I Went Anyway

It was one of those days, I went anyway. It’s those days that I hate but are necessary If I do not want it to get the best of me, I went anyway. It is one of those days that pain crept up on me but I went anyway.

I have been dealing with some “unusual” pain the last several months. The pain seems to travel along the top of my foot and through my ankles. I know it’s not a running injury, it’s a clubfoot thing. I suspect it has something to do with my misshaped Tarsal bones. My ankles seem to lock in place with each step resulting in a radiating, stop you in your tracks pain that prevents me from taking my next step. I have been dealing with it for several months now. I am unable to stand up from a sitting position without feeling this pain. I have to stand frozen for a few seconds until my ankles engage, and then I can move forward. As a matter of fact my wife had to help me up the stairs the other night because my feet could not plantar flex up the steps. I normally walk up the stairs sideways.
I attributed it to running to many miles on the road. I normally run on my treadmill which is a low impact treadmill that really helps my pain levels and makes running more manageable. I am tired of training on it though, so I took to the road this week.  I knew the pain was present but I did not want it to interfere with my training, I went anyway. I always run a tempo or fartlek in some type of pain so this was not going to be a big deal, right?
I headed out with hammer heed in hand looking forward to a nice five mile “painful” run. As I started to run I noticed that the pain was getting really intense. I ignored it as usual and moved along. As an endurance athlete with club foot, over the years I have taught myself to ignore the pain and finish what I start. I pushed through the next two miles at a slow pace. The pain worsened until I was forced to walk a few feet. I repeated this until my Garmin hit auto pause, now that’s a slow pace.  I was so mad, I just wanted to have a nice run but I knew that day it was not going to happen, I went any way.  I finished the five miles at slow pace that would make a turtle look like Jesse Owens, but I finished. I limped home the last quarter mile and finished the day with some stretching. My calves swelled and tightened to no ends and my feet took on the pre- surgery “twist/inward” look. I rested with my feet up, compression socks on, and let the pain take its course.
It crept up on me and got me. It was the pain that Ignore on a daily basis.  Some runs are easier then others but I knew this day my run would be miserable and I would be forced to bow to clubfoot gods, I went anyway. I ran stride for stride with the pain until it forced me to stop.  It’s a pain that screams,” Today is not your day, I will ruin your run”. I knew it was there and I took my chances, I went anyway.


  1. Hello Tony! Dont understand that you are able to run so much as a marathon. I, my self have bilateral clubfeet, and I stopped running 10 years ago, ok 48 now, but I have been doing lot of bikecycling, offroad and on road. 100 and up to 540 km races. I feel the same pain you explane. Are you taking any medecine, or natural stuff Omega3 or something to relief in the joint?? Interessed to learn more about how you do it. My other probl to day is my weight! I asume you are a lightweight person. I,m 187 and 115 kg !!- Thanks for iformativ blog. If you like. ad me og FB ! Paul from Oslo, norway.

  2. Hi Paul- Thanks for your question and comment. I really do not take any kind of medication or any other "natural" remedy. I just try to follow a typical sports minded approach to pain associated with injuries and muscle soreness. I rest my feet as much as possible, Ice and soak my feet often in a warm foot bath and stretch. This helps somewhat but not enough to ease the pain of racing and training at such long distances. I recently have been using custom orthotics for my sponsor Digital Orthotics and I am breaking them in now. The are great and help put my feet in the position. But to answer your question, I don't know how I do it either. Its not easy. I just do not want to be limited in my life by a stupid deformity. I have to much life to live!

  3. Hi Tony. You have a positiv attitude! Your right, dont "give up" just because of this minor deformity in our feet. The only thing that I is wondering about, and is afraid of, is to damage the joint to mutch, by overdo the physical activity. I also want to be active, but I see and feel my limitation. Dont you! Paul

  4. Paul,
    I feel the same way you do. I am concerned also about what damage I am doing. So I looked at this way. I can either continue what I do and endure the pain or sit around and worry about the future. Either way I need to be active and try to remain in good shape for my children and family especially my son a fellow clubfooter regardless of a stupid disability. I can not let my limitations rob me of my desire to race and compete. I would have to much to loose sitting around worrying about the future. Clubfoot is not in my opinion a minor disability. Its a serious disabilty that effects the quality of life to some degree. However, its how you decide to live with it that makes a huge differnce in your life! So I encourage you to push on!

  5. This post really struck a chord with me. I was born with a right club foot. I'm 31 now. I love running. During really active workout stretches i will jog my 5 1/2 mile path 4-5x a week. Sometimes the pain at the top of the ankle joint is unbearable. Its very hard to run on back to back days. But i try to grit it out. The pain the next morning is often unbearable. The euphoria when the run is over makes it all worthwhile though, the thought that i will not be limited, or beaten by this stupid deformity. I am in control. I pay the price of frequent pain, but ive learned to embrace it. Thats just the deformity bitching and moaning about my domination of it. Sore loser it is.