Lions, Tigers, and Bears…O my feet

O my! I would be dead on the side of the road if I had to run in her shoes.

Well, the great mystery of my socks that I wrote about previously has finally been solved.

There is no problem with my socks.

None of them.

In fact, it only felt as if my socks were bunching up in the crack of my toes. That became clear as the problem persisted, leading to sharp burning pains in my toes and eventually the feeling as I walked that there was a marble in my shoe, at the forefront of my foot.


Socks would have been a much easier problem to deal with than Morton’s Neuroma. But that doesn’t mean that Morton’s Neuroma is a show-stopper. Now that I know what I am dealing with, at least I have options. And the most immediate and effective option is the use of metatarsal pads to absorb each impact of my steps, distributing the energy to the foot in a manner that avoids the neuroma to a great extent.

The use of these pads has been dramatic.

Then, yesterday.

I was out on a run, looking to do between 6 and 8 miles. It was a perfect November day and I was enjoying every step, until…

It was by now a familiar pain, shooting, sharp, burning…in a familiar location, except this time it was the other foot.


I stopped at 5 miles, called my wife, and told her the news and that I was going to walk back the rest of the way. And with every step, I could feel that now familiar sensation like a marble or smooth stone was under the forefront of my foot, just like the other.

Both of my feet have Morton’s Neuroma.

The neuromas are a new thing for me. But now that I have had the opportunity to think about it, it is starting to make sense. When I ran before, years back, I lost most of my excess weight prior to running. When I started out, I really didn’t think that a 320-pound man could run, or at least not run without great difficulty, perhaps insurmountable difficulty, and I was certain that the pounding on my knees wouldn’t be able to take it.

This time around, I changed my approach. And while I did not start off at 320 pounds this time (290 is bad enough), I started running as soon as the weather cooled into the seventies. So for the month of September, when I began my fitness journey, my focus was on my food intake and rowing.

My first run came on October 6 and I was by then 280 pounds. Today, I am 259 pounds and I just hit 106 miles this morning. I did it wearing metatarsal pads on BOTH feet. I also donned my New Balance Fresh Foam 680s to run in since they had a thicker cushion than any of my NIKE Free Runs. But I hope to return to the NIKE shoes as they have less drop, are wider in the toe box, and have been my go-to shoes in the past.

Eventually, I am hoping to transition to a barefoot-like shoe. I am convinced, at least as far as I can be without actually running in barefoot shoes, that it will be better for me in the long run. We will see.

But as for my run today, with two Morton’s Neuromas and the metatarsal pads I had no discomfort at all.

But I got off track a little. I was writing about what was starting to make sense to me. As I thought through it, I looked for the similarities and the differences between now, running at 65, and when I was running years ago. As I did, several things jumped out. First, I already mentioned, that I made the decision to start running immediately which meant running heavy. The second thing I realized was that relative to my past running, today I cannot escape running hills. They are everywhere in this part of town.

To give you an idea, on today’s 4-mile run, my Garmin recorded that I ascended 233 feet. Not astronomical I grant you, but uphill. In fact, since I started running on October 6, my total ascension is 1.19 miles up. The hills are adding up.

While people everywhere run hills and most hills are significantly more challenging than what I have surrounding me, they are nonetheless, hills. Throw in my older age, running heavy on hills, and a picture begins to form. While I know that in the long run, continued exposure to running up and down the slopes is good for me, I know that in my new beginning, running heavy and up-hill I find my posture severely compromised as I lean forward, tired, as if to will myself to the top. All the while putting severe stress on my toes and the front of my feet.

Hence the neuromas.

But it is all good. Each and every day I find improvement. While I will never be a threat to any serious runner, I am a runner,

-because I run.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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