn’t pass, he wants to get me to Richmond healthy.  He also gave me his cell and asked that I text him in a few days how it is going.  He thinks I should consider looking at getting into different shoes and/or custom orthotics, but he thinks this will get me to and through Richmond.  The thought of switching shoes 5 weeks out makes me super nervous.

He also told me I was right to not do my full 20 miles this past weekend because I could have made it a lot worse, so I’m so happy I am such a paranoid runner.

I think those are the highlights.  Overall though, a very good visit.  I would totally recommend him to other runners, I was really impressed with how much time he spent examining me, talking to me about my training, etc and feel like he genuinely cares about getting me to Richmond healthy.

A marathon-running podiatrist is a runner's best friend. Click To Tweet

My plan is to try to do a short run tomorrow (maybe 4-5 miles) to try to get back into running and test out the brace.  Here’s to hoping that it goes well!

Tell me: what issues have you had in the peak of a training cycle? Ever dealt with distal PF? Do you have custom orthotics?

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    • Me too! The doctor I had a recommendation for didn’t have any appointments available for two weeks, so I’m glad my gamble of going with another option paid off. 🙂

  1. I’m so glad to hear you were able to find out the cause! Sounds like a great doctor! I’m glad you went!

  2. I’m so glad you found a good medical provider right away. I’m intrigued by this brace – is mostly cushion? Is it firm or soft? How does running feel different with vs. without the brace (other than the pain :)? I hope this continues to work for you and keeps you going strong through Richmond!

    • It’s soft…basically its foam cut out to support my arch in-between stretchy medical tape…so it’s kind of between a brace and taping. I ran on it this morning and it felt supported…no pain in my arch or ball of foot, but it did cause some discomfort on the outside. I texted my doc and he walked me through a modification to it and told me to wear it all day today to break it in, and I’ll try it again tomorrow. My foot is feeling better already though so here’s to hoping!

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