A few weeks ago, I described the conundrum of my right foot, and the bump on my heel that I have variously blamed on different pieces of footwear. This bump – and the discomfort that goes with it – has put a serious cramp in my marathon training, and finding things to blame it on has become a small obsession of mine, while I’ve been waiting for some kind of helpful diagnosis. At long last, I have seen Dr. Sports Medicine, and he delivered his verdict. The bump is an inflamed bursa sac that is caused by overuse or extreme stress on the heel. This can come from any number of things, depending on the circumstances. In my case? The guilty party is … (I bet the anticipation is killing you) … my hockey skates. However, running was also identified as an achilles-tendonitis-causing accomplice. The good news? A bit of physiotherapy and some modifications to my skates should fix me up. And I can still wear my girlie shoes at work. The bad news? I’m really behind on my training. Like, seriously.
So it’s time to get serious. Time to lace up my shoes, and start putting on the mileage. Slow and steady, just like I said before, but mileage. It starts this week, in between physio appointments, and I’ll share all the gory details here. That way, if I slack off, you’ll know. And one of you out there will send me a message saying, “Hey, what’s going on over there – don’t you have a marathon to go train for?”
These are the primary suspects in the unsolved mystery of the bump on my foot that has put a serious cramp in my training – the story I’ve been promising to tell you for a few posts now. I don’t know exactly when the bump showed up. I just noticed it one day last year after a run, when I was being all sucky about my sore foot.
This bump is on the back of my right foot, beside the heel bone. It’s sort of like a heel spur, but my doctor assures me it isn’t bone. (Although it does sort of look like I have two heel bones, one beside the other. Weird, I know.) The bump itself doesn’t hurt, but it comes with symptoms like achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. But apparently it’s not quite those either.
I immediately blamed running. It’s obvious, right? Runners get these kinds of things. That’s just how it is and we accept that. So I did what many runners would do under the circumstances. I ignored it. Eventually, it got really annoying. Then work got busy, and I started slacking on the mileage. Like magic (or short-term memory loss) the pain went away and I forgot about the bump. When I laced up my shoes again a few months later, I got all whiny about my sore foot again. After looking critically at the bump, which seemed to have grown, I spent some quality time with an ice pack and a bottle of ibuprofen, and finally went to see my doctor. After a lengthy reprieve from running and a few medical referrals later, I still don’t have an answer. And I still can’t run for more than a couple of consecutive weeks without my foot screaming at me.
While waiting for a small army of medical people to sort this out, I consulted with my friend Google, and found some interesting info. Any shoes with with a rigid back such as ice skates or dress shoes can cause this type of irritation. Omigod! I sometimes wear silly shoes at work. And I play hockey twice a week. In ice skates. Eegads! This opens up a whole new set of possibilities that I expect I won’t like.
Final results should be in soon, after I see the foot doctor again. Until then, I am finding other ways to keep my fitness level up, so that I’ll be ready for the Lausanne marathon in October. I’ll write more about those another day. In the meantime, who do you think dunnit? Vote in my first ever poll to tell me what you think!