Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Terradactyl Claws

Lately, I've consistently been impressed with so many things about the ultra-distance community.  I am always running into more and more people who are part of this community, and every single one of them have the common trait of wanting to help in any way possible.  For me right now, this is usually limited to just answering a few questions, which usually lead into more questions, and more and so on and so forth.  One thing I've learned is that there is an infinite amount of information to learn about triathlon... and for every race distance, comes a whole new set of information to learn and challenges to test yourself as a person and athlete.   I'm not attempting this new distance to "go bigger" or "take the next step"... I'm attempting a double Ironman in a quest to challenge myself in a new way, it just so happens to be a challenge with a longer distance.  I've learned this through a discussion I've had with someone recently, and it's stuck with me ever since.  Every race has its unique challenges... I'm going to find the mental and physical challenges that come with training for and racing a double Ironman, and hopefully (in one way or another) someone else will benefit from my experience.

The past couple days have been pretty busy between school, training, my mom visiting, and a trip to a podiatrist.  One challenge/injury I ran into when training for Ironman Florida was intense pain in my 2nd & 3rd toes when running distances greater than 10 miles... which, when running 30-35 miles per week, was unavoidable.  I never found out the source of this pain... till now.  I went to a podiatrist to find out what caused this pain, and why my feet look the way they do... not necessarily ugly, but certainly very odd feet! Since I'm a typical guy, I didn't really care that my feet had a very odd shape so I never had it checked by a doctor.  Best way to describe it, they look like I grew up wearing my left/right shoes switched to the wrong feet.  I took a pic of the x-ray at the podiatrist for you...

See the odd big toes that sorta look like a terradactyl claws?  Yep, that is due to advanced bunions on both feet... thank you family genes!  Now, why is this bad for running long distance?  In short, the joint becomes inflamed when running and causes additional pressure on the two neighboring toe joints.  After about 8 miles, it feels like all three toes have swelled to twice the size of a regular big toe... it's very painful and greatly affects my gait (the manner in which the foot impacts and leaves the ground w/ each stride).  Potential solutions... anti-inflammatory meds before long runs, shoes w/ a bigger toe box, orthotics, and/or big toe splints/wraps.  It's an on-going issue and, for now, it's already becoming a problem, as it began hurting on my ~8 mile hill run today.  Before I begin to increase my run volume, I HAVE to fix this issue... cross your fingers for me

One more note... I got a new toy the other day from my sponsor, Rudy Project  :)  See pics below, and... 

Till next time... stay healthy & be happy

 --Rudy Noyz w/ Photocromatic Clear (on), Racing Red (for contrast), and Laser Black (sunny sunny days)