My foot hurts. Can I go to the nurse?

Any one else have a problem with your two legs not agreeing?

I wonder if the nurse actually helped Elton with his foot...

I have ridiculous over-supination in my right foot-strike. So bad, that the past month of training has led to a bone bruise on the outside of the ball of my right foot. Also, my entire right leg hurts. Think of all the bits that make your legs go – feet, ankles, knees, IT bands, hip flexors, tensor fascia latae, glutes, piriformis, sacroiliac joint ligaments… – all of those on the right side of my body hurt and I at least partially blame my right foot-strike.

My left foot-strike is far more normal, so my left leg has better form and is surprisingly perfectly fine. To add insult to injury, I think my left leg has been mocking my right leg while I sleep. Why else would it hurt more in the mornings than at the end of the day?

schematic representation of legs

You may think I’m just whining or I’m an invalid or maybe I’m just crazy.  But I think every problem has a solution. The key is that you have to know what the actual problem is first, not just the symptoms.

Case in point: ITBS makes your knee hurt, so many people think it’s a knee problem.  In reality,  ITBS typically happens because your hips and glutes are weak and you’re running with your knees angled in. Treating the symptom (knee pain) isn’t going to stop you from re-injuring yourself. You have to stretch and strengthen and re-tool your gait a bit, and you can avoid the knee pain altogether.

So in order to tell my right leg who’s boss, I went to the lovely folks at my local specialty store, the Trak Shak.  The spectacular employees there helped me out finding some orthotic inserts for my shoes, saying that we should start from the ground up to fix my whole mess. Hopefully this will eliminate at least a few of the symptoms in my right leg… Add in some stretching and more strengthening and let’s all hope I can get back to running.  A painful 5-10 miles per week just isn’t cutting it.

Tell a non-runner that you have "special orthotics" in your shoes and they will look at you like you are a geriatric.

Just a quick note about local running specialty stores: if you’re not using the wicked amazing expertise of your local running specialty stores and then buying shoes and gear there to support the shop’s existence, you are totally missing out. Also fun about the stores? Getting to see people looking crazy, running around in the shop and running around the block outside in business casual clothes with their slacks rolled up trying out new running shoes. (Filmmakers – I’m pretty sure there’s a short narrative comedy in that somewhere… )

Heroes to feet and legs in Alabama & DC/Virginia.

Sorry I’m so complainy today.  Not being able to run for the past 5 days has apparently made me super grumpy. Maybe I’ll skip out of work early and go run.

(imaginary bonus points for you if you got the title reference!)

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7 Responses to My foot hurts. Can I go to the nurse?

  1. katie says:

    ooooh, i hope this helps you! i’ve had itband problems. yuk.

  2. bearrunner says:

    I do all my shopping at a small specialty store. I like it cause they will return anything, including shoes, if they just arent working for you. Great service and knowledge.. Thats what makes the difference.
    It bites when you have issues from your foot strike. It can cause so many other problems. I hope the orthotic works for you


    • laura says:

      I’m with ya – the service and the knowledge are worth the measly $10 extra you pay for a pair of shoes. I like that I can go in there with a problem and they can fix it in about 20 seconds. Which are your fav running specialty stores? TrakShak in Alabama is my home store, Pacers in DC are spectacular, and Luke’s Locker in Houston,TX are 3 stores I’d recommend a trip to if you’re in and around those places for a race!

  3. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas says:

    Let me know how the inserts work out for you! I’ve been stretching/strengthening with the IT band but I still worry about it getting re-hurt. Anything I can do to help it…

    • laura says:

      had a skype call from a friend abroad, so instead of an easy 4mi after work im going to do 10 x 30sec hill sprints + 2:30 recovery by my house tonight – it’ll be an ultimate test! I’ll let ya know how it goes!

  4. Suze says:

    So yeah, let me know about the inserts. My IT band is driving me batty. I’m looking for a way to safely run without further aggrivating my IT band. Stretching? Check. Ice? Check. Strength exercises? As soon as I can do them safely.

    Also: Imaginary Bonus Points for me: 1

    • laura says:

      I’m already a fan of the inserts, although I only wore them around for about a half a day. Suze, you over-supinate too, right? Go to Pacers and tell them you do and that your sis got a pair of the Lynco orthotics that have the metatarsal pad. It’s keeping me from landing hard on the lateral side of the ball of my foot. I think once I’m back up to running 20-30 mpw I’m going to love them. Don’t be scared by the ~$50 price tag – my awesome TrakShak guy told me they’ll last more than 600 miles (or 2 pairs of shoes). 😀

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