Sunday, July 31, 2011

Metatarsal Test on Green Mountain

After getting a stress fracture last summer and feeling similar early symptoms again I backed off on my running for the past week. I did a couple of three mile jogs and walks of a mile and a half. I had also tried to remedy the situation by cutting a hole in the insert of the shoe, wearing shoes all the time, and favoring the foot a somewhat while running. By favoring, I mean going for either a heel or a flat foot strike.

Yesterday I decided to go for a long run and see how it would do. I'd been wanting to do a circumnavigation of Green Mountain on the edge of Boulder. It was already 90 degrees when I was ready to go. I drank a quart of diluted cold Gatorade before starting and carried two liter bottles in my hands, one with water and the other with diluted Gatorade. As I started up toward Chautauqua Park from the Pearl Street Mall I realized I was already struggling. Something wasn't right. The heat shouldn't have been a problem that soon. I stopped and checked my pulse; it was irregular. It seemed to be in atrial fibrillation which I've had over the years but not recently. I had noticed some irregularity the day before after a particularly strong cup of coffee at Ozo. Excessive caffeine can trigger it. I decided to go on; going for a run has often been effective in making the rhythm return to normal. It didn't seem to be working. I went on, thinking I could always turn back and if things got bad I was still where an ambulance could get to me. Funny how we think sometimes. After about 2 miles and 800 feet of elevation gain it seemed that maybe I was returning to normal. I would soon be in terrain that if things were to go bad I would be stuck there. I ate a Honey Stinger and drank some water and kept going. I don't know if my decision to continue was stupid, well-analyzed, or what but after a while the initial distress was all but forgotten and I was enjoying the trail.

Much of the running was on steep trails which made it easy to not make pounding foot strikes. The two and a half hours were uphill for the most part and the last hour and a half was a steep descent and then a mile and a half on streets all downhill. Once I was back to Pearl Street I discovered the temperature was 95, but as we say here "it's a dry heat". The heat index probably made it 91 and being in the mountains in semi-shade I can knock off a couple of more degrees. I drank three quarts of water and a beer to rehydrate. The foot seems no worse for the tens of thousands of foot strikes. I'm still going to take it easy for a while so that the foot isn't getting excessive repetitive load every day. I'll save that for a long run later in the week.


  1. You didn't mention the a-fib when you told me about the run. I'm glad your assessment turned out to be right.

  2. it is likely to crack. This normally occurs in healthy and fit individuals who subject their body to excess physical activities. This kind of fracture is normally experienced by sportspersons and military recruits who engage in physical activities for long periods of time. They develop a stress fracture that leads to foot pain. The second situation is where people have extremely weak bones. This commonly affects women with osteoporosis.