"That's the fact, Jack."

“That’s the fact, Jack.”

Those readers who have been following Tripping The Kenyans since Day One know that my feet are far from perfect.

For newer readers, let me just say: My feet are sorta messed up… always have been, especially ole “righty.”

So messed up in fact that some of my earliest posts (dubbed by moi as “The Freaky Foot Chronicles”) highlighted some of their inherent nastiness.

You can flashback and check them out here if you’d like.

To summarize, I’ve been dealing with:

  • Overlapping toes (which I handle using Injinji toe socks)
  • Extremely high arches (which I battle with custom made orthotic inserts)
  • Early stage arthritis in my right foot big toe  (courtesy of dropping a cabana on it years ago)

Kinda sucks, but what are you gonna do?

Marital aid or foot massager? You decide.

Marital aid or foot massager? You decide.

And in the first half of 2014 I’ve already run more races (8) than I typically do in a full calendar year. And I’ve got another 12-14 races scheduled between now and the day we say “Howdy” to Baby New Year 2015.

Yup, I’m basically pounding the ever-loving hell out of my feet.

So, I’ve been doing my best to pamper my feet whenever possible, hence the dainty pedicures and multitude of stretching & massaging devices/doodads scattered around my apartment. I swear some of these things either look like rejects from a torture chamber or castaways from a porn set (perhaps both).

Unfortunately, in the last 2 or so months I’ve “noticed” my arthritic big toe more than I’d like. By “notice” I don’t mean it hurts per se, but after a long run I’m aware of it.

Kind of like that big ole “Piggy that went to market” is making sure I remember to treat him (BTW, do toes have genders) like the prima donna that he is.

Perhaps I should give that big toe a name. How about “Sgt. Hulka”?

Why Sgt. Hulka? Check out the movie STRIPES and you’ll get the reference.

Not to mention that I’ve been “cracking” Sgt. Hulka significantly more often than in days past… and while I’m at it, completely grossing out my girlfriend Lindy.

On top of that, I’ve also “noticed” that the pad on my right foot seems to be a little more tender than normal. Again, not hurting, but like Sgt. Hulka wanting more of my attention.

Rather than “ostrich” things and stick my head in the sand, I decided to get it checked out before it potentially becomes a real problem.

I’ve already paid a small fortune for my races this fall and the last thing I want is to be sidelined.

So, today I paid (keyword “paid”) a visit to my podiatrist.

"Run with me if you want to live."

“Run with me if you want to live.”

As I sat in the waiting room, I thought of all of the potential horrible things that could be wrong with ‘Ole Righty and wondered how’d I look with a cybernetic robot foot (thinking more Terminator than Robocop).

After about 20 minutes (and a few games of Candy Crush Saga) I got called into the back room to recite my entire health history and to get a few X-rays of my starboard side tootsie. Say cheese!

A little side note, that heavy X-ray smock protecting my internal organs and boy bits would certainly give you one helluva workout if you ran while wearing it. But I digress.

Then it was a quick trip back to the examination room where Dr. Wang came in to give me the 411 (and hopefully not the 911).

His initial words: “I want to check first for signs of a stress fracture.”


“Nope, it looks good.”


So after Dr. Wang did some bending and poking (of my feet, you perverts) the prognosis was actually quite good.

It just seems that my right foot around the toe area was rather tight (got a whole new batch of stretches to do).

As for the tenderness on the pad, it seems that Sgt. Hulka has been a little stiff and raising up more, so the pounding (yeah, that makes me laugh too) on my feet has been focused more on that area and my foot was letting me know.

What Instagram filter did they use for this (not my foot, btw).

What Instagram filter did they use for this (not my foot, btw).

The remedy?  The doctor affixed an extra pad to my orthotic to change the angle slightly. He also recommended that when I order a second pair of orthotics in November, that we adjust the angle about 10 degrees.

Yup, 10 degrees… because 9 or 11 degrees would just be crazy, right?

Other than that, the doctor said I’m a running madman and to have fun with my upcoming races.

Works for me.

So as I headed up to the counter to confirm a follow-up visit in September, I felt pretty damn good. No major problems and I’m ready to start my fall schedule of races.

“With insurance, your bill today is $106.”


Did I mention my health insurance (talking to you Blue Shield of California) sucks?

Run healthy… and Run on

Posted on August 21, 2014, in Freaky Foot, General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. If your big toe keeps hurting, you might need to send it to the ER. And you know who you’d need to call? No, not an ambulance . . .

    . . . wait for it . . .

    A big tow truck!

    Ba dump bump.

    I think Sgt. Hulka would be the perfect name. Great reference, I love that movie.

    “Winger, I’ve noticed that you’re always last.”

    “I’m pacing myself, Sergeant.”

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