Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Setback

I was feeling good on my short run on Saturday so I took off my shoes and ran the last .5 miles home. Apparently my foot parasthesia prevented me from receiving good feedback on my form during the last 1/2... My feet ended up with huge blisters and I have been out of commission since.

Today, I can walk with barely any pain, so that is nice.

Perhaps it will not give me feeling back in my feet after all :). But. I am not ready to give up yet. Next time I will try to focus more on the feedback from my soles and work on being lighter on my feet.

One week until 10k at Gillette! I should be well rested if anything!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Foot!

All was going well until I sliced my right middle toe open! Noticed my toe hurting right at the end after running across 6 lanes barefoot :( I guess that was a bad idea... Looked at the bottom of my foot and a dime size flap of skin was ripped off the bottom of my toe. Under it, a nice jagged rock! Felt better after removing the rock. But, I guess I need some minimalist footwear.. or to be careful where I am putting my feet, or not cross those wide main streets in Sunnyvale...

My legs feel BETTER after getting out of my hiking boots. I am going to get a pair of trail minimalist shoes. I tried on some Merrell Trail Glove shoes at some big sports store in San Jose. Almost bought them, but they were $110 and I'm still not sure where I am going with my barefoot quest...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

adding a barefoot mile to my runs

Almost bought a pair of Merrel Trail Gloves today because I want to be able to run further in barefoot mode, you know, with a forefoot strike and curling up my toes to absorb the impact. But, I decided I would just work on a month or so of just adding in a barefoot run into my normal run routine. This should help me slowly build up strength in my crammed dead toes.

I just can't see being able to run except if I take it slow. And  though I want to improve my form, I just can't do it in my Brooks Adrenalines. I have to lean too far forward to forefoot strike with these things on. But I don't want to start over because I am aiming for my first 10k on July 3rd. So I have two weeks to keep going, then a few weeks before half-marathon preparation time.

The previous two days I wore my Merrel light hikers and have been suffering from lower back pain until taking two blue Alleve's earlier. I noticed some knee pain as well. I just decided to wear my running shoes into the office.

Right now I am in Sunnyvale, CA and there are supposed to be a lot of nice trails around, I have at least found a nice clay trail in the Sunnyvale Baylands park, the trail is only about a mile loop. No worries there though, today I am scheduled to do a 5 mile run, I am going to make it 4 + 1 mile in barefeet. I'll just loop around a few times!!

Yesterday was the first time I tried running barefoot. I actually took off my shoes, put 'em at the bottom of a tree and took off around the park. It was harder to run on the thick grass than the clay trail and my feet felt a little funny.  With the parasthesia in my feet, I am going to discover a new normal if I keep this up. I am also hoping to improve my balance and maybe see if I can't force my body's damaged nerves to re-route because I now require more feedback from my feet?

Who knows, maybe it will work, there is nothing else to fix my feet because of my MS, I actually have a lesion on my spinal cord which I think is affecting my feeling in my feet. That and multiple scars in my brain are what I have for damage from MS so far, and what I have lost I have mostly gained back. So why not improve sensation in my feet as well?

Looking forward to getting back home with my family and my son, who is now 8 and wants to go barefoot with m!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A new adventure!

I was thinking about how I could log my experience as I enter into a new era of my own physical well-being and remembered I already have a blog!!

So, I want to set this up to tell the story as it happens. I need to fill in some background so that my quest is understood - continue to run, bike and be active while reducing pain and hopefully eliminating pain from MS symptoms. The big adventure is to try to incorporate barefoot running into my routine and see if it is able to reduce or eliminate the pain in my feet that I have had since months before my final diagnosis.

Feet: they are in a constant state of mild pain, burning sensation, it seems like sitting, tight shoes or just going through a day make them worse. Culminates in me lying in bed with a couple degrees more discomfort in my feet and looking forward to falling asleep. They feel better in the morning, or else I just am not thinking about it as much and barely notice. Clearly I am able to block out the ongoing pain for short periods. But, it would be nice if it was not there... This is known as parasthesia and it totally blows.

Legs: my legs are tight, I think they always have been, but the MS has pushed it to new levels. Usually once a year I need to start 6-8 weeks of PT to develop the ability to stand up straight without stiff and sore legs. Legs get sore when they are stiff for so long. I felt this acutely after my last relapse in '09. After a week of steroids my leg stiffness subsided but I was in a lot of pain - my tendons ached from being under stress for months. This is known as spasticity and it totally blows.

Running: Last year I started to bike and it was great. This year I have started to run and it is (now) great. It took a while to get comfortable, find the right gear, slowly ramp up the miles. But now I am running regularly and it makes me feel good inside. When I first started I always had hints of plantar fasciitis and shin splints. I just took it slow and a day off when needed. I try to ice my heels and shins when they are sore and it is very helpful. I am looking at better, safe, ways to ice my legs after runs. Maybe I will include that in here when I find something to try....

I am up to about 10 miles per week using a Hal Higdon 10k training plan. My next race is July 3rd at Gillette and it will be my first 10k. So far this year I have run two 5k races. Both were much better times than my no-training run last year. From 36 minutes in 2011 to 25:15 in my first race of the year this year. My second 5k came in at 27:25. Yes, I bonked on this one. I actually ran a really fast mile and a half though, 10:30 so about 7 minute miles. But then came hills and I had to walk a bit. Depressing but a lesson learned.

My next adventure is going to be barefoot running. I am interested in all the hype and want to give it a try. Nice thing about it, no gear required! It sounds like there are a lot of advantages and after reading a bit here and there I have started the best-selling Born to Run book and maybe it can improve my fitness, running form, and reduce the pain in my feet? Maybe, maybe not, but I may actually be the first one to try!