November 25, 2006

It's not the shoes

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my left foot felt weak -- no pain or soreness, just weak, as in not carrying my full weight. I mentioned then that I was going to wear a new pair of shoes to see if the problem was caused by my shoes which are nearing the end of their useful life. My feet felt fine last week, but on the last half of my run this morning, my left foot felt very weak, and my left leg was a little bit stiff.

I don't think the problem is my shoes. I think my feet are tired from all the miles I've been running the past three months since my half-marathon in August. Having weak feet is "normal" for me. Let me explain.

I was born with a stiff skeleton, actually a malfunctioning skeleton. I started running in the early 70s because I was having a lot of pain in my feet. Knowing I had stiff joints, I went to a bone doctor to see if my skeleton could be causing the pain. He said "no". He said my foot was stiff, the opposite of double joints. He also said my muscles were weak, and that I needed to do what ever I wanted to strengthen them. I had done a lot of walking in my childhood and during college--walking 5-10 miles was no problem at all. But, once I finished college, I had a car and drove most places, and my feet started to hurt due to my not walking as much. My feet didn't hurt during normal activities, just when I was on my feet for a long time, such as doing yard work on a Saturday. I've always enjoyed walking, and after visiting the bone doctor, I decided to run to strengthen my feet.

My running has helped my feet. I don't have the pain very often, but I do have the "weak" feeling in my feet. Also, when I sit down, my feet get stiff, and when I get up, I have to walk around a few minutes before they loosen up. I first felt a few weeks ago that my left foot felt weak. I didn't think much about it, because that is a "normal" feeling for my feet. However, when the weak feeling persisted, I began to worry about it and thought that maybe my shoes were causing it. During my run today, I realized that the problem is just that my feet are tired and need a rest.

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