Monday, April 21, 2014

if the shoe fits... still might need to run in the opposite direction {with shoes that do}.

Today I'm linking up with Amanda and Beka for the Runners Tell All link-up. We're sharing a bad training experience and what we learned from it. My worst training experience came when I was at my heaviest weight - which you can read more about over at Taking Steps Home today for Amy's "You Are Lovely" series.

Yep, that's me on the top in the black Nike tennis shoes I had to wear all the time. It was miserable.
I’ve always loved running. I’m sorry if that makes you want to hate me, but it’s true. There’s nothing like a good run to give you a burst of energy, melt away the stress of the day or help you reach a new goal. For the past ten years, running has been my go-to.

With one exception.

Sophomore year of college, running was miserable. I had put on a little {a lot} of weight, received some new Nike Frees for Christmas and started training for my first half marathon scheduled in April. All I can say is I’m super relieved I didn’t put my deposit down early for that race.

It started off as a little pain on the insides of my shins when I ran. It only hurt a little at the beginning of the run, so I would push through and eventually become numb to it.

Then, I started getting a sharp pain on my right heel. Every time I landed, it was like a shock through my whole leg. Sometimes the pain hurt so bad that I couldn’t even take another step. Once I had to call my friend to come pick me up on the side of the road because I couldn’t walk anymore.

But, it gets worse. I slowed down on my training, hoping to heal, but eventually the pain in my heel and shins started happening even when I wasn’t running. I would wake up in the morning and cringe as I set my feet on the ground for the first time. Walking to class was about as much activity as I could manage.

Finally, my mom got tired of my complaining and scheduled me an appointment with a podiatrist. He took one look at the worn Toms on my feet and found the problem. You see, I have really REALLY flat feet. The Nike Frees didn’t support my arch enough when I ran, so I had developed shin splints and plantar fasciitis. In case you are wondering, you don’t want either.

On top of that, I was wearing incredibly unsupportive shoes on the daily - flip flops, Toms, etc. - and my feet were so mad at me!

So, my doctor prescribed me a new pair of tennies, inserts for those tennies and a bunch of fun exercises. Oh, and I had to wear the tennis shoes ALL. THE. TIME. 

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I only wear tennis shoes when I work out or am wearing workout gear. I do not wear tennis shoes with jeans. Ever. But for about a month in the spring of 2011, I wore tennis shoes all the time, including a spring break trip to Chicago where I received compliments on my tennies from random strangers on the sidewalk, a security guard at the Sears {Willis?} Tower and the guy who checked tickets on the train. 

I think they just felt bad for me because I had to pair my cute, frilly tops with black athletic shoes.

All of this to say, learn from my mistakes! Make sure that you get a shoe that is right for your foot and not one that just looks cool or that everyone else is buying. I recommend going to a specialty running store and having them look at your feet and pick a shoe especially for you. I know that has done wonders for me and my running.


  1. Feet are so weird! I will think I have the perfect brand of running shoe for my foot, and then 2 years later I can't wear the brand anymore without getting blisters. I've gone through New Balance, Nike, Asics and now I am wearing Brooks shoes. Feet are truly strange!

  2. oh girl! Shoes are a big deal! I started out with a pair of 'pretty Nike' shoes and the guy at the running store said "You aren't running in these are you?". Thankfully I went before I have a big injury and I purchased good shoes.

    Do you wear inserts with all your shoes now? I have cute shoes and even yesterday I was looking and wondered if I shouldn't have an insert because I can see my arch and there is no place for an arch in my shoe.

  3. Shoes are for real. It's a bummer to pay so much for the good running shoes, but that's better than having a lot of pain while running! Glad you got that figured out so you can run pain free again! Thanks for linking up!

  4. Although I'm sure you were miserable at the time, this was such a cute story!

  5. I have been sticking with Asics, but I'm considering a couple other brands. I think I still need to get inserts though - taking care of your feet ain't cheap!

  6. I do not wear inserts in all my shoes, though I probably should... Since I started running in better shoes, my foot pain is minimal, though I still feel it sometimes when I'm on my feet all day in flats with no support. The podiatrist told me I needed to get more supportive shoes, but when I looked at all (5 of) the dress shoe options, I decided beauty is pain and I'd rather look cute. Probably shows I have mixed-up priorities...