Marathon Update -- 2 Steps Forward, One Step Back

So, five days to my first and last marathon.  Some progress (and setbacks):

  • Got the cortisone shots in my arthritic knees.  They feel about as good as I could hope
  • Had my plantar fasciitis come back in my right foot.  I ran 16 miles on it at its worst so I can do it but it was not fun.  Tried the night boot again and it really helps but I just can't sleep in that thing (imagine sleeping in a ski boot).  But it turns out this sock does almost as good of a job at stretching the foot out in my sleep and I can sleep with it.  The combination of that sock at night with this arch support in the day has almost licked it.
  • Once I started going past 16 miles my small toes on my right foot really started hurting.   I had not had this pain in these toes since I used to snow ski.  I thought it was just the shoe being too narrow and pinching the toes.  But I finally discovered that the fourth toe was crossing under the third toe.  As you can imagine, that hurts.  All these years and I had never figured out what was causing this pain -- just thought ski boots were all uncomfortable.  Apparently this is fairly common since I see a zillion toe spacer products on Amazon.  But all I needed was a bit of athletic tape -- taping toe 3 to toe 1 and 2 and toe 4 to toe 5 totally solves it.  Amazing to solve a problem so simply after so many years.
  • Have a sore back after packing up Christmas decorations yesterday, but am hopeful that will be gone by Sunday.
  • Training almost irrelevant at this point.  I know I can do the miles, even if not that fast.  As you can see from the above, more an issue of trying to hold my body together.


  1. kidmugsy:

    When I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis it was referred to as "policeman's heel".

  2. Jurgens:

    You'll do fine, hang in there.

  3. joe:

    Switch to cycling or swimming - both easier on the joints and both good cardio.

    Swimming better for upper body and weight control - cycling

  4. Bistro:

    When you feel a sudden tearing pain in your chest during the run? You should consider stopping even if it means you don't finish the race.

  5. ErikTheRed:

    Best of luck and enjoy the race!

  6. Dan Carroll:

    I had plantar fasciitis too and horrible knee pain, but I switched to minimalist shoes (after the boot therapy ±6weeks) and haven't had that problem since. Took a while to get used to the new style of running but no pain.

  7. irandom419:

    Thanks for the tip on the toe stretchers, I actually might buy that.

  8. Knox North:

    Good luck in the race, Warren - Stay healthy!

  9. Justin Bailles:

    I had bad PF a couple of years ago. Buy a lacrosse ball and roll 3-4 times a day. It will be incredibly painful at first, but then it works miracles

  10. Pat Slattery:

    This is good advice. I've used it and it works and recommended it to people and it worked for them too. You can also freeze the lacrosse ball first. Good luck, Warren!!!

  11. me:

    FWIW, the final leg of getting rid of my terrible PF was the purchase of a pair of walking shoes with shaped soles; the things worked wonders (I have an indoors and an outdoors pair and wear them as much as possible). As a result, I've been pain free for the first time in half a year.

  12. Justin Bailes:

    Hadn't thought off freezing the ball. Great tip!

  13. TuNeCedeMalisPJS:

    I was a bit of an athlete, but when plantar fasciitis hit me at 45 the best solution was a custom (prescription) pair of orthodicts. Go to a foot doc and get a couple pairs made, one for your running shoes, one for your everyday shoes.
    You'll wish you did this from the start.

  14. Magua1952:

    Dear God, Please don't allow me to gripe as I age and maladies acclerate.

  15. ColoComment:

    I [almost] cannot believe the self-torture that you are putting yourself through... to prove a point? To acclaim "one last hurrah"?

    You wrote recently that your butt got numb when bicycle riding -- I daresay that a bike well-measured & crafted to your height & posture, with an appropriate saddle, would promote far more enjoyable, and painless, exercise than grinding your deteriorating joints and pounding your body weight, stride after stride, onto your hip, leg, and foot tendons and ligaments.
    Good God, man. Your body has faithfully served you through decades of movement, sport, and work. Give it a rest!

  16. The_Big_W:

    Good luck in your race tomorrow!

  17. Sam Wiley:

    Warren - I've read your blog for years. Always appreciated and enjoyed your perspective on so many topics. Do you take any Omega-3 EPA/DHA from Fish Oil? I run a company that makes an exceptional product that i've seen have huge benefits for those with joint issues. It makes a huge difference with my own plantar fasciitis. It's not an instant magic bullet - just it works well over weeks & months. Let's connect and I'll send you a bunch complimentary.

  18. Jerryskids:

    So how did it go?