Sunday, January 14, 2007


My youngest daughter’s boyfriend is up visiting from Tucson, so I couldn’t get out for my run until 11:30 this morning when my wife got home to pick up chaperon duties. For my last 12 miler of this training cycle, I ran a new route with a slight up-hill along the first 3 miles. When I started, temperatures were still in the low 40s and the cool air combined with the bright sun shine felt great.

I was feeling pretty good, so after a slow warm up, I dialed the pace down to 8:57 and just enjoyed the great weather. My dog was back to normal and what ever palsy had infected his brain on our last run was nowhere to be seen. He stuck to my left leg like a good dog. My life of bliss started falling apart however, on mile 8 when the bottom of my right foot started to tingle. By the time I was on mile 10 the foot felt like a stump. I accelerated my pace hoping to run through the problem, but that didn’t work. I was finally forced to stop and walk it off for a couple of minutes. Once I stopped, the feeling quickly came back to my foot and I was able to get moving again.

The same thing happened on mile 12. My right foot started to tingle and I was forced to stop for a minute to get the feeling back in my foot before continuing on. I went through my logs and saw that this happened 4 times in 2006. I was hoping that the problem was correlated with the age of the shoes or something else obvious, but it didn’t seem to be. So I don’t have a clue what is causing this problem. This is not exactly the confidence boost I was looking for today. Any ideas from the blogsphere?\

If any of you get a chance, go over and congratulate Pat for finishing his first 1/2 marathon today at PF Changs in Phoenix. In addition, Subhasish traveled all the way from Redmond Washington to run the 1/2 marathon this morning. I'm sure he was thinking it would be a little warmer, but he certainly finished strong. I also had two friends finish the marathon (3:29 and 3:57), but neither of them blog, so I'll just have to congratulate them for you.

Training for the week:

Mon: 7.0 miles, recovery w/10x100m strides; 8:15/mi avg pace
Tue: 8.0 miles, easy w/3x1 mile @7:20/mi; 8:23/mi avg pace
Wed: Rest and Travel
Thr: Rest
Fri: 5.1 miles, recovery w/6x100m strides; 9:01/mi avg pace
Sat: Rest
Sun: 12.1 miles, medium-long; 9:03/mi avg pace

Mileage for the week: 32.1 miles


Mike said...

Any previous back trouble or nerve issues? This is a weird one. If the shoe wasn't laced too tight, and if it wasn't PF (more pain than numbness and wouldn't make it feel like a stump), I don't know what to think. Give us some more clues. We're all doctors here.

Hilda said...

Great the dog is joining you again.
Seems like sometimes the foot is adapting to the stress and makes a brief performance nothing serious, nice running ending

DawnB said...

Hi Phil, I'm glad your pal is back on track. Sorry your run did not go so well today. I've never heard of any foot problems such as yours. I have a small corn on the botton of my right foot and every now and then I step on a pebble that stops me in my tracks. I do feel a sharp tingle. This may sound silly but have you look a the feet lately?. But you did not mention feeling like you step on something so I think I'm totally off.

Feminist Runner said...

Do you think a nerve could be pinching or it could be sciatica? Where I went to medical school ( they taught me to diagnose with something probably worse than it is, so that the patient can feel relieved when it's nothing.
Glad the pup's back to his old self!

J~Mom said...

Ugh, Phil I have no idea. Other then lacing shoes too tight I have not had that before. I hope it clears up super quick!

Ewen said...

That's a strange one Phil. Especially for it to come and go like that. I'd be inclined to think it's nerve related. Perhaps a change of shoes or insoles will cure it? As j~mom suggested, lace tension can cause problems. I have mine fairly loose.

Bex said...

Hi, Phil. I used to get that same tingling in my right foot sometimes when I did the elliptical machine. For me, it was from not flexing my foot - the whole sole just pressed down on the machine like a big flat pancake. Hence, the tingling and the weird feeling that my foot had gone to sleep. When I finally realized why it was happening, I consciously thought about what my stride looked and felt like, and rolled my feet from heel to toe. Tingling problem ceased. My question is - do you have low arches or are you flat-footed? If so, perhaps you could look at orthotics or think about adjusting your stride.

olga said...

Pressing too hard sounds as something I'd come up with. On top of this guess, personally I'd be scared it is a case of chronic compartment syndrome. For me it starts with pain and inside building pressure in the lower leg before it moves to numb my foot.
Did you only have 2 incidents and only recently? Anything changed, shoes?

Thomas said...

I had a few issues that started out like this, with a tingle in my foot, but never as bad as this. I'm pretty sure the problems were caused by tight shoe laces.

Don't scare yourself like that before the race. You'll be fine on race day, promise.

D said...

I'm with Thomas. Don't freak yourself out - come race day you'll be fine. I think tapering makes us a bit paranoid - where every single ache and pain needs to be analyzed and something MUST be wrong. Be calm. You're so close and you're going to have a great marathon.

stephruns said...

Glad to hear your pooch is back up and running.

Lana said...

Hey Phil - my foot also went to sleep like that a few time during some of my long runs back in the fall. It would only happen though, when I wore a certain pair of shoes, and also only when I tied them too tightly. I made a conscience effort to not tie so tightly and it stopped. I don't know if this could be the case with you, but you might want to consider it. You are having some great runs, though...I can't wait to see how awesome you do at the Carlsbad Marathon!

Anne said...

If it happens to be located between the third and fourth toe, it could be Morton's neuroma. But this sounds like the entire bottom of the foot. D's right -- you tend to obsess about every tingle and ache during the taper. I'd loosen the box of the shoes just in case.

And don't kill me, but I tagged you tonight (No, not the photo one...hallelujah.).

Bapp said...

Sorry to hear about this new issue with your feet - just 1 week from the big run. Tingling or numbness of the entire feet or hands for that fact is usually cause by issues with either nerves or circulation. But the tingling makes me think of nerves more. For example, having your leg fall asleep after you have it pinned or hit your elbow and your hand goes numb. Having your shoes tied too tightly could possibly be the cause due to compression on a nerve from the shoes combined with repetitive impact from running. Could also be tight socks especially ones with tight elastic bands around the ankle. Was it your entire foot, or just a portion, like the top, side, or bottom, or just some of the toes?

Hope what ever it is disappears mysteriously as it came. Welcome to marathon week and good luck with your long run on Sunday.

Dusty said...

OK - I'm going to say, check your shoes (take out the insole & make sure there wasn't anything in there. Go for another run and if your shoes are good, no wrinkles in your socks and you didn't lace too tight, see how that goes. Did you stretch out properly - including your back - My SI went down to my back - I kept working on my leg, not my back. If it happens again, I would start checking it out - 90% of the time you should have some time before you cause any issues. Do you switch out your shoes? I keep two good pairs to switch out - if you have an extra pair - try switching them to see what happens. Also, try eating bananas - could be from potassium - can cause leg cramps or numbness.

Keep us posted. I'll break out my old athletic training books if you keep having trouble.

Dusty said...

Also - where does it go numb - does it start in the toes, the heal? Is there pain as well? Does your heal hurt?

If it continues - let us know that. :) Hope it is just that you slept wrong on it or something and goes away immediately! :)