Posted on

Once More With Corrective Shoes!

OK, so my shoes aren’t REALLY corrective, but they look like it. I went back to the running store yesterday because I knew after my run on Friday that I needed to be fitted for running shoes again. My arch still wasn’t supported enough, because it was STILL hurting and painful after running a short while. My legs and breathing were great, but my feet and ankles hurt too much. It wasn’t a “good hurt”; it was unbearable.

When I read the running store was having a sale as they were moving to a new location, I felt like it was a sign. If I’m really going to be serious about this half-marathon, I needed a new shoe.

I decided to go through the whole fitting process again and tell the salesperson (who had the same name as me) what I’d been experiencing. When she came out with a test shoe, it was a brand I didn’t try the first time. While it felt way more secure than the other shoes had, it was also pretty heavy. The soles were really thick and my arch had the support it needed, but I knew it would be difficult to lift my feet at mile 10 with them on. Through the process of elimination, I came away with these:

The "Slightly Better Than Corrective Shoes"

“These” are Puma Complete Cectana 2 W ortholite shoes (at least, that’s what the box and shoes say in different areas). As of right now, I decided to forgo the inserts, but we’ll see how that goes.

I wanted to get a new sports bra as well. My chest hurt after my run of Friday as well (mostly because my sports bra was too small, I discovered). I tried on a few different bras, but the best was the Moving Comfort Juno sports bra…what I got was the on sale (but very comfortable as well) Moving Comfort Phoenix, which was half the price ($52 vs. 25!).

I also had a little sweat problem, with sweat running into my eyes, so I had to get a sweaty band and try that out. I got a wide one, that looks like this (or, rather, is this):

My new SweatyBand

I was going to do a take two run yesterday, but that didn’t happen, so I’m shooting for this evening to see if the new shoes, bra and sweaty band make a difference in my training. Wish me luck!



Posted on

Monday Motivation

Here’s something you should know about me: I don’t give up easily. I say I will just let something go, move on to something else, quit while I’m ahead, throw in the towel, but I don’t. Not usually, anyway. What happens is I grumble and complain for a while, go over all the reasons why it’s just not possible for me to do something and how everyone will understand, then I get up and try again.

I do this almost every morning. I used to be a chronic late/absentee person. If you know me know, you may find that hard to believe. I hate being late. The thing is, I wake up most mornings and don’t want to go to work or to the gym. I don’t want to have my dreams of being a writer crushed. I am afraid of failing, of possible rejection, or making the wrong decisions. I don’t see anything wrong with this. It’s perfectly reasonable to feel afraid of letting yourself and others down; what isn’t acceptable to me is letting that stop you from trying.

Despite my rant against the machine that is running, no stupid physical activity is going to beat me back to the bus. I’m going to punch running in the face, as a tee-shirt on one of the running blogs I follow so perfectly summed it up. The fact that it’s been harder for me to get started is only going to make it feel that much better when I succeed at doing it, and doing it well.

What I didn’t tell you was when I bought that cold compress and Harlequin  comfort package, I bought a couple of Runner’s World featuring a beginner’s guide. I’ve been looking through the articles and expanding my knowledge bank of running. I’ve been learning about good running form, stride, how to land, shoes, fueling, cross training, etc. I may not have the running shoes or the completely healed feet to run now, but I’m committed to cross training and learning to stretch and warm up properly until I can get back in the running game again.

If you have experienced a little bit of failure recently, it’s OK to mourn over it, but it’s not OK to just throw in the towel because it didn’t work this time. If at all possible, pick yourself up and try again. Tell yourself how good it will feel when you finally do succeed. Learn from past mistakes and don’t make the same mistakes twice. Be tenacious. If you’re like me, tell yourself all the reasons you have for giving up, and feel doubly accomplished when you try again and succeed. Ignite your competitive spirit. Acquire more knowledge to help improve your chances of success. Put up inspirational pictures and sayings. Find someone who believes in your dream and is willing to support you. Whatever gets you to lace up your shoes and get out of the door.

Posted on

My Running Shoes

Over a year ago, I decided that I was going to be serious about this exercising thing. In years gone by, I used to love running, and I thought that it would be easy good for me to get back into running. Running is the most suggested thing to do to lose weight, you get to feel runner’s high, and your legs and butt look fabulous. So I dragged my boyfriend to Sports Authority and bought running shoes.

I consulted with the staff and decided on some running shoes. I ran a few sprints in them, and they felt OK. He advised me on different things I may need, but all I really needed to run was a pair of running shoes. I wasn’t training to run a race, after all; I was merely going to run around like I did in high school.

Only when I took my new shoes for a spin, I got the most excruciating foot pain. I mean high level, I can’t walk foot pain. I tried everything–running through the pain, slowing to a walk, stopping to do a few point and flex motions with my feet. Nothing was working. My arches would hurt so bad, I’d end up on hands and knees. What was wrong? I knew I was out of shape, but I couldn’t be too fat to run–could I? Maybe I just didn’t have it any more.

Many people told me I may need new shoes. Maybe I needed one with more or less arch support. Maybe I should have went to Fleet Feet for a consultation where they study your running motion.

Many episodes of “I Used to be Fat” later, I realized I was definitely not too fat to run. So this morning when I discovered I had to mail two payments, I decided to jog to the front of the complex and mail them, then go the long way back to my apartment–one full circuit. I started out fine, then foot pain hit halfway to the mail box. I slowed to a walk and tried again after I mailed the letters. It got so bad I had to stop a few times. When I jogged I felt fat. I felt fat because I had to stop because of the pain. I was so disappointed when I got home.

Then I looked inside of my shoe to see if I could figure out what was wrong. In the process, I took out the insert in the bottom and experimentally placed my foot back in the shoe. It felt great. Feeling determined, I put my running shoes back on, sans inserts, and set out again. I noticed a difference immediately. Here I was thinking the whole shoe I’d bought was all wrong, when in reality, I’d just ignored a key piece of advice the salesman had given me: you may need to try different inserts to support your feet.

I’d bought shoes with my high arches in mind. The first thing I told the salesman was I needed a shoe that would support my high arches and that I usually put heels down first and push off my toes (I know there’s a name for that, but I don’t remember). I knew how to describe the shoe I wanted, and I got the shoe I wanted. The only issue was I didn’t have the right insert.

Sometimes in writing we get to a point where we can’t figure out what’s going wrong with a story. We try to right through something that doesn’t feel right. We slow down and become deliberate in our word choices. We may stop and test some of the mechanics of the sentences. However, we just can’t seem to make the story feel write. It’s painful to write. We are upset because we used to love this story and couldn’t wait to get back to it. We think maybe we’re too old, too out of practice, to out of touch to do this anymore. We think we need a new plot, character, or setting.

Sometimes, we just need a new insert. The character as a whole may be fine, but we’ve given her a characteristic that doesn’t work with the story or who she is. The plot is great, but has a character acting out of character. The location is wonderful, but the season or timing is wrong. By doing a little tweaking, we can sometimes find there’s only a little that isn’t working. When there’s even a little  thing that isn’t right, it can throw off the whole thing. It’s like the difference between baking soda and baking powder in a cake–if it’s wrong, you can taste it. It’s worked it’s way through and ruined everything. The difference is with writing,  you can root it out, remove it, and the story is palatable again.

Have you ever had a bad apple detail spoil the whole bunch story? Were you able to identify and correct the problem? Is there a story you’ve given up on that upon further reflection you want to pick back up again now?