Monday, April 21, 2014

if the shoe fits...

...you 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.




8 comments:

  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!

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  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.

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  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!

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

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  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!

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  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...

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