It started because the hip/back thing wasn’t leaving so I took 2 weeks off with the intent to work on my hips and glutes, which have always been weak, as evidenced by a lifelong sad, flat ass. I suspected a lack of hip stability was at the heart of it and if nothing else, it would be great injury prevention for the future, so I was motivated to get crackin’.
In a magical turn of events, the day after deciding to take off, a friend posted on Facebook that he’d just been diagnosed with SI Joint Dysfunction. It took me a week to finally concede that this was my problem as well. Though the symptoms certainly fit, it seemed too convenient to jump on someone else’s injury bandwagon, but that’s what it was, confirmed when I did a couple corrective SIJD exercises that brought immediate (albeit temporary) relief.
After 2 weeks, I was much better and while it wasn’t completely gone, it was gone enough to run again knowing I wouldn’t be making myself worse. Meanwhile, the hip work was already making a big difference in my day-to-day life. From walking to going up stairs or even standing up from a seated position, these simple daily actions felt genuinely different. Now, instead of being pulled by my head, I was now being pushed forward by my hips. I was literally changing my center of gravity.
My first run back after the 2 weeks off was wild. My ass and hips were engaged and even my knees felt higher! No more scuffling foot for me, it was if I had oil in my hip flexors. I was on to something big.
Close to week 3, motivated by the changes and realizing that an even larger transformation was possible, I began to tackle a beast that has plagued me my entire life: my crappy posture. Posture is often a major player in SI joint dysfunction anyway, so it made sense to work on it all together.
I spent a ton of time going through old photos, both running and regular, deconstructing my physical “quirks” and how it related to my gait and breathing, etc. Thanks to a plethora of info on chiropractic and PT sites, it was very clear how my particular posture (forward head, rounded shoulders and swayback) was negatively affecting me. Plus, it’s downright fugly.
Bands, iPhone and the Book
In the past 5½ weeks, me and my resistance bands have become One. I even had a little arts and crafts project where I made handles and a door mount for them, which opened up a ton more available exercises I could do. I love those suckers and the great thing is that since I do most of my work at home, I can get up and do some upright rows or Romanian deadlifts whenever the mood takes me. It’s casual, varied and dare I say…fun.
My iPhone has also played a huge role in all this, but not due to any app (though an interval timer app is fabulous for stretching). What has made my phone turn into a mini Physical Therapist, a.k.a. The Tool Of Truth, is the video feature. Taking video of myself exercising or even just moving around the apartment has been invaluable. I also put a mirror next to my monitor with the most horrible running photo taped to it. One glance at that pic is an exceptionally effective scare tactic, I straighten up in a jiffy, and the mirror keeps me honest through the day.
The book…this is funny. It’s not a particular book, it could be any book, but the one I’m using is, ironically, from the 50′s called “How You Look & Dress”. I had been doing all these exercises to improve my posture (lots of upper back work and chin tucks, etc) but it wasn’t till I balanced a book on my head on a total whim, just to see how I’d do, that I discovered it was the missing link. It showed me in a millisecond that I hadn’t been holding my head up high enough. A slight swivel upwards and voila: perfect. I can walk around with that thing all day now.
There is an element that I want to mention from all this, that I think my posture had a psychological basis behind it. I mean, of course decades of habit and laziness created the actual shape, but I also think that my rounded shoulders, holding my head low – in essence, being small – was a form of hiding, a self-made protective shield. Because it’s very “out there” to open your chest to the world and hold your head high. This whole experience is changing me on a deeper level, I’m thinking of places I could move to and getting out in the world more, maybe take some chances again. Big stuff.
I’ve been taking a lot of days off because I don’t want to push it so I’m still fresh with it all, but the difference of before/after continues to amaze me. Uphills? No comparison, power from the back. Running faster? Highlights the folded troll ball I used to be when speeding up. Now when I speed up, it’s startling to feel my torso remaining erect, strong and unchanged, it’s the hips that do the work.
But it’s not a click of the fingers and voila, everything’s done! I am basically having to relearn how to run. I had a period where I was getting it wrong, trying to replicate my new walking feeling which was keeping me rather small and then before I figured out the head placement thing I was basically running with a double-chin on purpose which wasn’t helping my breathing any. Idiot.
So that’s the latest. I think this marks the last of the things I can do to myself, so hopefully this is the final fix. It better be, I typed this whole thing with a book on my head. I can’t imagine how I’ll ever top that.
And like magic, 2 weeks turned into 6. It’s been a good period actually, but in wanting to avoid any more roller-coaster accounts of “she’s up! she’s down!” I needed some real time to elapse before I felt ready to talk again.
Right after my last post, I had a couple weeks of suckage but ever since then, it’s been a steady trend upwards. The back pain (psoas) took forever to go and all that’s left is an occasional hip whisper, so as it stands, I’m going to cancel my Jan 30th neurologist appointment. I’ll wait until the week before to make super sure but at this point, I’ve no reason to see anyone. Yay!
As for the running itself, it’s pretty damn good. No screaming off the rooftops about how awesome I am, but my easy paces are back to normal and there are no mysterious anythings. Mileage-wise, I’m getting in a respectable amount per week though I won’t supply an average here because it’s in flux and will continue to be for a while.
The super cool thing is that I’ve begun adding extra stuff to my runs which is a major positive step. It’s all very informal, I don’t care about times, distances or reps at all, but just having the confidence to run harder without fear of wonkiness is magical.
Sometimes I do a few hilly reps by the museum that leave me huffing and puffing, but the fast grassy trip back down is gold, re-teaching me about balance and abandon. I had forgotten what it’s like to fly downhills. And last week I added fartleks and some faster miles. I was super self-conscious about how stiff I must look (certainly felt it) but after a couple surges my body relaxed and it became solid fun. And I had such a feeling of accomplishment afterwards, too!
It’s a happy time outside right now and I’m grateful as hell for it.
The last pieces of the supplement puzzle
A few weeks ago, I dropped my multi-vitamin because some of the ingredients had become redundant with what I was taking separately. Before ditching it, however, I read up on everything it contained so I’d understand the core vitamins/minerals I’d need to replace or could ignore. Minerals, in particular, work together so you have to be aware of the balance/ratios. Magnesium was a major discovery.
In all the years I’ve been supplementing with calcium (ever since I became a runner) not once did I pay attention to magnesium and at my age, I take a good amount of calcium (1200mg is the RDA for 50+ females) yet I had no idea that the ratio of calcium to mag should be 2:1, even 1:1. When I analyzed my ratio of cal/mag, it came out to almost 4:1.
The thing is, calcium contracts the muscle, magnesium relaxes it (besides being responsible for about 350 chemical reactions in the body) so for me, with these stiff-legged episodes that were almost like a temporary rigor-mortis or a painless cramp, it seemed like it might make a difference. I’ll tell you this, I’ll never be without it again. Within 3 days of adding magnesium, my back pain diminished dramatically as did that creaky neck I had complained about.
Besides the muscle relaxing properties, it helps mood and sleep, too – between the B12 and the magnesium, my sleep hasn’t been this good in years. It also helps you poop, which makes it easy to figure out your optimal dosage; if you take too much, you get the squirts.
Then there’s Vitamin D – wow, what a vitamin! I spent about 2 weeks watching videos and reading articles and studies because of how fascinating and affecting it is. I always thought I was getting enough from my calcium chews, but no. When I looked at my test numbers from March, I was in the normal range but as it turns out, slightly beneath the optimal range, which is something else entirely and has just been updated in recent years.
Major Vitamin D Tidbit: just because you run outside does not mean you’re getting enough, or any. If you live in a latitude above Atlanta, you get no Vitamin D from November to March (closer to NYC, it’s October to April) no matter how much you’re outside. None. And in the summer? You have to be out between 10-2pm to get any – it’s VU ray dependent completely. So if you’re like me and run early in the summer, staying indoors the rest of the day, you’re not getting Vitamin D from sunlight.
Another startling tidbit: the farther you live from the equator, the more likely you are to suffer several types of serious health-ills, such as MS and certain cancers for example, which is thought to be directly related to the lack of sun/Vitamin D the more north you go. So while I always only thought of Vitamin D for the sfx prevention thing, it goes waaaay beyond that. In fact, check out this chart of how D levels correspond to diseases. It really makes clear why the “normal” bottom range of 30 ng/ml is simply not enough.
GrassrootsHealth is a fantastic not-for-profit site to educate the public on Vitamin D. What’s cool about it is they’ve got the world’s largest vitamin D project going on where you can get a testing kit from them (costs the same as getting tested on your own) and they add your results to the study. Over 3600 participants so far and some of the interesting things they’ve discovered from it is that not only is Vitamin D toxicity extremely rare (the more you have in your body, the less adding extra affects your levels) but they’ve also figured out exactly how much you need to add to go from one level to a higher target. Check out the header at the top of their site, it’s a graphic with the table.
I’ll finish this little tirade by suggesting that in these winter months (if not year-long), particularly if you’re someone who gets Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), take an extra 1000iu/day on top of what might already be included with your calcium or multi. But really, everyone should do this.
I had to start tossing my shoes – gone are the days of testing how far above 500mi they can go. Since I’ve recently had such a strong reaction between asphalt and trail/grass, I’ve become a lot more mindful of cushioning and comfort. Not that I’m in heavy shoes now (though for a while, I was wondering if I should get a pair) but I care less about getting the lightest shoe or a low heel drop and more about transparency…I don’t want to notice the ground if I can help it.
As it was, I had bought some Kinvara 3s a few months ago and never did warm up to them. Long story short, after years in Kinvaras, I’m done. I’m now rocking Brooks Launches, a shoe I’d not have even noticed until they were recently on the chopping block, Brooks was going to get rid of them entirely, but their huge fan base raised a loud ruckus so they reinstated them. This blog post from a running store owner is a hilarious read and honestly, one of the reasons I tried them. They’re about an ounce heavier than my other shoes but are still in the lightweight category. What I love about them is their pure fabric upper with no hard plastic bits at all, the Kinvara rubber toe was always a bother to me, even when I sized up.
I also bought the Adios 2′s, another version I’d resisted updating since it included a harder heel cup, a stiffer sole, plus some added weight, but they were on sale and I’m on my last pair of version 1′s, so I got a pair. They are indeed stiffer which is a sad thing but not awful and the heel cup doesn’t bother me as much it’s cut higher in the back, so I got a teensy blister my first time out with them at the end of an 8-miler. I’m sure it’s nothing though, and they retain their status of making me want to run fast in them, so they’ll remain in my lineup.
It is funny though, after being so gung-ho on Kinvara’s 4mm heel/toe differential and now, with a plethora of low heel-drop shoes to choose from, I’m now exclusively in 9 to 10mm drops and don’t give a crap about it.
…is fabu. My holiday season with the new vintage designs was great, it seems I’ve really hit on something. In fact, it’s only January 15th and I’m already 4x ahead of the entire month of Jan 2012. I did take a long design break though so now I’m back at work and determined to see what a full year of elbow grease can accomplish. Pretty excited about it, actually.
In other news, or to be specific, in Adulthood Is Fucking Ridiculous news, I’m trying to get my credit history back. Yes, me, one who has always prided herself on having primo credit since my early 20′s is now offering this tip: if you ever get to the point where you can cut up all your credit cards to live debt-free, as I did about 10 years ago…DON’T! Because as virtuous as it might make you feel, I am now in the situation of having no credit history at all. Nada. It’s like I don’t exist.
It hasn’t been a pressing matter, I’m not buying a car or a house anytime soon, but I realized I’d been wiped off the credit landscape a year ago when I moved into this apartment and they couldn’t pull up anything for me. I’d forgotten about it till I wanted to rent a car from Avis a few months ago and wasn’t able to since they wouldn’t accept a debit card, so I figured it was time to fix it.
I applied for 2 cards this week, one to a bank with whom I’d had a Visa for 15 years and the other to my current bank, which I’ve been a customer of since 2002. I was turned down for both. Ultimately, realizing I wasn’t going to get anywhere via normal means, I ended up getting a secured credit card. This is what people returning from bankruptcy have to do! Grrr
Please know I’m not worried about it at all, like I say, it’s only a formality, but I do find it utterly ironic that being such a good girl, doing the most responsible thing with money now makes me untrustable. And building a new credit history at age 51 is just plain stupid. So anyway, never get rid of all your cards, keep your oldest one, at least.
And that’s about it for this ungodly long post. I appreciate the Facebook waves and hellos and checking up on me the past few weeks, so sweet, but all is well, knock on wood. Until next time, have some great running, living, laughing and fill in the blanking (make it dirty). Later, loves.
First off, something I omitted from Monday’s ER visit: the doctor, looking at my MRI records, said my neck could be part of the problem. I didn’t mention this because in March, while there was talk about it (one young ortho was convinced it was the whole issue) the orthopedic surgeon and neurologists didn’t think it was the cause, so it was forgotten. However, with this doc bringing it up again, and now with pinched nerve thoughts, I began reading up.
My neck situation includes degeneration in my cervical spine, both mild and moderate, plus a small bulge, but the more important issue is that I have cervical stenosis from C4-C7.
Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column which means less room for nerves, and wouldn’t you know…brings the potential for leg weakness and “intermittent gait and balance disturbances”. It’s all over the place in my reading with this article being almost eerily descriptive.
While the March doctors dismissed the stenosis angle, one thing is sure: I’m a runner, my symptoms only appear when I’m running and since no one’s been able to predict, gauge or even confidently guess the impact of running, it behooves me to improve my situation any way I can, even if an idea was previously dismissed. Plus, I’ve been walking around with a stiff neck for…I can’t even remember how long, which is just dumb. “Use it or lose it” as they say.
So I’m on a mission to improve my neck alignment and mobility, the better to give those nerves a more comfortable, spacious home in which to live. Even if it has no effect on this situation, it’s stupid to live with deterioration if I can help delay or even repair the decline.
To this end, I’ve been doing neck stretches and exercises, pulled out a yoga DVD, and yesterday had yet another great massage – this time with a lot of attention on the neck. He found the Knot Of Death and also gave me some great tips for massaging my neck myself, which makes visiting him so much more valuable than the time spent on his table. If any of you locals are in need of a massage, please check Philamassages out, Brian’s one of the owners and I trust him implicitly.
He also gave me a link to an AIS site (Active Isolated Stretching) for a good neck sequence, which is pretty cool. I like the pace of AIS, so this’ll probably be my go-to method of self-therapy for my entire body, not just the neck since, by the end of my yoga DVD I was all “Please, not another Downward Dog.”
B12 – Still A Possibility
You’ll notice I haven’t said “Damn, I guess it wasn’t B12 after all” because it still might be! Seems to be pretty common that you can feel better and then feel worse for a while. Aside from first-hand accounts, there are several docs and sites that say as much: “It sometimes happens that a symptom becomes worse at some point after treatment begins, sometimes dramatically so. This is temporary, but may last a while.” “Another phenomenon is what has been called the “honeymoon”. This is when there a great improvement in the first few days or weeks that really offers hope to people. Then as the body really starts to heal, they experience great fatigue and increased symptoms, leading to a fear that the supplementation isn’t working.”
As mentioned before, B12 is crucial for nerve health, without it the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerves breaks down. So by taking B12 for a deficiency, the sheath is able to rebuild. That is, assuming the damage isn’t too far gone but since my symptoms only appear during running, I have to believe mine are on the fresh side.
One thing’s for sure, I felt dramatically better when I started taking it, as evidenced by the quality of my runs those first 2 weeks, and some of the “bonuses” have continued without a break. Most notable, my sleep patterns have improved a ton, I’m now able to sleep over 8 hours some nights when for years, 7 has been my usual, plus I get some fab dreams out of it as well.
The main thing I want to make clear is that whether it’s a pinching thing in my hip, neck or B12 repair, we’re still talking about one thing: nerves. So while it may look like I’m going “this, no it’s this, no it’s this!” it’s all one big nervy thing.
My Return To The Road
Friday was my first run back. Weird, as expected, but I was able to go 4mi, stopping 10 times. (twice for stoplights, so let’s say 8 voluntarily) It was a downer at first but after a couple stops when I realized it wasn’t getting worse, I started feeling more positive; running in any capacity is better than not being out there at all.
Saturday I ended up running farther than expected, 6.25mi with only 6 stops and Sunday was even better with 8 miles! Again, I stopped 6 times but it only amounted to 4 minutes total, so I was very pleased. Stopping, btw, is purely on an “as needed” basis, when my leg goes wonky (stiffens up, for lack of a better description) I basically have no choice but to stop and let it “reset”. But it’s super cool that it does reset.
Yesterday was a rest day and today was pretty good – I went 6mi and only had to stop 3 times for 2min total. Progress!
One major thing is that I feel infinitely more stable on trail and grass. Nothing hurts, btw, but my balance is better and my stride opens up on the softer, uneven terrain. Funny, because when I did my first run back on Friday, I was thinking trail was going to be scarier, due to all the embedded rocks and holes but I’m surprisingly adept compared to how I feel on asphalt. Thus, I now go out of my way to find grassy spots next to the path and hope the leaves covering it don’t hide an ankle-twisting hole or imaginary bear trap.
And that, my dears, is it for probably a couple weeks. No sense in posting “ok run, sucky run, great run, ok run” which is what the immediate future promises to be. It’s cool though, I’ve got some things to work on and it’s all very helpful for when I see the neurologist in January. I’m pretty happy for the most part, having lowered my expectations a bit. Every run is a gift, whether it’s a goofy one or not. It’ll be fantastic if this is, indeed, just a B12 setback and that better times are on the way. We’ll see. In the meantime, be good y’all. I’ll be back soon.
Seeing as how the holidays are nipping at our heels, it’s a good time for a product review. Today, I’m featuring a super kick-ass stocking stuffer for the runner on your list: socks. But not just any socks, these are magical “Oh my gawd, my tootsies are so friggin’ warm!” socks.
I received these Drymax Cold Weather Running Socks back in September and have waited patiently for a cold snap, but my chilliest run so far this Fall was 41 degrees, so too warm for these. However, I own a pair of Drymax Trail Socks that I love to death and wore last winter. They were great for cold and weren’t even officially cold weather socks, plus they look like new still, so Drymax is one of those brands that just make a great product.
These particular socks share the famous Drymax properties of anti-blister & non-stinkyness and also, they feature that nice stretchy Drymax fabric that gives them a great, comfortable fit. They’re higher density then their other socks and the higher cut crew will come in very handy when it’s 15 degrees outside and a headwind’s making life miserable – bound to keep lower legs roasty toasty warm.
So if you’re looking for ways to finish out your gift list, if your running club is doing some type of present-swapping thing, or if you’re just sick of frigid digits, this is a useful, inexpensive item that everyone can use. Drymax Cold Weather Running Socks: ten toes up!
Now, back to the drama of the week…
Putting My Medical Ducks In A Row
Turns out the ER doc only supplied general phone numbers for a neuro and sports ortho – no actual doctor’s names, which was disappointing at first but then allowed me to get all researchy on where I should go. Unfortunately, the hospital with the highest-rated neurology department had no openings until March.
Then I found a fancy doc at Jefferson (same hospital from Monday’s ER visit, they’re rated #2) whose specialty is muskuloskeletal neurology, which I thought fit perfectly, but after doing an audition dance of faxing 25 pages of medical records, he wouldn’t take me. His office called and suggested a general neurologist, some young thing (I found her 4th-year resident pics from last year) which is disappointing, I would have liked someone with experience but oh, well. She looks smart.
Yet even with a fresh-faced doc, my appointment isn’t till January 30th. It’s ok though, I won’t self-combust before then and the way this thing waxes and wanes, I’m sure I’ll have many good running days in the meantime.
As for the sports ortho people, upon hearing my story, they wouldn’t even give me an appointment till I see a neurologist, but on a funny note, they suggested a neuro “we send all our patients to”. I immediately recognized the name from looking up doctors on those rating sites. He’s highly experienced but also has the absolute worst ratings of anybody. She seemed surprised when I told her he supposedly sucked.
The Nerve Of My Back! How Dare It?
Remember my sore cowbell back? While the cowbelling exacerbated it, it actually started aching the week before, so it’s been hurting for over 2 weeks! This is a new experience for me, I may be old but I’ve never spent this much time re-enacting an Advil commercial.
When I asked the ER doc why I should even contact a sports ortho person, he said it was on the off-chance that a pinched nerve is at play. I had already spent part of last week looking up leg weakness due to sciatica and nerve compression (that’s how I stumbled on the Morton’s Toe thing in the first place) and while I doubt it’s the whole story, it did seem reasonable that it could have sent me into Code Red. After all, the sore back coincides with the deterioration of my runs.
So after the ortho guys refused to give me an appointment, this idiot (me) remembered I have a great sports massage guy and even if none of this is related, I might as well see him to alleviate my aching back. So I went yesterday.
Brian asked a ton of pertinent questions and thinks it’s very possible that a muscle is impinging on a nerve, especially since it only appears when running and not instantly. He suspects it’s based in my glute but he didn’t want to say for sure till Monday’s session.
As usual, I’m kicking myself for not going sooner. Tomorrow, I’ll go for a short test run and see what happens. I was going to try today but my back still hurts (though far less) which in itself wouldn’t bother me on the run, but you know, I’m scared of being disappointed. I’d rather lose another day for the chance of a happier outcome.
In the meantime, I’m sitting on a wobble cushion to get my core involved and he gave me a great tip for sitting, that if I feel the need to readjust to get comfortable, don’t. Get up, shake the legs out, then sit again. Of course, it’s best to not sit at all but unfortunately, my ass is a magnet for chairs, but I am being way more mindful and taking breaks.
And back to the Morton’s Toe thing, I put a pad under the insole of my walking shoes and have noticed a real difference with how my foot, leg and hip align with it: no turnout. And when I do a squat, the knee tracks over the 3rd toe as it’s supposed to. So maybe that little adjustment, in tandem with massage, might actually be meaningful to this whole thing.
I remain cautiously optimistic with a huge emphasis on optimistic. Everything’s going to be fine.
I’ll make this short just to explain what went down today.
So you guys know the B12 turned my running around like I hadn’t had since before this thing started. My logs for a couple weeks say “Amazing run!” “Fantastic run!” “OMG, just like my old self again!”
But when I posted that potassium thing, it was because I had started having some fatigue and I thought it was due to the B12/Potassium connection I spoke about.
I didn’t get my previous pep back though, and on the Philly marathon week, I took 3 days off (not for feeling bad, just worked out that way) so I felt sure the next week would be great. But last week was horrible. I glossed over it completely in the last post, but I knew it was bigger than just being tired. One run, a 5 miler, I stopped several times and eventually walked the last mile home. The next run, another 5mi seemed a bit better but the one after that, on Saturday…horrible. All of these runs felt like I was carrying a 2-ton sack of potatoes on my back. But I kept hoping, thinking it could be hormones or too many glute exercises or…denial.
So I took yesterday off and with my usual positive hope, went out today and it was just like when it all began. My balance was weird and after a little bit, my steps got smaller and smaller. I almost fell over a couple times. Hell, at one point, I wondered if it was that innocuous metatarsal pad I’d put in but pulling it out of my shoe didn’t help. I got around 1.5mi with a couple stops and then couldn’t even restart. I walked home and knew it was time for help.
Don’t go to the ER the Monday after a holiday weekend if you have a choice. I waited about 5 hours, then they put me on a stretcher in the hallway because there weren’t any rooms. A nice resident finally saw me about an hour later and looking at my transcripts from March, declared that I had received the Cadillac treatment for all the tests I’d had. Then he got his supervisor and they said there was nothing more they could do. They gave me the name of a neurologist and a sports ortho and that’s that.
I hate this, but am not surprised. If only I wasn’t a runner, then none of this would matter. I wouldn’t even have a problem. WTF.
I know, I know what you’re thinking. More? Honestly, I can’t make this shit up. I was researching something totally unrelated today and discovered a reason for something I first noticed many months ago but hadn’t thought worth discussing.
Sometime around January, I noticed blisters and calluses forming on my right foot in new places – namely, on the ball of my foot below the 2nd toe and on the edge of my big toe and at the side ball of foot.
The one under the 2nd toe seemed especially strange since the other two could be from shoe rub, but how do you explain getting one on the bottom of your foot in such a specific small place? It concerned me a bit since it meant my gait was changing and surely not for the better, but ultimately I just forgot about it.
Recently though, I’ve been bothered again by the same areas on the same foot, they’ve been blistering and re-callusing, though the one under the 2nd toe remains an unchanged permanent fixture. Again, I thought it might be shoes, I’m in a larger pair of Kinvara 3s these days, but switching shoes still makes those hotspots apparent.
So today, when looking for something else brought me to a page with calluses illustrated exactly as they are on my foot, it made me laugh right out loud. What was funny? Well, it’s Morton’s Toe. No way! Way.
Now, if you’re a runner, you’ve surely heard about Morton’s Toe – lots of people have it and it’s always listed under common runner foot problems. But it’s always described as when your 2nd toe extends past your big toe. Mine doesn’t. And because mine doesn’t, I’ve always ignored any articles or posts on the subject since it clearly did not apply to me.
Turns out, it’s the length of the 2nd metatarsal that counts, not the length of the toe. If that bone is longer, the brunt of your weight lands there first, which is why a callus forms in that seemingly odd spot.
Not only do I have the longer bone and the tell-tale calluses to go with it, but in the oddest coincidence, I had just noticed this week that when I’m fatigued (it was a week of super-pooped runs) my right foot lands outwards, towards 2 o’clock. So Tuesday evening, I started glute exercises because I thought the foot turnout indicated a muscular imbalance. I also started one-leg balance exercises on a wobble cushion because the difference in weight distribution between left vs. right foot was so obvious.
So to find in a totally roundabout way that the calluses, foot turnout and balance differences are all due to this one thing that has an actual name, is not a mystery and can be fixed with some padded moleskin…well Yay!! Plus my dad’s name was Morton, so I like this problem all the more.
And with that, I think I’m running out of medical encyclopedia entries, so hopefully next week will bring a post about something else. I’m crossing fingers and my Morton toe.