1. I did not run on the treadmill at my podiatrist’s office after all. Apparently that comes later, after the new orthotics are broken-in. By the miracle of math, the follow-up appointment will be on my first official day of marathon training — I know it’s official because it’s on my calendar and stuff — so I need to get a couple of test runs in slightly sooner than planned, but the general idea of run-walking my way back into things in early June is still a go, assuming sparkle leg here agrees and the doctor I’m seeing on Monday (the long-delayed “second opinion,” which is now technically a third or fourth opinion) doesn’t come up with all-new ideas about what’s wrong with me. I really just want to go for a run without stressing out about it, one of these days.
2. Speaking of the new orthotics: Holy hell, they are beasts. It’s a good thing I’m not a zero-heel-drop zealot, because these are basically kitten heels all on their own, even before they go into my tank-like running shoes. You guys, I have feelings about this. (They may make me 5’2″, though, so that’s … something.) The problem about being less of a blind follower this time around is that this seems wrong, or at least wildly countercultural. Like, while other people are bouncing around in their cute little PureWhatevers, I’m wearing a higher heel than I do on a daily freaking basis. I used to wear my old orthotics in one pair of my everyday walking shoes, but I can’t do that with these; my heel pops out immediately. As a midfoot (or, maybe more accurately, whole-foot) striker, I have a hard time imagining how this is going to feel when I’m running; the forefoot is just a regular insole, so maybe I won’t notice anything, or maybe I’ll constantly feel like my heel is going to fly out of my shoes. I don’t know; like I said, I have feelings. Also, at least the manufacturer was nice enough to put a young trail runner on the cover of their “Orthotics and You”-style brochure, because everyone in the rest of the pictures is old. Old, old, old, in old-people shoes.
3. The shoe part of things was, as ever, bizarre and fascinating. My marching orders were to order the Brooks Trance, Mizuno Wave Alchemy, and Saucony Grid Stabil. I then went off-script and threw in the Mizuno Wave Ascend because I’m looking for trail shoes and had planned to get the trail Adrenalines, but if Adrenalines aren’t right for me after all, well, I don’t know anything anymore. The Trance and the Alchemy both advanced to the “buy these from a place where you can run outside and return them if you hate them” round, with a slight preference for the Trance from my side and a slight preference for the Alchemy from theirs (I thought the whole shape of the Alchemy was weird). The Adrenalines are not officially out of the picture, though they ranked a solid No. 3 from the people who know things. The Saucony was out immediately — fascinating to me because, from the description, they should have been the most “stable” of the three and yet my feet felt floppy and like they didn’t know how to control what was happening. I know a couple of ladies who may be reading this have fit people for running shoes before, so I’m dying to know: WTF? Is there some limit of stability after which my feet just say, “Eh, we’re just gonna do our own thing, cool?” Also, the Wave Ascends literally didn’t even get into the hallway before they were rejected, so if you know any good stability trail shoes, help a girl out, mmkay? (Incidentally, all of the shoe-trying happened sans orthotics, which I guess I thought was odd. Like, on the one hand, yay! You like the way these shoes fit me before I’m wearing orthotics! And on the other hand, why the orthotics, then? So many feelings.)
4. I don’t think rest agrees with me after all. Sure, it was great when I was lying inside a cabana all day, but now my days are basically bed –> work –> couch –> bed, and my body is starting to rebel. My piriformis, which is often cranky but was blissfully silent during all of my Wildflower training, is starting to yell at levels I haven’t felt in months. My back is stiff. My ankles don’t remember how to move without cracking, and my knees find me vaguely annoying. I’m basically the poster child for Sitting Kills. I’m walking Bay to Breakers on Sunday, and then I think it’s time for a swim.
Tell me about your shoe issues. Come on, we can work through it together!