Woman + Runner + Fighter

Follow a cavewoman on her fitness journey.

VFFs and Foot Pain

Posted by cavewomanrunner on July 27, 2009

So I have the first somewhat bad news to report about running in my Vibrams. 😦

Since my last post I have completed another three runs with my VFF classics. The first run was a short one on dirt trails in the hills. The back of my right heel still ached a bit. Halfway through my run I tightened the back strap instead of loosening it. That seemed to help, so I think there’s a bit of leeway between my heel and the strap that rubs. I also had a guy on a bike ask me if I was running barefoot! I just smiled as he sped by!

The second run was a short road run (I wanted to run longer, but the heat and trying to fix my dumb sprinklers prevented me from getting in my full run). The run was so short and fast (I felt like I was flying at first) that I really didn’t have any complaints.

The third run was different, perhaps because I was rushing (I was again running at 10pm, in the heat, and dealing with some emotional stress). I pushed hard, running on mostly sidewalks. About three miles into it, I could feel pain in the ball of my left foot. I think this is again related to me compensating for my right ankle injury by placing more weight on the left side of my body. I finished the five mile run, but when I took off my VFFs, I had a nice blood blister the size of a nickel on the bottom of my left foot. It didn’t hurt much, though.

Unfortunately, that’s not my only foot issue at this point.

I woke up the next morning quite sore on my right foot and ankle. It hurt to even bear weight. The more I moved around, it loosened up a bit and felt better. Yet the pain persisted the entire weekend. It’s now four days later and it still hurts to walk. The pain is localized to the top part of my foot, close to the ankle. It smarts especially when I walk. I looked up basic foot anatomy and, from my best guess, I think the pain is coming from the inferior extensor retinaculum. The pain doesn’t feel like a fractured bone, it’s more like muscle soreness or a pulled tendon. It does hurt though!

I ran in my “regular” running shoes last night (only did 5 miles instead of 10). I could run, but not without pain. I have a race in five days, so I’m going to back off of the VFFs and try to get my foot feeling better for the race day.

I do not think this pain is due to the VFFs. It’s from my previous injury and me not running with the proper strides, placing more weight on my left side. I also ran late at night when I was upset. My form was probably all over the place. Not the smartest move, I’ll admit! I’m hoping that my previous injury is not going to hinder me transitioning to VFFs. I may just need to take things more slowly and really focus on my gait. I think only time is going to tell on this one. I’m hoping this is just a temporary bump in the road.

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3 Responses to “VFFs and Foot Pain”

  1. CRK said

    Not all pain comes from injury. Menstrual pain and migraines are two examples. Another is called Tension Myositis syndrome. You might want to look into it. http://tmswiki.wetpaint.com/

    I hope you get it figured out! 🙂

  2. Hate to say it, but after my first run in Vibrams I experienced pain in the exact same spot – top, outside portion of foot. Also feels like a muscle or ligament strain. I can feel it especially when my foot is flat on the ground and I try to lift my toes upward. I’m guessing it’s a strain of the toe extensors and/or their tendons. My pain isn’t intense, and I can run without a problem, but it’s definitely something I did in the Vibram run. Need to back off and ease in more slowly – let my feet adapt.

    • cavewomanrunner said

      Hi Peter, I’m somewhat glad to hear I’m not alone in this, but sadden to hear others are having foot issues. How long ago did your foot start hurting? Has the pain gone away? Are you still running in Vibrams or barefoot? I do think I did too much, too fast in the Vibrams and am paying the price, but I’m also frustrated that after two weeks, the pain is not subsiding and I cannot run. I’d really like to hear your updates (I also really like your blog)!

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