Listen To Your Feet: My Feet And Ironman Saved My Life From An Aortic Aneurysm In 2010

Just imagine if I hadn’t listened to my feet in 2010

If I’d gone to a doctor to solve my running foot pain!

Instead of deciding to listen to my feet.

And work it out for myself.

Then I needed a doctor!

Imaginary scenario concerning heading home from the doctor to be dead. Unless the doctor is an aortic surgeon in their spare time. Even then??

FitOldDog: Doc, I was in this Ironman race, and I was at about mile-10 of the run, when the soles of my feet hurt enough to stop me running. If I walked the pain went away in a minute or so, and would come back if I tried to run. What do you think happened. I haven’t had those symptoms since, even on short runs.

listen to your feet

Your feet have plenty to tell you, every day. Break through the conditioning glass wall of memes and assumptions about foot pain symptoms, and listen to your feet, for heaven’s sake.

Potential Responses By Any Doctor I’ve Ever Encountered, Even Excellent Ones:

  • Kevin, you’re 67 years old, don’t you think Ironman is asking too much of your feet, or your body for that matter. By the way, how far do you go in an Ironman race.
  • Let me take a look at your feet. Um! They look fine. It was probably due to your shoes rubbing, or perhaps your plantar fascia was under some strain. I suggest you do shorter races or a different sport. Have you tried swimming? If it continues, you might need anti-inflammatory medicine.
  • I run a lot, and sometimes my feet will hurt after long distances. Maybe you need arch supports or a gel lining in your shoes. Are your shoes too loose, perhaps?
  • You seem to be in remarkable health for your age. I would wait to see if it returns, myself. I suspect that it’s all part of the aging process.

The correct response:

  • Your feet look fine, maybe they weren’t getting enough blood for running. Perhaps we should send you to a vascular specialist?
listen to your feet

Click on the image to find a tool that actually does make your brain listen to your feet. Yes! I’m an affiliate, and it’s the only product I endorse this way. Because they actually work – weird socks. I won’t mention their name, because a friend said he’d stop reading my stuff if I advertised anything in my narrative. What the heck?

In all humility, it’s only because it was my feet, and my training, and my having veterinary medical training, that I worked it out. Sheer luck to a large degree.

I hear almost daily of people with weird symptoms going to a doctor or emergency department, only to be sent home with pain pills or sage advice, to die of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

We’ve forgotten how to listen to our feet.

Not me though. Not after that lesson.

For instance:

I had a long bike ride planned for today, 70-80 miles. It’s part of my training for Cozumel Ironman, in November. But I noticed that my feet were aching as I got out of bed. They didn’t hurt. They ached. And several hours later they still ache. I don’t need my coat hanger neurostimulator to find the problem. I just checked out my hips. Boy, are they tight. Tight all over the place. Probably ramping up training a little too fast for sufficient recovery. Another joy of aging.

What would you do! Ride? Well, if you’re 30 years old, go ahead. But I’m 75. Bad idea. I substituted a one-hour stretching session at the gym. Why the gym? Because our dogs bug the hell out of me for attention when I stretch.

Why’s he down here with us?

Must be he wants to talk, lick lick wag wag.

listen to your feet

Most wonderful picture of Willbe, our lovey yellow lab, by Amanda.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.