Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New Shoes

First, I want to thank all of you for your support of my running goals. It means a lot to me. Every once in a while I end up feeling a need to explain myself. It must be the result of a build-up of questions. Anyway, knowing that there are others out there that understand helps!

On Sunday, I finally got to run (sorta) Rob's infamous Mt. Peak. I'm going to say that I power hiked up - it took us 26 minutes - and sorta ran down. It was rocky and rooty enough that I was nervous. I need to work on my mountain goat skills. Regardless, I had slightly sore quads a day later.

After the run, Eric and I went to a visit a new running store a few cities away. I met the owner last year at CCC100, then again at the Capital Peak 50k. At CCC he was running an aid station, and I watched and listened to him as he worked with the runners coming in. I was impressed by his confidence and knowledge. Later I found out he was opening a new store, and I filed that info away for another day. I remembered it when I saw him at Capital Peak. I decided that since he is an ultra runner, and since he seemed so knowledgeable, that maybe he would have some ideas about how to solve my toe problems.

We walked into the store and the young girl behind the counter came out to help me. As I was talking to her, Eric went to the back of the store to find the owner (also Eric). My Eric told him I had come in hoping to see him and he came right out to help me. I explained to him that I had some problems with my toes, and pulled off my socks. I want you to know that this guy picked up my foot, stuck his face down close and checked out the gnarliest toes on the west coast. Then he switched feet and checked the other foot out just as carefully. Not only that - he touched them! He felt the injured area, he wiggled them around and talked non-stop the whole time. Then he pulled off his sock and showed me his perfect toes. After that, we got down to business.

Running Store Eric has a theory about my feet. I'm not quite sure I will explain this right, but basically, just behind the ball of my foot, my sole is concave instead of convex or flat. My toes, at rest, arch upward. When I put my foot down, they are slightly lifted. If you push on the concave part, the toes drop. Since my toes are lifted, the toenails are hitting the top of the shoe - which prompted me to by larger shoes so there was lots of room. Instead, Running Store Eric suggested a metatarsal pad - to go right where the concave spot is and help flex my foot. The pads in the store felt like golf balls under my foot, so instead he suggested I try using layers of moleskin. He refit me for shoes, had me do both the before and after treadmill test, and even put me in low-profile, fitted socks. I was buying those big too so my toes wouldn't get squeezed. I changed from the Asics 2120 to the Asics Nimbus, got new superfeet insoles, added a pad made of three layers of moleskin, and am wearing the tight new socks. So far (two runs), so good. I'm a little worried because I can feel my toenail-less big toe on the left foot touching the shoe. We'll see how 10 miles goes on Saturday. Running Store Eric fully admits it's a theory, not a definite, but feels strongly that this will work. Time will tell.

I ran five miles with Rick yesterday, the normal rolling hills we have around here, at a slightly faster than normal pace - about an 11:46 pace. Today, I ran on my own. Since I don't feel comfortable alone in the dark on our regular hill run, I made up my own. I did six miles with five substantial hills. Felt pretty good on both runs. The interesting thing I noticed about the new shoes is that they followed my feet. I know that doesn't really make sense, but I can't think of any other way to describe it. Apparently I had enough slop in the shoes I've been wearing (for years) that when I lifted my foot, it lifted off the bed of the shoe. The new shoes don't do that at all - my foot is always in the shoe. It's one of those funny things I didn't notice till it was gone.

Eric left town last night and gets back late tonight - so he took me to dinner for Valentines last weekend. We had a wonderful dinner from appetizers to dessert. Riley is off spending Valentines Day with Heather, leaving me all alone tonight. No worries though - Eric made sure I'd be happy by leaving me a box of Godiva chocolates. Now my biggest challenge is making sure there are still a few left to share when he gets home tonight...

20 comments:

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

A whole box of Godiva to yourself??? I don't think there will be any left! Nice shoe theory. Only another marathon will tell. :) I plan to join you for the 10 on Saturday. I need to check the schedule of Basketball games to see about the new runner run and coffee. It might have to be one or the other. Just got back from Aversano's with the family for Valentine's. Iwas a great night. I hope you're not to lonley. A little blogging and a good book will do the trick!
Jenny

Chad said...

Feet are crazy things. I had lots of problems with mine last year and then I switched from a pair of Reeboks to ASICS and it was like night and day. Me feet were very happy.

It's all about the shoes (both running and what you wear the rest of the time).

angie's pink fuzzy said...

Happy Valentine's Day, enjoy that box of chocolate!

And I'm fascinated by Running Store Eric's theory. Keep us posted on how it goes! I like how you wrote about how the shoe goes with your foot now :)

Juls said...

I have a metatarsal arch pad that my podiatrist gave me recently. The ones over the counter are horrible (like you said), but the ones that she gave me feel pretty good. I was worried what I would do when they flattened out - and now I know. Moleskin! Eric is brillent.

Dori said...

Mmmm, Godiva.

Hope RS Eric solves your foot problem. It sounds like you're on the right track.

TryAthlete said...

I hope the feet theory is correct and you can run without worrying about your toenails. Go Maniac!

Thomas said...

Whatever the true cause for your blisters, I think it's fantastic that he took all that time to check your feet and give you the best advice he could come up with. Let's hope he's correct.

robtherunner said...

Eric's a good guy so no surprise he did all that and hopefully it will work out. I did know however that bigger is not better when it comes to blisters. Silly Girl! I'm not sure if I'll be at the track or not. I am feeling a bit under the weather.

D said...

I guess when you are in the feet business, examining feet is just another day at the office. Sounds like he truly knows what he is doing!

runliarun said...

Running Store Eric is the coolest guy.

JustRun said...

Really interesting shoe theory. I've often wondered why my toes seem to "point" up a little and hit the top of my shoe. Of course, with this last marathon, I only just experienced toenail loss but I still wonder. Keep us posted. :)

Hope you had a nice time with the chocolates and if they didn't make it through the night, everything is at half price today anyway- just buy more! :)

olga said...

It is a very sound theory, and yes, bigger is not always better, often it's worse.
I wouldn't even plan on leaving any Godiva from a box, I would inhale it:)

Wes said...

I'm going to need a new pair of shoes soon. I'm planning on actually getting fitted this time! Oh joy! Hope the theory works out well for you. Good luck resisting those last few chocolates.

Journey to a Centum said...

Mmmm...

Thanks for saving a couple Godiva chocolates for me Michelle.

Eric

Janice said...

I'm very impressed with your willingness to bare your toes! I hope the shoes work out for you. I keep buying bigger and bigger ones, not so much because of my toes, but because my feet keep getting bigger.

Anne said...

I guess the days of just throwing on a pair of socks and shoe are long gone for you....sounds like a pretty comprehensive solution and I hope it works for you (and Running Store Eric).

Sarah said...

It definitely sounds like your shoes have been too big. I hope the new ones continue to work for you!

Joe said...

Isn't it great to have that level of service?? So cool...I hope others appreciate him and patronize his store well enough to keep him in business. That should be rewarded.

I just bought shoes this afternoon and had a similar expericned. I'll blog on it soon...I'm grateful for the experince!

Robb said...

West Coast Toes...brutal. I'm so glad you did not add the old photo. Nobody needs to see that again! hahaha.

Smith said...

Thanks for sharing!! Well, I am a half marathon runner, my coach and physiotherapist suggest my to wear asics running shoes and I got a pair from Foot Locker last month.