I went to my local running store on Friday (the same nice folks that hooked me up with my first pair of running shoes a year ago) to get a shiny new pair of kicks. I realized a lot of my random aches and pains may be due to the fact my old shoes (the link is this year’s model… mine are 8’s) are a year old, have probably around 400 miles on them and are also clodhopping stability shoes, which don’t really mesh with my current midfoot-striking stride.
They poked and prodded at my feet and brought out a few pairs for me to try, and after watching me trot down the street in a neutral pair of Asics, deemed my midfoot-striking natural and stable enough to move me out of the stability-shoe category. *cue Hallelujah chorus*
So of course I did the most brilliant thing in the world and took them out for their maiden voyage on my long run of the week – my very first 7-miler!
Needless to say it wasn’t quite… awesome, but a few extra factors came into play as well:
1. I forgot to fuel, or hydrate, pretty much at all (had coffee and cereal in the morning, and then ran around 4pm.. awesome)
2. It was the warmest day we’ve had yet this year at a balmy, blistering 65 degrees (when it’s been 40 degrees for months, this feels HOT!)
3. I think I tied the new shoes too tight (this was a problem I had on the first few runs with my old pair, as well)
All of these things combined, plus the brand new neutral less-cushy shoes made for probably the most miserable run I’ve had since I began couch-to-5k a year ago. I have not wanted to stop and walk so badly in so long… I actually can’t remember the last run where I just wanted to WALK so badly and didn’t think I would be able to bear dragging my arse along for even one more step. I just kepy praying in my head, asking for the energy and endurance to just make it to that next bush… to the next block… to the top of the hill… back around the loop to my house. I didn’t quite make the 7 miles but I think the mental fortitude and toughness etched into me by this run (I never walked! I felt like death and survived!) can only help me move forward on my next long run.
My feet, specifically the balls of my feet and the area right behind them, were fairly sore and almost numb, but they didn’t blister and the soreness has subsided, so that is likely growing pains in the shoe transition.. I might go back and get some cushier insoles to put in them, but I do definitely like the lighter weight of the neutral shoes, and I’ve already loosened up the laces quite a bit on the top of the shoes. I think I also need to start carrying water and some kind of energy booster on my long runs.. I have a crap ton of free Shot Blox I picked up at the last race expo I went to so I might have to start packing those along.
I also think finding a new place to run, maybe an out-and-back type trail, will help with the mental aspect… currently I have to do loops around my existing run (which is about 3 miles long) and there’s a pretty long uphill slog on the backstretch portion, which doesn’t help the mental game.
This week I have 8 miles on my plate! (holy crap!) here’s hoping it goes a little better….. would really like this totally awesome 6.7 miler to not be the most recent run greeting me on my Garmin Connect page ;)