Category Archives: Damian Will Eat Your Soul

Barely wonked

I went and got fitted for my fancy new shoe orthotics on Monday. These orthotics, which based on the cost and amount of time it will take for them to appear in my life (3.5 weeks) are being hand-woven from silken unicorn manes, are going to transform my feet into something magical.

Before we got down to brass tacks, the orthotics lady (I don’t know her official title: foot goddess?) asked for a brief description.

I may have described my feet as deformed and “seriously wonky.” When I removed my shoes and socks, she said, “your feet are barely wonked.” And that when I knew I loved her. (I have had a string of amazing luck with the professionals in my life lately. Not a lemon yet this summer.)

I beamed! My feet were barely wonked! And Foot Goddess would know! She probably looks at feet all day. (Gah, that would be a horrible job.)

And then she took a closer look. “Wait a minute,” she said. “What’s wrong with your little toes?”

Alarmed, I looked at my feet. They’d been fine that morning. Wait a minute, they still are fine. Aren’t they?

“Ummmm…nothing,” was my exceedingly clever reply.

“They’re really short. Practically non-existent. How do you walk without falling over?”

I knew the answer to this one. “Oh, that! I don’t much. I fall over quite frequently! I’m known for it in fact.” I managed to shut up before I told her about my online name and how I came by it. (Hint: I’m not the gazelle on crack because of my unmistakable grace.)


“I’m not surprised,” she said. “May I see you walk?”

So I walked about. Up and down the hall. “Are you walking normally?” she asked. At this point, I thought about throwing in something a little silly, but I did not. Not everyone uses humor when they’re uncomfortable.

“Yes,” I answered. I was considering demoting her from Goddess of Feet to simply Tsar of Feet.

“You have basically no stability due to the fact that your little toes are virtually non-functional.”

I suggested prosthetic toes, but that idea was quickly dismissed.

(Aren’t you glad you know that’s an actual thing?)

In the end, we decided that since there was nothing to do about my feet (and she never did rescind her diagnosis of ‘barely wonked’ so I’m sticking with that), we might as well just put them in the weird foam box to get fitted for the orthotics.

And so, I did.

That’s a rather anti-climatic ending, isn’t it? I feel like I should end with a joke.

What do you call a dinosaur with stinky feet?

My feet look slightly better than that. Win!

The Carnival of the Grotesque

I am back from my follow-up appointment with the sports medicine doctor. The good news is that I do not have a stress fracture. The bad news is that my feet are severely deformed, grotesque even. Small children shrink in horror and although I wish that this was merely an allegorical reference to the state of today’s politics, sadly the deformity of my feet is neither a satirical literary trope nor is it a reference to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art. (Etymology kinda turns me on.)

Good news: I do not need to be booted and resting my feet is not necessary for healing.

Bad news: My feet make Wesley’s threats to Prince Humperdinck seem angelic in comparison.

What this means for me: immediate amputation, followed by isolation to protect innocents from the sight of my twisted, misshapen feet.

Dramatic rendering of my right foot.

Real Talk

My feet are weirdly shaped. I’ve known this for ages. My toes do not lay flat, and instead curl up. I have a small tailor’s bunion on my left foot. The one on my right foot was NOT small and was removed in October 2010. That same surgery involved breaking my fifth metatarsal and putting pins in to straighten out the hammer toe issue.  ALL my toes are messed up. The curled up toes are creating an excess amount of pressure on the joints which has been exacerbated by running on hard surfaces (this issue only popped up when I started running lots of miles on asphalt and sidewalks) and has caused fluid to pool in the joints.

Oooh - I have metal in my feet. I'm practically the bionic woman.

Oooh – I have metal in my feet. I’m practically the bionic woman.

My official diagnosis: bilateral hammertoes with right sided metatarsalgia.

Treatment for now: custom orthotics. Also? I’m a gonna have to get rid of most of my shoes. No more heels (I’m assuming special occasions will continue to be okay). If the orthotics do not produce good results in 4-6 weeks, I am to get some kind of witchcraft done to my feet (some kind of electrodes and cortisone concoction).

Also, ice every night, anti-inflammatories twice a day, and not pushing through the pain. There are no restrictions on what I do, as long as it doesn’t hurt. So, if I can get to a place where walking doesn’t hurt anymore, I can start running again. However, the good doctor thinks that there are a few things I can do to minimize the likelihood of a recurrence.

  1. Move away from the minimalistic running shoes.
  2. As mentioned, high heels for daily wear are out.
  3. Choose softer running surfaces (trails and tracks)
  4. Be sensible about mileage increases

In addition, something I think will help is losing the rest of the excess weight I’m carrying about. I’d like to get back to this:


I know HOW to lose weight. I’ve done it before. I lost 70 lbs between early 2003 & mid 2008. (40 in 2003, and the remaining 30 slowly disappeared over the next 3 years.) I lost all fifty of the pounds I gained while pregnant over the course of about 18 months.  (Most of it pretty quickly, what with the actual having of the baby.)

3 weeks pre-Bean Day after gaining 53 lbs in six months.

3 weeks pre-Bean Day after gaining 53 lbs in six months.

So, what’s remaining is a niggling 25 lbs that slowly crept up between my marathon and getting pregnant. It happened when I stopped running because of my foot injury, and then I stopped caring as much (and although correlation ? causation, it was also during this time period that I discovered a deep and abiding love an appreciation for IPA).

It comes in pints!

It comes in pints!

I am not going to blog incessantly about weight loss, because I don’t want a number on a scale to be my end all and be all goal, and I don’t want to obsess over it. But, I do want to be healthy and I do want to run again.

Also, I am a planner, and so I am going to make a foot health plan.

  1. Make appointment for custom orthotics (done! It’s August 18).
  2. Get rid of all shoes that are size 6.
  3. Get rid of all athletic shoes that are size 6.5.
  4. Get rid of all but two pairs of heels that are size 6.5.
  5. Find two pairs of cute flattish shoes that will offer adequate support to my deformed limbs but will not shame me in public or cause my sartorially gifted friends to shun me.
  6. Go to nutritionist (appointment is August 5) and follow all advice.
  7. Walk as much as I’m able, swim 2x/week; recumbent bike 2-3x/week; weights 2-3x/week. And every bit of sweat counts. It doesn’t have to be an hour.


  1. Painless trail running by Thanksgiving.
  2. Achieving a fit and happy body.
  3. Developing a positive and balanced attitude about food and exercise.
  4. Being a great role model for this guy:
Sand is not part of a well-balanced diet, Bean!

Sand is not part of a well-balanced diet, Bean!


PS – Any help in cute, supportive flat finding would be most welcome.



Marathon Training Update

The update is there is no marathon training. In fact, I have decided that I will never do marathon training again.

I am quitting. I am a quitter.

I am trying to be okay with that.

I’ve been having persistent foot pain since I ramped up my mileage in April. In fact, it got so bad that I only ran 18 miles in May and June. Total.

Finally I sucked it up and called the sports medicine doc. I had x-rays on July 7 and the diagnosis was probably stress fracture in the 2nd metatarsal. I had an MRI on July 11. And then, I did what I like to do, and avoided. I didn’t call for my follow-up appointment. I just kept on going. My foot is NOT getting better, though. (It’s the same foot that I had surgery on in October 2010. This foot is evil.)

I did eventually call for a follow-up appointment. On July 23. The appointment is tomorrow morning. I’m not sure what I’m hoping to find out. That it isn’t a stress fracture and that I’m just a crazy person? That it is a stress fracture and there’s hope that I’ll run again someday (or at least walk without pain)?

Regardless (at least for the foreseeable future) I am done with long distance running. I want to run when I feel like it for however far I feel like going. I want to spend time on the trails without worrying about how it’s impacting my training schedule. I suck at training for things, and between having a young child and working a lot, it’s not where I want to direct my energy (not to mention money).

Eleven mile trail run before I damaged my foot, i.e. happy times!


I am a quitter. And I think maybe that’ll be okay.

Three (3!) Things Thursday!

1. Have I told you how much I love fall? Because I do. I love the cool overnights, and the changing leaves, and the peeks of sunlight, and the fog. I need to get a picture of the view I have every morning on my drive to work, but unfortunately, it’s hard to take good photos while I’m driving.  However, I stole this photo from the internet, and it’s pretty damn close (except that I am typically driving OVER the bridge and not floating around underneath it).


2. I also love soup. All soups. And this time of year, when it’s time to curl up under blankets and sip cocoa and cider, I want to have soup every day. However, I hate soup from a can, and am too lazy to make soup from scratch every day. I need to find some excellent recipes that can be canned so that I can make pints and pints of soup. Doesn’t this look amazing?

3. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my Damian-ectomy. To celebrate, I wore a pair of high heeled boots for the first time in way over a year. For an entire day. And there was walking! And I didn’t want to amputate at the end of the day.

Toesday – now with 95% fewer shoes pictures and 0% more foot pictures

I have no shoes for you today. I am too depressed for shoes. Why, you might ask?

Because of these:

They do not fit well. They hurt. And while pre-surgery, I was willing to put up with some pain in the name of beautiful shoes, not anymore. Especially not when they cost that much. So, back to kate they go. 🙁

Also, Nordstrom’s is all “buy your fall shoes!” and I’m not ready yet! (Unless you are – let me know – I take requests.)

*le sigh*

So, I am going to talk about feet instead. Because it’s still thematic.

My feet have been pretty good. I’ve been half-assedly doing my PT exercises, which is way better than the no-assed previous commitments to PT. (In fact, last night I even got my exercise sheet out and put it on my desk and looked at it!)

The running is going reasonably well. I hope. I am running 14 miles on Sunday. I need more biking & swimming, but am getting a little of that in, too.

What I really need more of (besides time) is strength training. That is my big FAIL in the exercise world.

I have been interrupted by actual work about a half dozen times since starting this post, and the idea of doing a fall shoe preview is growing on me (since I keep accidentally clicking on the Nordstrom boot browser). BUT – I will hold strong. No boots ’til after Labor Day (we have to have some standards, right?)

So – anyways, thanks for reading super stream of consciousness blog post of the day.

In summation: shoes = good; my kate spade shoes = bad; fall boots in July = bad but something to look forward to; feet = good; my performance of PT exercises = D+; this blog post = F.

(Did you like how I switched to a letter grade system at the end?)