some of you probably expected this post to be a race recap. sadly its not. but this post is related to the half marathon i completed on sunday.
i've been a little quiet when describing how the race went. it was a pretty bittersweet event for me and part of that is because i had to limp the last four miles of the race. runners dread injuries, but i haven't experienced such a debilitating injury during a race since my shin splint days in high school. after barely finishing the race and spending the rest of the day with an ice pack on my foot, i knew i needed a medical intervention.
on monday i was lucky enough to get in with the michigan running institute for an injury assessment. i wasn't sure what to expect and i sure as hell wasn't expecting what they told me.
i'm in the beginning stages of having a bunion on my right big toe.
now hold on for a minute. when i hear the word "bunion" i think old man/woman with really nasty feet. how could i, a late twenties something woman, have old people feet?!
turns out, bunions are not what i thought they were. a bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint that's at the base of your big toe. you get a bunion when your big toe pushes up against your other toes, which forces the big toe joint in the opposite direction (away from the normal profile of your foot). over time, this abnormal position enlarges your big toe joint, which further crowds your other toes and causes pain (thank you mayo clinic). so instead of a straight toe, you get a toe that's angled to the right towards your other toes, smashing them together. if this goes on for a long enough period of time, the big toe can cross over the other toes, which requires surgery to fix.
|bunion sketch credit to mayo clinic|
turns out bunions are not uncommon for runners. they can happen for a lot of reasons, but for me, there are two large factors: very flat feet and very poor genetics. my grandma, my dad and my sister all have bunions (and flat feet). running has essentially exacerbated the bunion problem for me. with my flat feet, i overpronate, which causes me to put more stress/pressure on my big toe than if i was landing on my foot evenly. as a result, i also push off with my big toe at an unnatural angle. pair this with a poor fitting shoe, and i was cruisin' for a bruisin'.
part of me was relieved to hear that there was something wrong with me that i could work on fixing. we detected the start of the bunion early enough that we may be able to do preventative things to keep it from turning into a larger problem.
but another part of me is a little concerned. this isn't a quick fix we're talking about. i'm not sure what the treatment plan for a bunion is like, but i know a quick change in running shoes won't fix it. i have a full evaluation appointment on friday to determine exactly what my treatment plan is.
until then? no running.
yup, you heard me. i am supposed to take this week off. and whether or not i'll be able to run in my race in a couple weeks is questionable, too. someone cue the tiny violins, please. :(
obviously the only thing i want to do when someone tells me i'm not allowed to run is to run, but i'm trying to be patient and follow the advice of people who know better than i do. i'm hoping on friday to get good news and a treatment plan that feels actionable instead of drawn out and hopeless.
anyone else out there have fun with bunions?