The toe pain that I had when I finished the VT 50k was a touch of the tendinitis. The extensor tendons that lift up my big right toe was overworked during the training for the race and then exacerbated by running 5 for five hours.
The tendon seems very minor however we fire these muscles every time we lift our foot off of the ground, flex the ankle and clear the ground of our toes before we make the next step. Then add in running downhill and the toes fire more to slow down the drop of your foot as it hits the ground. These muscles would have to work harder if the calf muscles were tight because it takes more force to pull the foot forward or if the muscles on the anterior shin were weak.
I ran 2 short runs 5 day after the race with mild pain. Then went on a hike, a 6 mile run and a 5k trail race within 4 days. The next day the tendon was squeaking and it was very painful to touch or to lift up my big toe. My friend and fellow PT, Lindsay, told me to take a couple of weeks off because I needed someone else to tell me what I knew.
I have ben stretching the tendons, working on the soft tissue. Doing some core, easy biking and trying to keep busy. But I am getting soft! It is so hard to slow down. Either way, I ran on Saturday for 2.5 miles and it felt great! I'm going to start getting back into a short runs every day or every 2 days and see how it goes.
Tendinitis is tough because you have to wait until the structures are not aggravated, the pain is gone and then gradually return to normal activities. The tough part is that when they pain goes away it usually does not mean the tissue is ready to be worked which is why so many people have a hard time keeping it at bay.
I am skipping the North Conway 1/2 Marathon this weekend which is a bummer. It is this weekend so I will be cheering Andrew on and working the tent that Mountain Center has to stretch out racers.