I ran the Chicago marathon with no pain whatsoever. Mentally, I was exhausted, bored, tortured. But my body though tired, was fine, it was strong. That night, my legs were a bit stiff when we went out for dinner, but I wore my compression pants to sleep and under my jeans the next day while we went sightseeing and during our flight, and my legs felt great! The soreness hit me on Tuesday, of course, but there were no other ache aside from the usual muscle one, nothing to worry about.
I didn’t get a chance to run last week though, because I could feel a cold coming on. Plus, I was exhausted, even took a 13 hour “nap” when I got home from work on Wednesday (yes, I ended up waking with the alarm the next day). So of course, I was super excited to finally get a run in on Saturday morning with the group!
Now that I have decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon too, I was back in taper mode, with 12 miles on the schedule. We started at the Roosevelt Island, and though I felt a bit tired at first, as the run progressed it started to feel grueling. The arch of my left foot was aching with each step, but bearable. I couldn’t keep pace with Jen and Hugi, but they were slowing down for me. With about 4.5 miles in, the pain on the arch had spread to my forefoot, and it felt like little needles were going into my foot with every step. I was also developing a weird pain near my knee — not on the knee itself though, but a pain running from the bottom of my inner thigh to the top of my inner calf, every time I bent my legs — felt like a nerve being pulled. (Anyone has any idea what that is?)
I decided to stop and walk for a bit, and they walked with me. Unfortunately, walking didn’t make things better, and every attempt at running brought the excruciating pain back.
So we turned around early, and walked the rest of the way. The weather was in the 50’s and VERY windy. It was comfortable to run in (my favorite weather to run in, actually, save for the windy part), but absolutely freezing once you started walking (it’s not like we had enough layers for walking in that weather and our shirts were already sweaty and wet from the run!).
Jen and Hugi were troopers though. Despite my persistence that they continue their run and leave me behind (TOTALLY understandable if they did — it’s not like we were running through a dodgy neighborhood, there were plenty of people around, and the sun was fully out by then!), they insisted on walking with me, while the three of us froze our asses back to our cars. We ended up covering just short of 10 miles on our walk.
I went home, took a nap, and when I got up, the pain was still there. I spent the rest of Saturday limping. And worried. Very worried.
So I did something yesterday that I have been avoiding for months: I went out to buy new shoes.
My old shoes are way past their expiration date. I bought them in April of last year after running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (I only remember that because I used a coupon on my bib). This year alone, I have run 600 miles, at least 550 with these shoes. Plus whatever mileage I did last year, which must have been at least 400.
I had so many injuries last year and earlier this year, that when I started marathon training and had no nagging pain anywhere, I didn’t want to change what was working — though the shoes were the culprit for my small internal bleeding in my heel last year, since then I have had no problems. But walking with them on Saturday, it felt like the soles were made of concrete. I had to admit, it was time. I decided to resist the urge to buy the exact same shoes (Asics Cumulus 11, men’s size 7, width 4E — yes, men shoes… At the time I was having pain on the side of my big toe and since my feet are super wide, only the men’s one felt comfortable).
They were neutral shoes because I have a super-high arch. No, really, it’s super high. I can also make a perfect ballerina foot (I was going to take a picture, but didn’t realize how creepy it looked until I saw it on the camera screen).
Jen recommended that I headed over to Roadrunners Sports, since they offer 90 days guarantee on their shoes, regardless of how much mileage you put on. I got there, and also got a custom fitting, the whole camera facing the treadmill while I run thing, which was totally cool.
Now this is where I get concerned about their recommendation: put me barefoot, I don’t have the same form running as I do with shoes (if you read “Born to Run” you’ll learn that most people don’t). Add the treadmill on top of that and my form changes even more. Why do I say that? I’m a huge heel striker — I try to change my form, I think I have changed it, until I see a race picture and it’s like “ugh…” But on the camera? Totally forefoot/midfoot striker. I even looked graceful!!! (My running is not graceful.) I’m barefoot on treadmill! I don’t run barefoot OR on a treadmill. And my assessment is based on that…
Anyway, looks like my left foot is fine with neutral shoes, but my right one needs stability, so they put me in stability shoes. This is where another one of my concern comes out: my left foot is the one with issues, NOT my right foot, my right foot feels fine.
So I left the store with these new kicks (the Saucony ProGrid Guide 3, size 8.5, width D):
I probably won’t have a chance to try them out until tomorrow or Wednesday (but there’s rain predicted for both days — I might skip getting the new shoes wet). Let’s hope they work and are exactly what my feet need. Because I have the Army Ten Miler on Sunday, and the Marine Corps Marathon in less than two weeks. This is no time for failure.
Fingers crossed that it’s a shoe issue, and not a foot issue. Because I’m not ready to deal with injuries. Not at all.