Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hallux Rigidus? What does that mean?

I always have my entire training schedule planned out for months leading up to my next race. Planning well in advance has always worked best for me as it helps me mentally commit to the training and work it into the rest of my life, work and most importantly family. As I have decided to run my first 100 miler in March these next few months were no exception. Every workout 6 days a week through March 27, 2010 (Moab 100) has been scheduled.

While training for any race there is always something that comes up and alters my plan its rarely been more than a couple of days of a lighter schedule and these unforeseen events have never resulted in abstention from running.

I have been puting off seeing a doctor for a nagging foot problem for several years now. The big knuckle on my right big toe has become increasingly painful and lost much of its flexibility. The problem is often aggravated when I am running more technical terrain and kick a rock or root, which for some reason has become a habit for me. As I mentioned in a previous post I did exactly that during the Stone Cat Trail Marathon a few weeks ago. The big difference this time was it caused me to completely change my stride in order to continue and the severeness of the pain has persisted for weeks now. I decided to see a doctor and what I have is called Hallux Rigidus. This is the late stage of an arthritic condition which causes pain and stiffness in the joint. As it turns out if I had seen a doctor sooner during the Hallux Limitus stage I may have had other options for treatment (Tani always told me I should go, next time maybe I will listen:). Because my toe is already rigid with almost no flexibility the only option to relieve the pain and stiffness is surgery to shave down the bone spur and create space in the joint. These diagrams show the varying degrees of this condition.

I have decided to have the procedure this Thursday and I am told I will not be able to run for 4 to 6 weeks. I have continued my training and will do so until the day prior to surgery but I can't control after that and I am becoming anxious. I keep telling myself "it is what it is" but I am concerned about losing conditioning and not being able to get back for Moab. I also know how cranky I get when I don't run. For now not much to do I guess. I look forward to seeing my friends out on the trails ASAP.

On a lighter note I had a great run yesterday at Rockies. You can read about this windy adventure and see some photos and video on I Run Ultras.com. I followed that up with my first paintball adventure with my son at one of his friend's birthday party. Below are photos of my head where he shot me and his leg where I shot him back. That s..t hurts but it sure was fun. Peace










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