My training and racing ambitions have been put on hold because of the remergence of my rheumatoid arthritis. Which is obviously over the years knew could happen and dreaded. It has been happening over the last 2 years mainly in my hands. After Sundays's bike ride my left hand was crippled and I immediately had to go and get some anti-inflammatories.
This is one of the reasons my motivation for training has been diminished - it's just so hard racing with one hand, not being able to strip your wetsuit off or put in the proper effort whilst swimming, get out of the pool easily. At present it is really bad in my left hand - although there are good days and bad days.
I have also been having a lot of pain in my feet and stiffness in my back. I have a gouty big left toe although it was never this bad and some swollen toes on my left foot, which I've never had before and pain and swelling around the ankles which I'm not sure is arthritis.
For years I ran with custom orthotics, in fact I wore them almost all the time for 8 years because a podiatrists told me too for plantar fasicitis. I feel they should have been telling me to go barefoot. About 18 months ago I ditched the orthotics and last year I ran the most I've ever ran since ironman in 1994. The shoes I used were old supportive ones and then in March I switched to less supportive ones but new. In born to run the author mentions the research that move into newer bouncier shoes causes injuries.
To cut along story short - afetr no running at all for 3 months I started barefoot or minimalist shoe walking and lots since we came back. The walking or running barefoot/minimalist shoes is like a workout for your feet and core muscles.
I have noticed a huge difference in my feet. Gaps between my toes as the toes are assuming their natural position not the position they've been forced to adopt through conventional shoe wearing and arches are higher. But I've still had a lot of pain and swelling, mainly on the inside of the ankle and there was heel pain (probably the plantar facisitis) which I've just realised that I haven't felt for a while (one of the reasons for strengthening my feet in the first place) and a lot of stiffness in my back.
I have 2 theories - One it is all arthritis connected and I've just got to live with it until it settles down again. And two (my preferred optimistic theory) - it is my feet and body realigning and strengthening itself after being forced into unnatural position because of the orthotics.
However I have read a lot about the benefits of going barfoot but I've come across any stories of the kind of 'realigning' I'm going through.
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