Fitness: Running victories and woes

So I have not been posting on this blog at all – I’ve been busy with some pretty big news! I’m relocating to NYC from DC for a new job and I start on Monday! After not working for oh, 5.5 months, I’m feeling a little panicky about starting that routine again, and the long commute from my parents’ house into the city. I’m also trying not to face reality b/c my dear boyfriend who shares my cozy DC apartment with me will not be moving up with me until later (hence staying with my parents) and I will miss him SO MUCH.

Anyway. I’ve been finally finally training for this 10 mile race I have in two weeks, and going on some great long runs with friends and solo.

Exhibit A: Long run on the national mall with a friend (who has a Garmin!! I finally knew how fast or slow I was running!)

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:14:33.0 8.08 9:14
1 9:28.8 1.00 9:29
2 9:23.8 1.00 9:24
3 8:46.4 1.00 8:46
4 9:41.4 1.00 9:41
5 9:09.3 1.00 9:09
6 9:03.2 1.00 9:03
7 8:58.8 1.00 8:59
8 9:16.1 1.00 9:16
9 :45.1 0.08 9:24

Exhibit B: Solo run using my RunKeeper app (I hate carrying my phone but I was hooked on the data after seeing my friend’s Garmin!)

mi Pace (min/mi) Elevation (ft)
1 9:26 -7
2 9:31 -30
3 9:33 26
4 9:26 -1
5 9:32 -26
6 8:36 22
7 7:57 16

Exhibit C: Solo long rung on a very very very windy and cold day using my RunKeeper app again

mi Pace (min/mi) Elevation (ft)
1 9:33 -40
2 9:36 10
3 9:13 -26
4 9:14 -5
5 9:10 -1
6 9:42 -6
7 9:25 20
8 8:59 7
9 8:51 -49

 

So that’s all fine and dandy, but the new-ish shoes I bought not 4 months ago and ran only a few dozen times in HURT MY FEET. I can manage only a couple miles before the pain in the arch and inner ankle area sets in. At first, I thought it was my ankle being weak and unused to running so many miles, so I did a lot of PT exercises like using a stability board and kettlebell exercises to strengthen the ankles and calves, to no progress. I improved my stride and was very conscious of landing my foot straight, as the pain felt like I was running on a slant (you know how that feels), so I thought I was the problem.

 

Finally, I went to a running store and bought new shoes – I will try them out for the first time tomorrow, but I really wish I went to a running store the first time around! I bought my Brooks Pure Connect shoes after my cheap Reebox Realflex shoes had been worn for over a year both to run in, workout in, travel in – the soles had holes in them and cracks on the inside, that’s how bad it was. I went to a generic sports store where I tried them on and felt okay in them. They had no return policy which enabled me to test them out for a longer run – and for my short 4-5 mile runs, they felt comfortable enough.

Recently, I began reading reviews of the Pure Connects, and the running store I went to said Brooks stopped making that specific type of shoe, which is like, wow, you had to pick the worst possible shoe ever and waste that money??? The reviews of the Pure Connects all complained about the pain in the same area as where I feel the most pain – the arch and surrounding inner foot. Apparently, the arch insert is pretty high and as someone with flatter feet, I definitely felt it, but had no idea how that would affect my run. Since I’m new to running longer distances and used to buy all my sneakers from like TJ Maxx, I honestly had no idea what to look for in a running only shoe. Another thing I noticed was that the foam and plastic support and sole were very narrow and did not cover the portion where the arch was, giving literally zero support for when you plant your foot down and your arch collapses. Even my NB Minimus (another failed running shoe purchase I now use to lift weights in), had better physical arch support with the sole, if that makes sense.

 

My local running store did a great job of taping me running on a treadmill in a few different shoes to compare, and I ended up shelling out for a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s. It was pointed out to me that my right foot over pronates – which is the foot that bothers me the most on runs. I wanted to be on the minimal running shoe train, and I am so glad, even though I had to buy new running shoes AGAIN (fingers crossed they don’t hurt), that I did not let this carry on and become an injury or anything worse!

 

I always feel so great on these long runs cardiovascularly, my legs are not sore afterwards, and even my knees do not hurt, but just the pain in the arch and inner foot would literally bring me to tears as I ran. Stopping and stretching only made it worse so I’d just push through 3-4 miles of running with the pain. If these Mizunos work out for me, I’ll keep the Brooks for sprint workouts on the treadmill or shorter runs, and be so happy to not be a martyr and try to push through pain. I’m excited to see if my times improve!

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