On Saturday I thought a lot about my latest shoe issues: It seems that the size of running shoes, which I have been wearing for the past few years are now… well…short. I don’t know what is happening exactly. It seems like my foot is flattening out without my old insoles and subsequently taking up more space in my shoe. I see the podiatrist again on February 1st, but in the meantime, my feet just aren’t happy. I feel pressure on my bones bilaterally; my feet want cushion. The heels of my feet feel like I need to dig a divot in the current insoles. The fact is that I really miss my old insoles.
I paid a visit to my local running store. Tim agreed that my toe was a little close to the end of my shoe. He pulled some size 9 1/2 shoes off the shelf and I slipped them on. The felt okay, but a little loose in the toe box. Rather than running on the store treadmill, he had me run in front of the store. I heard the shoes slapping the sidewalk. When I turned to run back, Tim had a funny look on his face.
He hooked his video recorder up to the TV to show me what he had seen. In the video, my feet were landing in turnout fashion. I suppose this would be great if I was doing ballet, but not running. Tim said that no matter what shoes he put me in, that he could not fix the cause of my feet landing this way. “It’s not your feet,” he indicated (not his exact words), “it’s up higher like your hips or core.”
This was not what I wanted to hear (or see). I realize that it is just one video of one short little trip down the sidewalk. It is in no way confirmation of a “problem.” *sigh* But, I thought, it could be. I need more video of me running. I need to be running my regular pace, and in running clothes rather than with my jeans rolled up. Then maybe, I could determine if it was just me trying to accommodate the bunched up pants between my knees or a problem that needs looking into.
Either way, I find it puzzling. I was doing fine before. So, I had a little over-use issue. It seems that the taking out of the insoles that I loved created a serious of unhappiness in my feet. I was tempted to give them another try, and that is just what I did today.
Coach is challenging me to slow my long runs down. It has been apparent to me, that I have been training a lot of the time AT race pace, or faster (for speedwork). I’ve known that I should be running long runs slower, and easy runs “easier”. I am now having to work hard to stay at the different paces that Coach is prescribing, and get used to what these paces feel like.
My Sunday long run was to be 12-14 miles. Coach asked for me to run 9:00-9:30/mile pace. It probably wasn’t fair to try to return my old insoles to my shoes on the same run that I was doing my “pavement tolerance test.” I would be trying to hit the correct pace, seeing if my feet could tolerate 12 miles of pavement, AND see if they liked the return of my old insoles. The experiment wasn’t wise, but I did it anyway.
I hit the paved trail with my old insoles back in my shoes. I also had some thin gel metatarsal pads under the forefoot area of my insoles. Just in case, I strapped my thin sorbothane insoles, which I have been wearing to even out the tilt in the other insoles, to my fuelbelt.
I began my run and immediately identified two issues. The first issue was that the metatarsal pads were not even in each shoe. I kept running to see which shoe actually felt better. I made the adjustment about 1 mile into the run. The second issue was that my bladder was a bit full. I took care of that issue at the bathrooms, which are about 2 1/2 miles into the run.
At the bathroom stop, I also added the sorbothane insole to the right shoe only. Again, probably not the best choice, but my left foot was happy for the first time in a week. The slope of the trail bothered my right foot. I ran right on the dividing line most of the time (which was where the trail was closest to level). The combination seemed to work.
After passing the dog park entrance, the trail was basically closed. You could run on the shoulder for a bit, but could not continue through the normal route. I wasn’t happy, but I followed the signs out towards the main street. To my surprise, however, there was a dirt path that ran along the other edge of the fishing pond. It connected back up on the paved trail before long.
I won’t take you through all 12 miles. I will just say that I got through the run fine. My feet did not complain anymore after my creation of “custom insoles” for today’s run. It’s felt fine, but having something different in each shoe can’t be my long-term solution. I just hope that my podiatrist has the time to listen to me and create a more suitable solution. I will also add some core strengthening to my plan. Even if the video thing was a fluke, strengthening my core is never an issue.