Karen clutters up her little corner of the internet with her love of running

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Plantar Plate Injuries

I wrote this post to share a bit about my injury, but first I have to tell you some exciting news. 

My new Doc freakin' rocks :) 
 Dr. Lane

Dr. Lane is a very accomplished athlete. He was very compassionate, hospitable, attentive, and thorough...I couldn't ask for more. I spent a good hour with the Doc today. 

He thinks if I can be patient and heal, I have plenty of good years left in me. He wants me to wait till the end of the month before I try to run. He took molds of my feet today. I am going to try the orthodics. I have a very high ball of the foot area (naturally) and it absorbs too much impact, so the orthodics will be built up on the sides to take some pressure off that area, and hopefully make me run happy! 
He does want me to slowly build mileage if my feet respond well to running again. He said I have skinny feet, not much padding to absorb impact. Figures...everything else on me has an abundance of padding! 

I had never really heard of a plantar plate injury before I was diagnosed by my previous podiatrist on January 20, 2016. 
The previous doc was so negative about my prognosis, I refused to ever go back, but his diagnosis was correct.  

The plantar plate is a large ligament that runs under the ball of your foot and helps hold your toes in place. A extremely basic explanation of a complex structure. 

Here is a real definition: 
A plantar plate is a thick fibrocartilaginous or ligamentous structure. In the foot, plantar plates connect each of the metatarsals to the corresponding proximal phalange of each toe.
Plantar plate image
Plantar plates have a key role in stabilizing the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints

Tears of the plantar plate may be the most common cause of pain under the second metatarsophalangeal joint, though it can occur at any of the metatarsophalangeal joints.  It is also referred to as predislocation syndrome, crossover toe deformity and floating toe syndrome.  
Quote cred

and one more: 

Plantar Plate Tear

Most commonly experienced by middle aged women whose feet have a tendency to overpronate or roll in, a plantar plate tear is often a cause of persistent pain and swelling in the ball of the foot. It is also commonly associated with a bunion and a hammer toe. The plantar plate is a thick ligament type structure with attachments which inserts into the base of our phalanges (toe bones) in the area of the ball of the foot. The plantar plate is designed to protect the head of the metatarsal from pressure and prevent over extension of our toes. It also plays a role in preventing our toes from spreading or splaying.

pain and burning in the ball of foot 
sharper pain toward the metatarsal head 
Sensation of bone hitting the ground during a normal stride

Info Credit:

My new Doc seemed impressed with my taping skills (thanks Google), and told me to continue doing that, but he did warn me my toes may never heal quite right. 
One of  my sloppier tape jobs

A synopsis of how I got to this state:

  • I had an issue with the bottom of my feet burning on a few longer runs. Usually 8 or more miles. 
  • After the run I would feel fine. 
  • 10 mile run (half marathon training) -  I felt a pebble sensation just under the ball of foot. I actually stopped running and looked to see if there was a rock stuck in my tread because it felt so specific (no rock). Rested almost a week. 
  • 11 mile run - felt better, foot burned just a little toward the end of the run

  • November 7th - started out to do six miles and only made it to four. I had burning, my arch seized up, I was in pain. I rested until the race. 
  • November 14th - ran the half marathon and felt great 
  • November 21st - my first run after the race (left foot felt tender)
  • November 26th - my next run, 5 miles (felt okay) 
I tried to rest, but it was't enough. 

  • December 6th - half marathon felt okay 
  • most of the month my foot would feel tender after runs
  • had some varying PF type symptoms

  • January 8th - toe cramps and burning under the ball of my left foot, and it felt like bone to pavement toward the end of my run that day. 
  • Foot swelled up like a balloon as soon as I took a shower. 
  • I noticed my toes were completely out of whack. 

I thought I had a stress fracture.  
The reality, I had a plantar plate injury. 

After x-rays  I could see the bones were in tact, but look like they are floating around in there, not sitting nice and straight as they should be. The tissue and ligaments are stretched, torn, damaged, I can't remember exactly what word the Doc used...

Just stay together toes! 
It seems really strange to me I didn't notice my toes going out of whack.  I feel like life at a 100 miles an hour is partly to blame. 
Always rushing to get out the door and run in the a.m., then rushing to shower to get to work, and rushing after work to get my gym work in, then rushing because I am hungry...relate, anyone? 
Seriously though, what genius misses their toes are crooked. That'd be me. 

  • Initially, after being off my feet a few days, the pain and tenderness increased under the ball of the foot. I could not put weight on it, or push off the ball of the foot with a normal stride.  
  • My foot stayed swollen for a little over two weeks.
  • Thirty days later, the tenderness is still enough to keep me from being able to plant and push off the ball of the foot bare-footed. When I have shoes or slippers on I feel better. 
  • If I shift my weight right, I get an intense cramp between toes two and three right at the base of the V. 
  • There is a large knot under the left ball of the foot. 
ugh...crooked toes after a month of healing

I was taping my right foot, because there was a slight separation between toe two and three, but the Doc told me today I could stop taping it. He showed me some toe yoga he wants me to do, and it is more challenging than one would think! 

I am so relived I have a Doctor that actually wants to help me now. He told me any activity that didn't hurt was fine, but to be careful not tweak my foot or the "time off" clock would start over. I will be living in my running shoes until I am well. Tissue is slow to heal (three to four months), but it will heal, and he wants to see me enjoying running again. 

Are you familiar with plantar plate injuries? 
Have you ever experienced a drifting toe, or known someone with this aliment? 
Ever had the ball of your foot swell to twice its size? 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

It Is Wrap Up Time Again

Linking up with those awesome ladies, Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin 
Join in! ㋡ Check out the etiquette here

Tuesday Nothing
Wednesdayand more nothing
ThursdayCycling 18.40 mi (1:56:00)
20 min. legs lifts and stretching
FridayCycling 3.50 mi (14:45)
65 min. upper body work
SaturdayWalking 5.57 mi (1:19:08) Stretching
Sunday Cycling 5.00 miles (21:52)
65 min. leg work and stretching

I went off the rails.
I guess it was bound to happen at some point. I have been rallying each week and hanging on (picture thread like), but the crash was chasing me.

It started on Monday, well actually Sunday night. I slept till about 2 a.m., woke up, and never got back to sleep. My mind was racing, just blah.  I laid in the dark and tried to relax but never got a wink. Finally, I decided to read about 4 a.m. then got and started piddling about an hour later.  I have to be at work at 7 a.m.
I felt yuck all day..rundown, a bit spacey.
When I got home Otto was having issues, getting sick, losing his bladder, so I called and made the vet appt. for Wednesday.

Tuesday I woke up thankful I had slept, but I just couldn't find any motivation to do anything after work.

Wednesday was another extremely  busy work day. We had to prepare for our visitation days and that I wasn't going to be at my own campus Thursday and Friday. After work, we took Otto in and had to say goodbye...ugh, my heart :(
I miss him so much. Otto was not the typical cat, he greeted me everyday and was always right next to me. The void :(                    Otto's post
Otto with this tongue hanging out

Thursday I knew I had to hit reset.
I went and pedaled for almost two hours on the gym cycle. I did wear padded shorts, but my tush was still screaming toward the end. I am super slow but I climbed that hill.

Friday,  I woke up and my nose was burning, I felt like I was on the way to a sinus infection, but I lifted after work anyway.  My warm up so soooo short! I just couldn't  bare to sit on that cycle LOL

Saturday same nose burning, and sore cheeks. time for sick. After lounging around, eating, and taking medicine, I took a walk. I stayed off my feet all week and tried to limit my walking because I still have no clue how much it hinders healing.
The cool sunshine worked its magic yet again, and lifted my mood tremendously. I runfess I ran a few glorious steps! Not long, but I HAD to cross a busy street quick...

Running felt easier on my feet than walking. Weird, but true. Once I saw my "quick" lap time, I had to run a few steps each mile just to beat my last lap time...weird, but is a sickness lol

I had to work an open house for our school, and went in and did my thing, smiling and answering questions.

My feet feel about the same, they seem no worse for walking. I headed to the gym and got my leg work accomplished for the week.

Ready for this weirdness...
A lady I work with went to the doctors this week and came back in a boot. She has a drifting toe. Our toes look almost identical. We started talking and our stories are crazy similar. However, she is not a runner and doesn't even do much walking.  Her ball of the foot pain, is just from the walking around she does at work.
We both had the very specific pebble sensation under the ball of the foot. We both had it so pointed and strong we actually took our shoes off expecting to see a rock stuck in the tread, but it wasn't.
We both experienced a line sensation under the ball - like when your sock line hits your wrong.  We also both felt the bone connecting to the ground sensation, about a month before our toes went wonky. We both felt we were improving at some point before the real pain and swelling busted loose....weird.

This week was relentless for challenges. My appointment  with my sports medicine Doc was canceled, he is going to be out long term. I understand life happens, but I was a bit annoyed they didn't offer me a spot with another doctor in the practice, there are about 14 docs...
I feel like I am not meant to have a doctors help with this injury.

I am hoping I can get in to see the Doc who is helping the lady I work with, going to make that call Monday.

This week started out rough, I tried to pick myself up and get headed in the right direction.
I sure hope this week goes better than last.

Thank you for reading my ramblings and I hope you have a wonderful week!
Honestly, I am ready for this week to be over. Ever been there? 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I Need A Minute

I deeply appreciate all the comments on my weekly wrap up post. My goal is to always reciprocate and respond because I enjoy you all so much, so I apologize for being absent this week. 

Otto crossed the bridge on February 3, 2016.  I was with him when he took his last breath. I loved this crazy little cat so much and always marveled at his intuitiveness. He was always the first to greet me when I came in the door, and always answered me when I spoke to him. I will miss him like crazy. 

Otto -  the "what?!" look, accompanied by the clump of hair in his mouth, is him in a nutshell

The story of how I met Otto is here 
he has been with me since 2002

I love all my animals for different reasons, but the bond with him was special; I often forgot he was a cat.  He knew how to push my buttons and melt my heart. 
Otto, I am glad you aren't going to feel bad anymore, but I will miss you more than words can say. 

All my best,  
I promise I will try to hit reset button next week and catch up with you all, 
but for now, 
I just need a minute...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Not What I Expected

MondaySnow walking 5.19 miles (1:39:43)
Tuesday Cycling 7.10 mi (33:50)
 66 min. upper body training
WednesdayCycling 13.60 mi (1:08:24) stretching
ThursdayWalking 5.64 miles (1:32:16)
SaturdayBiking in the park 24.07 miles (2:11:56)
Sunday Cycling 4.00 miles (19:39)
 80 min. leg and core work

Last week was big snowfalls, a few missed days at work, extra sleep, crazily cramming to get everything done at work after a few missed days, and vacillating mood changes. 
I confess I had more dark chocolate meltdowns than normal. I was not feeling motivated, but I feel like I salvaged the week okay. 
What can I say, adjusting to not running is tough stuff. 23 days now...
I lost my work out partner too. Hubby is sick with some kind of super plague, he's been coughing enough to hack up a lung.  

I am not sure if walking is the best thing for my foot, however it does lift my mood immensely.  I forgot how much I enjoy walking. I can still enjoy sunsets and a little solitude.           

Saturday, the weather was decent enough to get outside, so I took my bike to the state park. A few roads were still snow covered, so my ride was a little limited, but I was able to accomplish my two hour goal.  My feet were numb by the end.  It was so chilly, but I intend to try to get outside and get a longer work out in when weather permits.  

The state park is much hillier than my neighborhood, so it is a better workout than I get biking around my neighborhood. I was afraid to ride on the streets anyway, with the snow still piled everywhere.

I am grateful that my gym cycle has lots of different courses and difficulty levels, but there is nothing like being outside. 

         I just can't stay on it much more than an hour.

Now, if I can just hang on for about 98 more days this way...

Right now it is dragging, and even though this year is not starting out like I expected, I am trying to adapt and hang in there. 

Did January go like you expected?
When is the last time you laced up and just took a walk? 

I hope you have a great week!

I am linking up today with my friends, Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin you know, those marathon running gals! 

Share something from your week! ㋡ Check out the etiquette here

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Optimism Bias and the Injured Runner

I love this Ted Talk. It is 17 minutes about the optimism bias most of us have, it very interesting, as are most Ted Talks.
Optimism  - being able to believe or envision a different reality.

However, being overly optimistic can be harmful, because you ignore the obvious warning signs or risk, and you could end up in a worse place; too much too soon.

SO, as I try to wrap my mind around my current situation of a tender foot, crooked toes, no running, and my goals slipping away...
Do I remain optimistic?

Yes, but I have come to place where running  is not the most urgent matter.
The runners paradigm has changed. 

It is not that I am being negative or giving up, I just want to be healthy. I do not envision a future where I am just getting by....

Trust me, I am already tired of hearing myself talk about this stupid foot. 

If you read my diagnosis post you know the Doc wasn't optimistic with me at all. Well, I ain't got time for that...
SO, on to the next doc (Feb. 18th)
I hope my sports guy is more optimistic...but even if he isn't,  I am completely optimistic I will heal up and move on. 
My real problem is, can I stay sane and how loooong it will all take. From most accounts (thank you people that share their lives on the internet) I am looking at four months. 

In true Karen style, I am posting the Wednesday word on Thursday...that is how I roll. 

Stop by Deb Runs, the link up host and check out some other posts! 

Is it possible for realistic and optimism to co-exist?
Have you ever been through something that took way longer to heal than anticipated?
If you watched the Ted Talk - thoughts??