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.


Filed under Injury, Marathon Training


  1. Yeah, that’s kind of disturbing. I would suggest mystery pains – after my first Chicago, I had massive arch pain (first and last time ever) for like three days until it went away, never to reappear – but a week out is kind of weird. I’ll be curious to hear how the new shoes feel and work. Good luck!

    • I really really really hope they work. Because I’m not ready to go to a doctor, who’s going to look at my feet and say “oh, maybe you should just take a break from running” as if it’s easy.

      I’m hoping is not a stress fracture — usually all my injuries (including my numerous volleyball ones) have always been ligaments, not bones (my yogurt for breakfast habit must do me good). I hope it stays that way…

  2. Ugh, I really hope you aren’t injured Carla! Keep us posted on how the new stability shoes work for you. I’ve had so many different opinions when I’ve had shoe fittings, and I too would be a little nervous about the barefoot asessment.

    Hope the new shoes are just the fix you need. 🙂

  3. Oh no! I really hope the new shoes help! Last year exactly yesterday I ran and my feet hurt so bad a couldn’t walk either. I told my boyfriend I wanted to go to pacers and get fitted for new shoes for my birthday. I did just that and got the same shoes you did! I love them, even bought another pair online when I saw them on sale! Rest a few days and then try them. They are great! I hope you feel better! Can’t wait to cheer for you at the MCM!

  4. Fingers, eyes, toes, legs, arms, … I’ve got them all crossed! Make sure R.I.C.E. as needed lady. I’ll see you at MCM one way or another!!!

  5. I hope you are OK!

    Kind of off topic, but I am going to be in DC for literally 24 hours (tomorrow night-Wednesday) for work and am hoping to get a run in while I’m there (I saw the forecast for rain and figured it’s my luck.) I am staying about a block from the Foggy Bottom-GWU metro stop and am wondering is that a safe area to run Wed. morning? I am very aware and “comfortable” in new cities/situations but I don’t want to be stupid! (It looks like it’s a fairly quick jaunt to the mall area but I take nothing for granted!)

    • Totally safe. I would run down to the Mall — it’s a little over half a mile away — and you can have a really scenic run with the monuments! Basically just run down 23rd street, until you see the Lincoln Memorial (if you’re not familiar with the DC monuments, think last scene of Planet of the Apes), then from there run along the reflecting pool towards the Washington Monument, if you keep on going in a straight line past that, eventually you’ll hit the Capitol.

      (And there should be other runners and bikers out there too!)

      I’d join you, but Wednesday is bootcamp class time. But definitely go for it — you’ll love it!

      If by any chance you’re getting a much longer run in, you can also cross the Memorial Bridge (the bridge behind the Lincoln Memorial) into VA (make sure you’re on the left side of the bridge), and that would put you at the Mt. Vernon Trail across the river — super pretty views, and again, safe.

      • Thank you!! I’m probably looking to do 4 miles or so, so that sounds perfect. Now the weather just needs to cooperate 🙂 Hopefully I’ll be traveling to DC a little more for work and we can meet up to run another time.

        Also, if you have any restaurant suggestions for the area, I always a appreciate a local’s opinion!

  6. Wow – that is so weird that they thought that one foot needed a neutral shoe and one needed support. I bet they know what they are doing though! I hope these work wonders when you try them out!

    • Oh, it’s from the video… One foot lands straight, the other one has a slight bend on the heel/ankle. You can clearly see it on the screen. Usually that bend means you need stability — the other one I don’t because it lands perfectly fine. (But of course, I’m wearing the same shoes in both feet.)

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