After this morning's lovely 60-minute run in the rain (which by the way, was not exactly the "rolling hills" we were promised; more like one giant hill down for 30 minutes and then, you guessed it, back up for 30 minutes, but which I ran the whole ENTIRE WAY, despite a wild night of contra dancing*, like the pro that I am, even if I did come in last in my group, I wasn't too far behind), the DC Road Runners brought in a very knowledgeable chiropractor and his sports masseuse to talk about shoes, and stretching, spines, and feet. Yes, it's all about the feet.
We got to talk to him one-on-one afterwards. It was just like having a doctor at a dinner party, who you can pester and bother for free advice. I whipped my shoes and socks off so fast he never knew what hit him. "Take a look at these babies," I urged him, pointing to the giant blisters on the sides of both feet. The blisters I saw the podiatrist about on Tuesday. "Oh," said Dr. Chiropractor, "looks like you've got bunions forming."
Hello? What? Bunions??
I can't possibly have bunions. Only old people have bunions. What the hell is a bunion anyway. I told Dr. Chiro that I just saw the podiatrist on Tuesday, and he said NOT one word about bunions! Dr. Chiro was taken aback. He was mighty sure these were bunions. He showed me how my big toes are not straight. He explained just by watching how I stand that I am—I dunno, standing all f'd up, to compensate for the bunions that I refuse to have. Which throws off my gait. And leads to ITB problems, knee problems, back problems. All of which I have.
This really does look a lot like my foot. Except for the gross toe-crossing thing.
According to Dr. Internet, bunions are "painful swellings that usually develop on the inner side of the foot near the base of the first toe (hallux)." Often genetic (thanks, Mom!); usually found in women; thought also to be caused by high heels (I've been wearing flats since I could walk), or flat feet (I am very proud of my lovely high arches). So, I have these disgusting bumps and they rub against my shoe and that's why I get the blisters. Gross. I think feet are gross in general (except when they are the subject of art.)
No real treatment, except surgery in extreme cases (that would be when your big toe eventually curls itself over the ones next to it), but surgery generally results in limited range of motion, and no more running. (According to my specialist, Dr. Internet. Apparently, I need to check this out.)
I'm deformed. And doomed.
*On a lighter note, I was dragged off to contra dancing last night, held at the lovely Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo park. I say dragged because I'm more of a swing dance girl actually. Big bands. Benny Goodman. Tommy Dorsey. Glenn Miller. Contra dancing? What is that? "Against" dancing? I don't get the name. But off I went, because, despite my deformities, I'm a good sport.
Turns out, contra dancing is quite aerobic! And fun! And the music is cool. Lots of Irish influence. Live band. Each dance lasts for oh, an eternity. Like 15 minutes at least. You get a partner and you are with that person for the entirety of the dance. Well, of course, you say, what else would you expect? But in contra dancing, there's all this moving up and down the line, and do-se-do-ing, and being swung, and you'd think in all that time, at some point, you would permanently switch partners.
But no. Which I generally wouldn't mind. Except, well, you know. Fifteen minutes. That can be a lifetime.
There is also, apparently, a dress code, at least for women: tie-dyed hippie skirt, clunky shoes with black socks (to help with all those bunions, no doubt), preferably topped with a t-shirt about global warming or saving the whales. (I don't think there were a lot of Republicans in the room.)
Anywho, I had loads of fun. One of my friends brought her pedometer with her, and discovered she'd taken 7,000 steps in the course of three dances. I believed her. I had to leave early, though, in order to rest my bunions.