I think my body is boycotting me this week. After running 21 miles on Sunday it was not ready to do any sort of speed work last night, let alone 7 miles of it. Aaaaaand I have another 7 miles of speed work tonight – oy! Secretly though, I love it. I love pushing my body outside its limits and seeing the results. (Now, if only my hamstrings would play nice…)
If you remember, last week I mentioned I had a really painful spot on my left foot after my 18 mile run. Painful to the point that if I even brushed up against something it sent a shooting pain into my toe. Not exactly comfortable, but it went away after a few days. But I didn’t want to ignore any pain so I begrudgingly put shoe shopping on my list of things to do last week. If you detected a note of sarcasm with my use of ‘begrudgingly’ you’d be right. I love shoe shopping!
Saturday, I laced up my current ‘problematic’ shoes and headed to my favorite local running store, Run-N-Tri, to talk shop. Finding a local running store with knowledgeable staff that you can trust is a must.
As in any sport, the proper equipment is essential. For running, this would include your footwear. I can’t stress enough how important it is to find the proper fitting shoe. Ill-fitting shoes can cause anything from blisters and jacked up toes, to foot / knee pain, even back pain. This is something I had no idea about when I first started. I thought that I could go into any chain store and as long as the shoes were ‘name’ brand (i.e. Nikes, Adidas, ect) I’d be fine. Wrong!
Each person has an individual running style and the first step to finding the proper fit is to get your gait analyzed. Most running stores will do this for free but even if you have to pay for it, it’s worth it! Having your gait analyzed might sound scary but it’s not. It’s really easy. You just stand on a pressure plate to determine how you distribute your weight and then you run barefoot on a treadmill while the shoe specialist analyzes your specific running style or ‘gait’. From there they’ll put you in different shoes until they find the right fit. Also, don’t be surprised when they put you in a shoe that’s ½ a size to a full size bigger than you typically wear. Don’t worry, your feet didn’t do some freak gigantor growth thing over night; the extra room just allows your feet to swell while running.
So what was the prognosis of my trip to Run-N-Tri? According to the owner, since I’m putting “stupid, crazy miles” on my feet (almost 40 a week) they’re just going to hurt. Fantastic… Not quite what I was looking for, I know it’s the truth. I did have my gait re-analyzed and he noticed that I tend to toe off with my left foot which could be causing the pressure sore. I need some new shoes for the marathon so he put me in some fantastically colored shoes that have a wider toe box in hopes to alleviate the pressure spot. My other shoes are still good for shorter distances; anything under 15 miles.
I took the new kicks for a test drive on Sunday’s 21 miler and they felt fantastic! I was worried about wearing them for the entire run so I ran 10 miles in my older shoes and then switched into my new shoes for the last 11 miles. I’m happy to report that I have no foot pain! I still have a decent amount of hamstring pain from the distance but my feet are happy as clams. Can clams really be happy? I never understood that quote…
I’ve been really lucky in my training so far to have only experienced a mild hiccup like this. With only 4 ½ weeks to go, I feel good and pray that I don’t have any more hiccups. I have a ½ marathon in two weeks and then bring on the tapering!
Question: Have you ever had your gait analyzed? What is your fav running shoe?