Foot Pain: OK. So I finally got to attend the Heel Pain class held at my local Kaiser facility. Based on the descriptions provided by the podiatrist the needle-sharp stabbing pain in my right heel (bottom) is indeed plantar fasciitis. Phooey. And the pain under the ball of my left foot, specifically at the base of my second toe, is in fact metatarsalgia. I was able to self-diagnose these two issues with the help of two publications:
1.) "Fixing Your Feet: Injury Prevention and Treatments for Athletes," John Vonhof (5th ed., 2011, Wilderness Press), www.fixingyourfeet.com;
2.) "Foot Owner's Manual: A Guide to Good Foot Care," Krames Patient Education (c. 2000, printed 2008).
And because I try to be cautious, I followed up that initial reading with an appointment with my primary care physician, who ordered X-rays for both feet, and then set me up with my Heel Pain class appointment. After the class today I was able to view the X-rays of my feet and the podiatrist pointed out that the second and third toes on my left foot (and most certainly on my right foot, too, I'm just not looking at my naked feet at the moment) are actually longer than my big toe. It could also be said that my big toes are both short. Since the bones in those toes are longer than my big toe extra pressure is being exerted on the metatarsal heads of those toes. In my case it only appears to be an issue on my left foot. The podiatrist recommended I use a metatarsal pad in my shoe. Since I had the forethought to bring in my running shoes (complete with Spenco insert) he was able to point out how my arch support already has a built-in metatarsal pad, it's just smaller than the ones he recommends I install in my shoe. I was able to pick up a pair from the Orthopedics desk, size Small. We'll see how these work out for me.
In the meantime, I expect I will need to give running a break till at least the end of the month in order to give my plantar fasciitis a chance to heal. This also means no StairMaster, tread climber, or elliptical, but I can still use my bicycle, the stationary bike at the gym, the weight machines, and the pool. The podiatrist did not recommend jumping rope as part of my CrossFit training due to the pressure it will place on the metatarsal heads on my left foot. However, so far I have not experienced any pain during that activity, so we'll see how long that lasts. The benefits of jumping rope include: improved balance and agility, plus building up your calves, feet and ankles.
CrossFit: I had my second training session on Friday, April 6th. Again, I was very winded and had to rest a couple of times. I was much better at the rope jump activity this time around so I was pretty pleased with that. In fact, I went to Sports Authority after my session and bought my own jump rope, so I can practice on my own. I also bought a pair of swim goggles, since I can't find my old clear pair. I have a pair that are dark tinted for outdoor use, but the pool area is pretty dimly lit, so I felt a clear pair would be more useful. Among the exercises my trainer had me do: jump rope; Kettlebell Snatch; Walking Lunges, carrying a (10)lb. kettlebell (which looks kinda' like Elmer Fudd sneaking through the woods); sit-ups on a sit-up board (20); wall push-ups (25).
Note to self: Get digital copies of my foot X-rays to share with the