Sunday, February 15, 2004

Feet really stiff

When I got up this morning, my wake up HR was 52. Because I was on my feet a lot yesterday, I could hardly walk this morning. The muscles in my feet were stiff as if each foot was a solid piece of concrete. This is a problem I've had all my life. It's called the "squeaky door" syndrome. Consider an old door that has hinges that are all rusty. The door will be hard to open, and you will have to push and push to get it to move. However, once it moves, it moves more freely, usually squeaking. So it is with my feet. If I over use them, as I did yesterday, my foot muscles tighten up, and I can hardly walk when I first get up the next morning. This morning, I took a homeopathic remedy called Rhus Tox (made from poison ivy), and as I walked around my feet muscles started to loosen up. I've been up for about seven hours, and my feet are still tender, but I can walk around and do my activities.

Many years ago when I lived in Phoenix, I would spend seven or eight hours on Saturday on my feet doing yard work. On Sunday morning I wouldn't be able to walk due to the pain in my feet, and I would crawl into the bathroom. However, as I hobbled around the house, the pain and stiffness in my feet would go down. It would be Tuesday morning before the pain was gone and I could walk normally. I went to a foot doctor to find out why I was having such pain in my feet, and he said the muscles in my feet were weak, and I needed to do something to strengthen them. I began running and have been running ever since. The running didn't completely remove the pain, but it helped a lot. I still had some squeaky-door stiffness and pain, but not nearly as severe as it had been.

Later, after moving to Massachusetts, and while I was a Scoutmaster, I was planning to take a week-long backpacking trip with my scouts. We were planning to backpack 50 miles during the week. Because of my condition with my feet, my wife told me I was crazy to carry a 40# pack for 50 miles. Fortunately a friend told me about Rhus Tox, and I took it with me on the trip. I had no problems with my feet until Saturday, the last day of the trip. During the week, we hiked hilly trails and climbed Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, the highest point in New England. On Thursday, I ran out or Rhus Tox, and on Saturday, as we hiked seven miles back to our cars, my feet started to hurt.

During the two years I ran marathons, I don't remember having many problems with my feet. Now, since I'm running low mileage, I have some stiffness and pain when I'm on my feet a lot, but it isn't very bad. I only take Rhus Tox when I abuse my feet as I did yesterday.

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