Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Princess' Guide: Let's Talk Feet

True Confession Time.

My feet are whacked out.

Seriously.

And on top of that, I really should have them insured. I've spent a LOT of money keeping them functioning.

I'm hoping you can learn from my mistakes -- surely you can.

2006.

Between July and October 2006, we moved four times. We were building a house and through the process spent far more time loading / unloading moving trucks and PODS than I did training. Incidentally, the 60-sum-odd miles I walked in 2-week-old shoes on untrained legs didn't go so well.

In 2006, the DFW 3-Day trekked around a lot of Arlington. Who knew they had hills?

By the time we were done, I had painful knees and tendonitis in my left ankle (presumably from having my runner's loop too tight on my brand-new shoes.

Lessons Learned: Don't buy shoes two weeks before the walk. You need a minimum of 25, preferably 50 miles of training in your shoes before the walk.

Also... If you strengthen your leg muscles with weights, your knees won't have to work as hard.

Also.... Be sure you pack your sports bra.

Oops. We're talking feet. I forgot.

2007.

Trained like a wild woman right up until my girls got out of school for the summer. We climbed "The Hill" in McKinney over and over. My legs ROCKED.

Got new shoes -- bought 1/2 size up so my feet would have room to "swell."

Moved to Houston. Mom got sick. She passed away. I gained 10 lbs. off hospital / funeral food.

Severe pain set in in my right foot around the end of the summer. Plantar Fasciitis was the culprit.

I got two cortisone injections and then limped through each and every mile of the 3-Day.

Found a new podiatrist. Turns out my extremely high arches were falling. Physical therapy became the name of the game.

Lessons learned: Plantar Fasciitis sucks. If you catch it early, it's much easier to deal with.

Also... People with really screwy feet should be cautious about bumping up to a larger shoe. Sometimes the stability of an accurately-fitting shoe can be more important than a toenail.

Also... If a doctor sounds like a quack, acts like a quack and has a not-so-impressive office, he's probably a quack.

2008.

This was going to be MY year.

Got custom orthotics for my crazy feet. Hard, leather, uncomfortable orthotics. But I was ready to do what it takes, right?

Trained like the dickens. Worked out with a trainer at a boot camp three days a week. On top of that, I did water aerobics two days a week, lifted weights three days a week, and walked 20+ miles a week. Spent two weeks at our fishing hut running up and down the stairs barefoot.

Ended up with Plantar Fasciitis and Neuromas in BOTH feet! Argh!!!

Only walked about 13 miles -- total.

Lessons Learned: It only counts as cross-training if it puts a completely different type of stress on your body. For instance, if you're walking 20+ miles a week, don't spend an additional 5 hours a week pounding your feet as you jump up and down. (You'd think I would have been smart enough to figure this one out!)

Instead, try the lifting weights, but mix it up with riding a bike or swimming or something that takes the heat off your feet.

Also... You don't have to walk 60 miles to be a 3-Day walker. In 2008, I created my own 3-Day experience by doing my best to be the hands and feet of Jesus to my teammates. It was a very powerful experience!

2009.

New doctor. He rocks. Sent me to a specialist for new orthotics. Now I have the comfy, cushiony kind athletes use. Complete with a lot of support for my extremely-high arches, as well as a bump in each shoe to take the pressure off my neuromas.

Began training when A&K went back to school in August. Not significant training, but training nonetheless. Three miles here, six miles there... You get it.

Walked 45 miles!!!

Lesssons Learned: Don't let a "bad" year, when you couldn't walk all you wanted to, get you down. Hang in there -- you never know what the next year will bring!

2010

I'm good to go!!! Back to working with my trainer, and am working to lose 25 lbs. before the 2010 walk! Still have my cushy orthotics, and I still move like an old lady in the mornings. BUT.... I just don't have functional feet. I've learned to "listen" to my feet. I know their limits, and I can't wait for the walk!


I'll talk more about the nuts & bolts of socks, shoes, etc. in my next post!

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