Posts Tagged ‘running shoes’

So, actually, I don’t really have a shoe strategy any more..I don’t even have a shoe tactic.  In fact, all I have is a disorganized pile of  unsubstantiated ideas representing completely different directions, that I try arbitrarially at various times depending on how I feel at the time.  So, for a while, I was back to using the old “stability shoes” with the podiatrist-fashioned orthotics, (yes, the foot-coffins!), on the theory that my AT is fragile so I should keep from stretching it in any way  while running.  This resulted rather quickly in the return of my ancient hip ‘bursitis’ and bunion aggravation.  Then I tried going back to the 4mm-drop New Balance WT10, which is what I was wearing when I first got injured.   Almost immediately I had ankle pain while running.  So then, I cast cuteness to the wind and bought a pair of men’s Nike’s.  I don’t know what the heel drop is, but I bought them because they seemed wide enough and were lighter than the Mizunos.  They weren’t very flexible.  My latest are Merrells with vibram soles, which I found on sale and bought a size too large so I could put orthotics in them if I needed a break, on the theory that flexible flat shoes with a wide toe box will help keep my feet from getting any weaker and throwing my whole body even further out of whack, but that occasionally I might need some extra support.  I seem to like them best, because they put me into that barefoot pose that with a midfoot strike that is so much easier on my body as a whole.  I haven’t been wearing them with orthotics but sometimes I do use a rigid plastic heel cup in them.  The jury is still out on what they do to my AT, and, well.. they are turquoise.  I’m not a fan of turquoise.  And I’m pretty sure that’s why they were on sale.

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Today’s Saturday LSD run was a vanilla 10 mile on from Valley Green to a little past Strawberry Mansion and back.  My left hip started hurting just a tiny bit at about the halfway point but didn;t really get any worse.

But the exciting part is that after my run I had a session with a running coach Tracy Peal.   Tracy is a really impressive coach.  He has this aura of wisdom ..sort of the Gandalf of running coaches, but with a science instead of magic.  So here’s how it went.

He asked me what I’d learned in my research, (don’t heel strike, don’t overstride) and then he proceeded to film me and watch me run, after which he informed me that I heel strike and overstride!  Then we did drills.

Here is what else I learned:

My right knee turns in, and so my right foot swings out.

My feet are sometimes, like, 3 feet in front of my body.

I have no idea where my feet are..I need someone to tell me!

I have a deeply ingrained fear of falling forward and lots of really super-duper natiral defenses against it.

Though I like to think of myself as a graceful mountain gazelle, when I go fast I smack the ground so hard it sounds like a herd of  moose.

The secret to running is to pick up each foot and just let it fall back down.

This was all very interesting and helpful, but I need time for it to sink in and time to practice these new skills.  Meanwhile, the most interesting thing that happened was that Tracy had me take off my shoes and run a little and it was really really fun!  In fact, I went right out after the session and tried on a New Balance Minimus at Philly Runner.  I restrained myself from buying them, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up with some kind of minimalist shoe in the end.  The Mizuno Ascend trail shoes I am wearing have, I think, not only too much stability for me with the  custom insoles in them, but a bit more heel to toe drop than I really want.

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