Yesterday, I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in Chicago and my goal was just to finish. I know! Not a lofty goal. I’ve been experiencing some numbness in the toes of my right foot (my plantar fasciitis foot) and didn’t know who was going to show up at the start line. Fortunately, my good toes did, along with about 35,000 other people. (And don’t get me started on that debacle of a packet-pick-up on Friday!)
As I prepped for the race, I backed-off on my transition to the five-fingers (did not want a set-back, but got one anyway). However, I did do several medium length, for me anyway, four and five mile runs in the Merrells, with absolutely no adverse effects. As for what the heck is going on with my toes? I wish I knew. I’ve always had problems with cold toes during winter running, and also a little bit of numbness in them until I get warmed-up. It could be a circulation problem, or Morton’s neuroma or Raynaud’s or Googlitis—the disease you imagine you have after consulting Dr. Google instead of going to a certified Sports Medicine Physician.
Personally, I think I just over-trained for the race. Rest made everything better. I trained in my minimalist Pumas for the most part, and had some fantastic long runs, for me anyway, seven miles or so, with no issues whatsoever and where I felt really awesome. In hindsight think I should have backed-off more during my taper week. I ran the race five minutes slower than I did last year, which was my first 15K ever and which, you should know, is the longest distance I’ve ever run. However, I was on target for negative 5K splits this year, until I had to stop shortly after mile eight to stretch my calves (I couldn’t feel any of my toes and the balls of my feet started to ache.)
Maybe the numb toes and slower pace are a result of my new foot strike, or maybe the result of over-training (what I suspect) or, maybe, and I hate to say this, my minimalist footwear? I’ll keep you posted!