Post Marathon Injuries

Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
I finished the Chicago Marathon in October!  Yea for me! But since that time, I have been plagued with various annoyances.  First of all, by the time I finished, my heel was killing me and it still hurts.  I thought that would have gone away by now.  I also had blisters on my feet.  Then I got a cold and that kept me feeling just out of energy.  What is going on?
Too Tired to Train
Dear Choo Choo Charlie,
That is a great accomplishment!  I am really envious of your success.  I hope you have that completion medal prominently displayed.
In researching your problem, I came across an interesting article.  In the article, it talks about how preparing for a marathon is not just the training and the running but about how you need to prepare your plan for after the marathon.  I think it may help you for your next marathon.
That will help you later; let’s get to your immediate problems.
You seem to have some of the common ailments that accompany marathon training and running.  They all deserve attention because they affect your future.
Blisters are very common but there are some things that you can do to avoid them.  Let’s face it; blisters are caused by your shoes.  You will develop blisters if your shoes are too tight, if your shoes are too loose, if your shoes are too new and not broken in, and if your shoes have rough spots that will rub your foot.
You need to make sure your shoes are correctly fitted to your feet.
Your shoes are your very important training partner.  They will be the key to your success.  Act that way.  Work with a fitness shop that really fits shoes.  Don’t go to your local sporting goods store and pick some that look good.  Get the advice of an expert.  It will make a huge difference in your experience.
You should also check out your socks.  The old school of thought used to be that you would want to wear cotton socks.  There are now socks that have CoolMax fabric that wick the moisture away from your feet. That may work better for you.  You need to experiment to find the right socks and right sock thickness.  Some people like double layer socks, some two pairs of socks and then there are those that think that you should change socks mid race.  You need to experiment.  You also need to make sure that the sock seams don’t irritate your foot and cause blisters.
If the blisters start discharging pus or the area becomes red and hot, get to the podiatrist IMMEDIATELY.  Don’t try home recipes on your foot.  You need real treatment for an infection.
So, in the future, your foot apparel – shoes and socks – should be part of your training process to make the race much more comfortable.  I would also go for lots of color in your footwear.  Then you will be cheered up just looking at your feet.  And when you are running that far, there should be something cheery.
Let’s now look at your heel pain.  That could be several different problems.  There are several problems that post marathon athletes can experience besides blisters.  Marathoners are known to have problems with muscle sprains, tendonitis, shin splints, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.  Since your pain is in the heel, it is most likely plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.
It is time to visit your friendly local podiatrist.  You need to have a definite diagnosis and treatment plan.  The problem with the list of issues that I mentioned above is that if not really treated, the problems can become chronic and may hasten the end of your marathon career.  Don’t do this to yourself.  Go to your podiatrist and work out a plan to get your back on your feet as soon as possible.  It may be that you need to rest for awhile, you may need some specific exercises to do to help the affected area, or you may need orthotics to help balance out your foot.   Take the time and get the help.  View it as part of your training.
I am sure that you will be back up and running soon.  When you cross the finish line next year, you can hold up a sign that says “The Foot Blogger Chick is the best” or something like that….
Your pal,
Foot Blogger Chick
Just as a note –
As it gets colder here in the Midwest, I think more and more about staying home where it is nice and warm.  Also, with the end of the year coming up, it is a great time to schedule appointments to fix bunions, hammers toes, and infected toe nails.  You can use the time off at the end of the year to recover and you will then be all set for next summer.  So, now that you have hit your deductible, it is time to get your tootsies all set.  Everyone can then rave about your beautiful feet.
Trivia Question of the week– In the 1984 Olympics, women competed in the marathon for the first time.  Name the winner and her country.
Find the answer on our Facebook page – Evanston Podiatric Surgeons– on Friday, December 7th.  While you’re there, please take a moment to “like” us.
Follow us on twitter – @EvPodiatric and the answer will be tweeted on Friday morning.

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