It's just a little toe on my left foot. Not the little toe, a big toe. Not the big toe, the long toe next to it. For some people, the big toe is the long toe so the long toe is not next to the big toe, it is the big toe. But my pain isn't in the big toe, it's in a big toe which is the long toe, which is just a little toe but not the little toe. Clear?
Anyway, I hurt it a week ago Saturday during a 13 mile training run with my group. It just started hurting a couple of miles in. And kept hurting, although not unbearably so. Yet. Other than the pain, it was a wonderful run. Thirteen plus miles around the storied monuments of the nation's capital on a wonderful winter morning, about 40 degrees with a very slight breeze and a sunny sky. Perfect conditions for running.
Shortly after I started running nine years ago, I had pain in that very same long toe that eventually forced me to suspend running completely for eight weeks, twice. My doctor diagnosed it as tendinitis in that toe each time and prescribed two months of rest, period. Each time it had gotten to the point where the pain in my foot would cause me to just pull up. It would just come on, walking or running, and force me to sit down and tear off my shoe and massage my toe until I could go on.
These bouts came on about a year apart, and the rest period was the only thing that helped. For about seven years though, I haven't had a whisper of the problem. Until Saturday.
Sunday was 60 degrees and I tried running. I just had to run in such gorgeous weather after the long cold snap. I made it to the end of my sidewalk and stopped. My toe didn't hurt worse, it just still hurt.
I felt guilty and lazy, but I took the whole week off from running. In my yoga class, I did plank position from my knees like a decrepit old man so as to keep off my toes. I rubbed Tiger Balm arthritic lotion on my toe each night. I had a big relay race coming up on Sunday which I had to do so as to not let my teammates down. By this morning my toe felt much better although I could still feel a slight ache in it occasionally.
This is the only injury that has ever caused me to miss more than a few days running at any time. It put me down for two months, twice. It has my complete attention. I have to be able to run to conduct the training classes that I direct for my club and am responsible for. Such a little toe. Such a big problem.