I'm not sidelined...I'm just given a new challenge

Sunday morning I went to the gym with a renewed determination to prepare for the upcoming Race for the Cure 5k here in Indiana. I've done 5k's before, even without being in shape to do them. So, I wasn't concerned that I wouldn't be able to complete the competition. So, to see how far I could go, I set the treadmill to 20 min mile at a 6 incline and at 1 hour. If I could do 3 miles, that last 1/2 mile would be a breeze. 
Changing to new runners every 6 months is recommended

Now mind you, I bought my runners almost a year ago. I love them because they are a style made for people with flat feet and overpronate when they run or walk. Plus, since they are gels, they are super comfy. I don't know how many miles I've logged in these shoes, but I do know that you should replace them every 6 months. Like I said, I had purchased them a year ago. Yeah, from September to the first of this year, I was sidelined with injuries and illnesses, so they didn't have as many miles on them. But for the first 9 months of the year, I was laying it on thick on the elliptical machine and with strength training. 

Now, here I am, no real training or long distance walking since my injury in September (I walked my last 5k in September with ease). I'm on a treadmill doing 20 min miles at a 6 incline (which I was easily able to do before September...but I'm 50 lbs heavier than I was then, too). 45 minutes into my walk, my heel started having a burning sensation. My sock was slipping off my heel and into my shoe. Did I stop. No, I kept walking. 15 minutes later, I was in so much pain that walking was nearly impossible. But I didn't limp or give any indication that there was a problem all the way to the car. 

When I got home, I cleaned up the blister that had formed and placed a Nexcare bandaid on it, as it was recommended for blisters from running/walking. I then put on a clean pair of socks and the runners once again (you should never wear your runners outside of running/walking...they need time to air dry). Also, the socks I put on were identical to the ones that my shoes had eaten while I was walking. That's a sign they are not appropriate for this type of workout. I should have known this as my boots would even eat them as I wore them with those. 

The next day, I took it easy and didn't do as much exercise. Just some light walking trying not to push it due to the amount of pain I was in. That night, I soaked in a hot epsom salt bath. Oh, how that felt good on the sore heel. I then dried it and placed a gauze pad on the blistered area and taped it in place. That felt so much better. 

The next morning, as I headed to the gym with a bandaged heel, good socks, and the same runners, I contemplated what type of cardio I could do. The treadmill was out, as was the bike. I had thought about the row machine, but I had never used it before and the trainers were busy with their trainees. 

So, I opted for the elliptical, something I had not used in over 6 months. I was afraid of how the circular motion would be like on my heel, so I tested it out first, and was surprised at how easily I could do it without pain in my heel. The next fear was if I could even do it after not using it for so long. Before I became adept at using the elliptical, I could barely get 5 minutes in without having to use my inhaler. But surprisingly, I got through all 30 minutes plus the five minute cool down that feels more like a torture because it is harder to work the machine at lower reps. 

When I got home, I took my shower, and left the bandage off and opted to wear mules to work. Smart move as it allowed the sore to breath and heal without any additional irritation. And it allowed me to walk without limping or cringing with each step. However, it was too late. The blister was now an open wound (remember the Nexcare bandaid...yeah, it tore the blister open when I took it off) and looking angrier and angrier by the minute. 

I woke up not feeling too great this morning, so I made a trip to the immediate care clinic in my area. After the doctor had checked me out for the inevitable sinus infection (it is allergy season after all), I had him look at my heal. It turns out that the blister wasn't just a blister, but actually a burn that had blistered from the socks slipping into the shoe and wearing old runners. With that information, he prescribed a strong, topical antibiotic to protect me from getting a MRSA infection (long story short, I've had it, it almost killed me). He then had the nurse come in, clean it really well (that hurt like the Dickens!) and then bandage it as well. 

Since then, the pain has eased and I am able to step a little better with a different pair of socks and a pair of sneakers that I don't wear to workout in. I also went online, researched runners for those with flat feet and overpronation, and wound up ordering a pair of Asics from Kelly's Runners World's online store. I should have them in about 5 days, so in the meantime, I'll be using only the elliptical if I get the itch to workout some more, and being more mindful of my footwear while both working out and being casual.