What Is Morton’s Neuroma?

Monday, 6 June 2011  |  Therapy + Injury

I consulted a new doctor today upon the advise of a triathlete doctor friend. I entered his clinic expecting the worst. I had mentally prepared myself for terrible news: a fracture, a shoebox cast, and no running for over 2 months. (That’s what I get for scaring myself with my own “expert” xray readings. Now I know I can never be a doctor. Sigh.) All I prayed for was permission to swim. That’s all.

You can imagine my surprise when, after pinching and pressing on the injured left foot, the doctor tells me: There’s no fracture. My guess is that it’s Morton’s Neuroma.

I was ready to jump for joy and pop the wine bottle to celebrate along with the birthday boy hubby and swim squad buddies Adel and Bic who came with me, but then, I had to stop and ask: Wait a minute. What’s Morton’s Neuroma? And, is that better than a fracture?


Runner’s World describes it as a “pinched nerve between the metatarsal bones in your foot.” Yes, it’s a nerve problem, not a muscle or bone problem.


It could be Morton’s Neuroma if you feel a tingling sensation in your toes (which I used to feel periodically after long runs) and pain in the ball of your foot which can lead up to your toes (which I feel now every time I take a step!)


– Wearing high heels. (Occasionally guilty)
– Wearing tight shoes while participating in high-impact sports like running. (Frequently guilty)
– You’ll be more prone to this if you have bunions, flat feet, or hammer toes. (Bunions and flat feet. Forever guilty)


My doctor did this:
– He injected steroids and anaesthesia to relieve the pain
– He prescribed Celebrex and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
– He advised me not to wear my shoes too tightly
– He ordered rest from running for one week. If his prognosis is correct, I should be well in a week. If there’s still pain, he will order an MRI next week. (Positive thinking, guys!)
– And best of all, he allowed me to swim! Woohoo!

I would’ve done cartwheels in the doctor’s clinic if I could when he shared the good news. Or, if the hubby was not around, I would’ve hugged that good doctor after calling him “my miracle doctor” (which I really did!) No words could describe how happy I was—and still am—over this news.

For now, I am in full bed rest—well, until this evening—which is truly a major feat for me. I am relieved. I am thankful. And, boy oh boy, am I blessed to have the chance to run again soon.

What Does Not Kill Me Will Only Make Me Stronger

Sunday, 5 June 2011  |  Therapy + Injury

C’mon sing with me and Kanye…

As much as I detest Kanye for treating Taylor Swift so rudely, I would have to admit that his voice—and that song of his above—has been playing on my mind almost the entire day.

What doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger.

As soon as we arrived from Bohol, I headed straight for an xray, the results of which I’ll present to Dr. Canlas tomorrow when I visit him. I’m no doctor, but I am freaking out over what I’ve seen below…


Does it look like a fracture to you? I’m trying to be optimistic about this, but it looks like I fractured my middle toe, doesn’t it?  Well, I can tell you this, it definitely feels like it.

After seeing the results this afternoon, I gave myself 30 minutes to be completely worried and depressed over this as I binged on a Starbucks oatmeal cookie and tamarind candies. After that, I took control and allowed Kanye to win me over.

What doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger.

What doesn’t cripple me will only make me a better runner.

What keeps me from running for now will only make me want to run even more.

Let’s see what tomorrow will bring.

A Cruel Joke

Tuesday, 31 May 2011  |  Bullish Insights

I wish someone was pulling my leg.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  And, after coming from my doctor this morning, I’ve learned that something else was pulled—my muscles.  Two of them, to be exact.

Last Thursday was like any other day.  Jun, Lit and I met at the track for speedwork.  But, there was one particular thing I did different that morning: I wore new shoes. I had my brand new Men’s K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Light on.  I was thrilled—as I always am about new running gear—but, as I walked on the track in them, something just didn’t feel right.  It didn’t feel as comfortable as the Women’s shoe. One look at the toebox and I knew it was too spacious. It definitely felt wider, too.  In hindsight, I should’ve listened to my instincts (as well as the sound of my left foot impacting the ground which, as I voiced out to my friends, didn’t sound that good!)

We did 3 x 800s and we were going on our fourth.  Just after the curve, I felt a sudden stabbing pain beneath my toes.  I slowed to a stop and told them to go ahead.  I tried to walk, but felt pain even when walking.  Immediately, I had it massaged at the track.  Then, I plunged into the pool for a 1.5k swim—the longest in my entire lifetime!—which temporarily distracted me from worries over the injury.

I was optimistic.  I thought, like a bad nightmare, I could act like it never happened after a couple of days of rest and subsequently proceed with my scheduled long run, 35k on Sunday, the longest run before Phuket Marathon.  I was wrong. I didn’t cover my run.  And, by Monday (yesterday), it had swelled after just an hour or two walking in a mall.  In full panic mode, I saw my doctor this morning.

GOOD NEWS: He said I pulled two muscles: my middle toe and my muscle near my shins.  All I need is a week of rest.

BAD NEWS: Phuket is only 2 weeks away.  By the time I recover, it will be time to taper.

While I ponder on what to do for the next two weeks, allow me to share lessons learned from this sad experience (so you won’t need to bang your head against the wall saying: “What the hell were you thinking?!” as I want to do a million times over now):

  1. Never experiment with shoes 1 month prior to the race. I knew this! But, with my shoes worn out and dirty, vanity (and perhaps hygiene haha!) got the best of me. I was embarrassed to use those old shoes in public and rotated among Newton racers, Brooks Glycerin, and the Men’s Kwicky Blade Light just weeks before the marathon.  When you’ve found the right shoe, stick with it.  If you must replace it, buy the same exact model and the same size.  (Thanks to Planet Sports for sending my beloved Women’s Kwickly Blade Light over yesterday. I stick to this one for now.)
  2. Cross Train. If all you have is running and you get injured, workouts stop completely.  But, if you have other sports that will maintain your fitness level, then you will be less frustrated and angry while you’re waiting for full recovery.  Swim, bike, run in a pool, take a yoga class.  Do whatever it takes to keep you fit and happy.  Thank God I have swimming right now to keep me sane. You must know how I turn into a monster when I don’t get to workout!
  3. Trust your instincts. If you go for a workout and something just doesn’t feel right—whether it’s a tight hamstring or you’re feeling slightly under the weather—take it easy that day or stop altogether.  Your body is speaking to you and you better listen!
  4. Enjoy the break. I have to admit, there’s a small part of me that is enjoying the brief leave from the rigorous workouts the past months.  Every week, I’ve been running 4x, swimming 3 to 4x, and doing strength training at the gym 2x.  With the past few days break from the runs (not the swim which I absolutely love nowadays!), my pace has slowed, weight has slightly increased, but there’s more time to breathe and relax. A friend said a one week injury leave made him stronger when he got back into the game. I’m hoping it’ll be the same for me. Crossing my fingers…and injured toe, too!

DO YOU WANT A MEN’S KSWISS KWICKY BLADE LIGHT? I’m giving mine away.  Only used for 5km. Men’s US size 7.5.  Remember, this is for MEN!  The first one to comment expressing his interest below, gets the shoe.  BUT, when we meet, you must show me that the shoe will fit you and only you. (TBR reserves the right to award the prize to the winner she deems fit and deserving of the prize.)

Singapore Marathon, Here I Come!

Thursday, 3 December 2009  |  Bullish Insights

In a couple of minutes, I’ll be packing for Singapore. Hubby and I take the earliest flight out tomorrow morning and head back to Manila Sunday evening. The kids will enjoy a 2-night slumber party at the Grandparents’ with their cousins (so hopefully they don’t even miss us!)

How am I feeling? Excited and Nervous with a capital N. My heart skips a beat when I think of the full marathon, but my palms also get all sweaty and I forget to breathe for a couple of seconds when I think of my knee.

Just a couple of days ago, I felt minor knee pain and some tightness in the ITB, same ol’ injuries that have plagued me whenever I train long and hard.  I have been stressing over it for what feels like a year (when it’s really just been less than 48 hours).  My poor hubby is probably even more anxious as he’ll have to hear about all this on the 3-hour flight tomorrow.

Despite my concerns, I’m trying to stay optimistic.  Happy thoughts! Positive thinking!  Think: light and loose muscles! (A friend says if I think my ITB is tight, they’ll get even tighter!)  I remind myself that I’ve been here before, I’m a fighter, and I’m smart enough to know what provides relief: foam rolling, stretching, and ice on the knee thrice a day. Laugh all you want, but I’ve even been talking to my ITB, begging the muscles to give me a break, while I gingerly massage them with my hands. Tonight, I’ll spare them no mercy; I’ll give them a deep tissue massage and hopefully get them out of my life for good, or at least for the next few days. If all this doesn’t work, then…uhm…I am seriously screwed on race day. Pray for me, will you?

As I’ve said, I’ve got to pack for my first official marathon. Check out my next post on what to pack for a race abroad.

For quick updates on my Singapore trip (in case I don’t have time to blog), follow me on (click on the link below):



A New Leaf

Thursday, 25 June 2009  |  Bullish Insights

Funny how I feel like I’m starting anew right smack in the middle of the year.  Amid the chaos caused by H1N1 and the storm Feria, I sit here typing with a sense of stability, fortitude, and an eagerness to move forward with my running.

For over 6 months (yes, it was that long), I dealt with runner’s knee, ITBS, post-tib tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis all on my left leg due to my flat feet.  And, all that time, I felt like I was in limbo.  I could not commit to any training program nor plan for any race.  I didn’t know what problem would crop up next.  The physical pain from injuries were easy  to take.  It was the emotional stress that was pure torture—having a dream marathon stolen from me and worse not knowing when I could lace up again without worries.  

That’s all over now.  There hasn’t been any pain for over a month.  I’ve got a race in mind for the end of August and I have a running program that will prepare me well enough for it.  It feels good to adhere to a running program again (I started this week)—pencilling in a weekly plan into my journal and ticking this off with a pen once accomplished; it’s been too long since I’ve done that.  

While it’s raining outside, the skies are bright on my front.  I can once again dream of how far I can go with my feet.