A Transition Period

Barefooting – I am very pleased with my progress in transitioning back to barefooting.  Last week, I went for a walk during my lunch in the park just up the hill from my work.  It’s about a 20 minute walk.  After reaching the turnaround point, I got brave enough to remove my shoes.   The path is mostly a rough asphalt.  It wasn’t horrible but it was clear that the winter treadmill runs did not toughen up my skin as much as I had hoped.   This morning I ran 0.4 miles in the bare before donning my VFFs.  I felt like I could have pushed my feet further but I am in a phase of my running where I will proceed extraordinarily carefully in my transitions.  Again at lunch, I climbed the hill for a barefoot walk through the park.  This time, I went bare both ways and already I see an improved tolerance for the rough areas. 

Tendonitis – I mentioned before that I purchased the Egoscue method for solving chronic pain.  The book and websites promise almost immediate relief in symptoms.  I certainly experienced reduced stiffness in my calf muscles but I continued to suffer from pain with it becoming nearly crippling during a day after running.  I read a blog on someone else who tried Egoscue and he reported that he did not get immediate relief either and that the expectation should be up to a year.  That is not exactly how the program is presented.  Back to me and my crippling ankles… a funny thing happened after the half marathon, as I mentioned in my report, I was able to ease a significant amount of pain and stiffness by using a couple of the Egoscue (common sense) exercises but I performed them endlessly for nearly an hour.

Since the half, I’ve modified my routine so that I no longer do the exercises exactly as prescribed.  Typically, upon waking, I lower myself to the floor and do the foot circles and flex/point, repeat the foot circles and flex/point then do the calf and hamstring stretch.  Then I go on to do whatever I have planned for a morning exercise.  Note: I have not gone 100% back to running.  I am travelling 2.46 miles with increased intervals of running.  At the end of exercising, I repeat the foot circles and flex/point then spend a great deal of time stretching my leg muscles.  The time I spend stretching is almost as long as I spend running or exercising.

Although things are infinitely better than before the half marathon, I still have constant tendon pain in my ankle and I want to increase my running distance, eventually.  So, I am searching further for advice on healing ankle tendonitis.  I came across a website called Tendonitis Expert.  I like a lot of his theories on the planter fasciitis and tendonitis.  Unfortunately, I’m not willing to spend the $39 for the book.  Well, not yet, anyway.  The Tendonitis Expert offers some free advice on icing.  Again, not exactly rocket science but still some good pointers on how to get some effective icing.  Last night, I took an ice cube to my ankle tendons in a manner similar to the Dixie cup method resulting in some instant relief. 

I plan to add the icing to my favorite Egoscue exercises and see where that takes me.  Maybe back to the tendonitis expert, maybe not.   You may be saying that 20 – 30 minutes is way longer than you have to exercise and stretch.  Well, honestly, I’m hoping that once the tendonitis is healed, I will be able to scale it back to a maintenance stretch time.    

** Note: I contacted the Egoscue website and asked some questions about my particular ankle pain.  I received no response.

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Filed under Barefoot, running, Vibram Five Fingers

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