So for the last two point eight years I’ve been battling with a crazy foot issue where it goes numb after a certain amount of time (and increasingly became shorter and shorter in time and distance). I had been to countless doctors, had numerous tests, changed my foot strike and spent 2+ years doing physical therapy and about a year of remedial massage to try and get the muscles working and the numbness to go.
In the meantime I’d just keep doing what I was doing, and running the races that I want to run, even if it was sore and numb. Other injuries popped up such as a stress fracture earlier this year in my left foot – I guess from hitting it too hard since I was terrified of the numbness in my right. While the previous years I only hit 1 or 2 half marathons a year 2016 was my year to take it to the next level. My first goal was the Dopey Challenge and the Star Wars Rebel Challenge. I was gearing for my first marathon and while the foot bothered me I just dealt with it. Fast forward to now and I had completed another 5 half marathons and the Honolulu Marathon as my last run (and second full this year!!).
My training up to the Honolulu Marathon wasn’t without incident, my foot was going numb without even taking a step and I went to see a new GP who told me to stop running (for 5 weeks) and referred me to a bunch of tests, including a Nerve Conduction Test. While the test turned out ok, the Neurologist was convinced that it was a nerve issue and I got an appointment just after the Honolulu Marathon, but I was all clear to run again!
I knew going into the marathon that it would be my last run, and my foot would probably just blow out. I made it 37K and then had to walk the rest. I then went hiking in Volcanoes National Park and was in agony. I was looking forward to coming home and seeing the Neurologist.
So it took one appointment and I finally got a diagnosis! During the consultation it was discovered that I was suffering from Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.
So what is it?
It’s an impingement of the nerve as it travels through the Tarsal Tunnel in your ankle. It causes numbness, pins and needles and pain in your foot, as well as the ankle. Sounds like fun, huh?
So I’m off to the surgeon (after getting an MRI to see how if there’s anything such as a ganglion in my ankle pressing on the nerve) for the next steps in treatment mid-January. I haven’t made any plans for early 2017 in regards to running, just planning on fixing what I have and hope to make it to Chicago in October!
I was also diagnosed with an impingement on the Lateral Femoral Cutaneous nerve – something I’ve been walking around with for 5 years! The good thing about this one was that the nerve only services the skin area on the outside of your thigh! It’s been 24 hour since I’ve had a cortisone shot, and with exception to the 6 glorious hours of the local anaesthetic it has continued to be sore and pins/needles. I’m just waiting for it to kick in!
So here’s to finally being diagnosed and now I can move onto fixing it! And even though I battled with 2016 in regards to running, I managed to finish every race that I entered in (even if I was getting slower as the year progressed) and now I’m looking towards 2017 – it’s going to be an awesome year of recovery!!