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Fleet Feet Fun

Last night I went to Fleet Feet (per my doctor’s advice) to see if inserts would help my foot pain. It’s about time for me to start with a new pair of shoes if I want to use them for the marathon, so I told the (extremely helpful and knowledgeable) guy at Fleet Feet all of this, and he brought out lots of things to try on.

I’d been using Asics Gel Kayano 16s (stability) for the last few months, which were just fine up until last week. But this time what felt best (with my slightly hurting foot) was, of all things, a pair of Adidas!

I left the store with a pair of Adidas adiStar Solutions (neutral) and some Superfeet inserts. My pathetic attempt to describe what the Fleet Feet guy said about these shoes – they’ve got a thicker/less flexible sole along with a decoupled heel, and that combined with the inserts will cause less unnecessary pressure on my big toe and first metatarsal, where the pain had been. He also commented that Adidas running shoes are really hit or miss between years, but that this year’s have been fantastic.

(Irony: Runner’s World recommends these shoes “for Clydesdales and Athenas”!)

So far I’m enjoying the amount of space near the toes, but I haven’t taken them out for a spin, so no review quite yet. They’re getting a test run at the track this evening.

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20 miles! But, ow.
March 31, 2010, 10:22 pm
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This last week has been kind of a roller coaster of running highs and lows. I’m not sure what’s going on with my foot, and the doctor was not incredibly useful. In short, the pain got much better in the 4 days before the doctor’s visit, and he gave me the OK to run on it. I did 5k the next day with no pain, so I did my 20 mile long run on Sunday.

During the run my foot ended up being not so bad, and I was super relieved that I could do the run. I wanted company for some of the run, and the only way to make the timing work out was by starting at 12:30 PM on Sunday, doing 10 miles by myself, then meeting up with my two running partners for the last 10 miles together.

Good lord it was hot out. I know I’m a huge wimp for complaining about it being too hot…I’m completely spoiled by the steady San Francisco climate. But due to our wonderful fog and grey skies and constant winter-high-of-56-degrees, I’ve gotten used to running in my preferred gloomy and not-warm weather. Seriously. I get annoyed if the sun is out, or if it’s warmer than 60 degrees. I’m s-p-o-i-l-e-d.

But anyway, I have yet to develop a good tolerance or sense of pacing for running in warm weather or sunshine. So why in the word have my 18 milers and 20 milers during this training cycle have been in 68 degree weather? I do not understand.

Anyway, it was warm, I ran too fast, but I compensated by drinking a lot of water. I met up with my friends around mile 9.5, and fortunately that slowed me down to a conversation-friendly pace. The first 9 miles I spent cursing my life, but it immediately got better once I had friends as a distraction. Foot started aching a bit around mile 17 but I finished without incident.

I’m pretty happy with how the 20 miler turned out. It’s the furthest I’ve ever run, so I’m thrilled I made it to the end without dying. I’m lucky to have such great running company to help me make it through.

Unfortunately the next day the foot pain returned, but nowhere near the same level as last week. I’m heading to Fleet Feet now for advice/inserts/etc, and I’ll follow up at the doctor again if that doesn’t help. Sigh…trying to stay optimistic…



Race Report: Tall Mom Race for the Cure Virtual 5k

I’m going to start by saying – very tentatively – that the doctor said I do not have a stress fracture. WOOHOO!!

There’s still some tenderness on the top of my right foot, which is worrisome. But it’s not the sharp pain I had a few days ago, so the doctor gave me the OK to run again.

So I signed up for Tall Mom’s Virtual Race for the Cure.

Photo 53

My “race” was nothing spectacular: I headed over to Kezar track, with plans to run a 5k just to test out my foot. Any pain – I would have to stop.

I love running at Kezar on Friday nights because it’s so quiet. On most weekdays it’s full of gigantic training groups who take up 2/3 of the track running the wrong way, but on Friday night it’s always sparely populated and quiet. There were maybe a dozen people there total – just enough to make it feel safe.

On the train ride over I’d decided to not even push my pace at all, just to start at marathon planned race pace of 10:05 per mile and make this into an exercise of not starting out too fast / how to hold a slower pace. After a half mile this went out the window. I’d been doing about 9:30 min/mi for the first half mile, but after that my pace just steadily increased until the very end.

There was a bit of tenderness on the top of my right foot near the first metatarsal during the first mile, but after that it went away. PHEW. I’d worn an older model of shoes – Asics Gel Foundation 8 – along with my old inserts, in an effort to change the padding/pressure on the top of my foot. (My current Asics Kayano 16s have a weird angled lace bed.) The old Gel Foundation 8s turned out to be a bad idea. I’d had trouble with these shoes wearing themselves out very soon, after 250-300 miles. I had thought this wouldn’t matter for a short 5k, but my knees began screaming at me around mile 1, definitely feeling the older shoes.

Anyway, I powered on through, pace increasing throughout, and finished with a time of 0:27:16 (0:08:47 min/mi). Not bad! This is an unofficial PR for me, seeing as the only timed/accurately measured 5k I’ve done in the last year and a half was a 0:28:33 last spring. I don’t trust the accuracy of my Nike+ chip enough to call this a real PR, but I’ll add this to my list of times. I was happy to maintain a pace like that, given that my intervals pace for this round of marathon training has been 08:35 min/mi. Considering that most of the time I’d been maintaining paces in that range the distances were a mile or less, I’m pretty thrilled I was able to sustain something like that for over 3 miles. Fun! I need to do more short races.

Go Tall Mom on the Run!! Thanks for hosting this, and good luck with your amazing fundraising! And good luck to everyone on their Virtual Race for the Cure this weekend!



Out for the count…
March 24, 2010, 6:51 pm
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Last Sunday I ran the Emerald Across the Bay 12k and had a great time! Race report forthcoming. But sadly, I fear I am now injured.

Since Monday morning I’ve been experiencing a sharp pinpoint of pain on the top of my right foot, on the inner side near the base of my big toe. It doesn’t bother me at all when barefoot, but when wearing shoes (running shoes included) I feel pain on that exact spot. This sucks. I’m pretty distressed.

I suspect it was caused by one of a few things:

  • The notable big hill on the 12k course – up from ocean level to bridge level, and then back down again.
  • Heavy mileage that week – an 18 mile long run, a 10 mile tempo run, and the 12k/7.45 mi, all over the course of 5 days.
  • A badly positioned Nike+ sensor combined with tightly laced running shoes.

I’ve been icing and taking anti-inflammatories, but my test jog on Tuesday only got me ~0.75 miles before the pain said “STOP!”. The doctor appointment has been made for Friday, but until then I can only rest, worry, and obsessively google “top of foot pain.”

The obsessive googling has led to two “internet diagnoses” – a stress fracture or tendonitis. Neither of which are appealing, but tendonitis seems to be slightly more appealing in that it is not an immediate death sentence for my goal to run the Eugene Marathon in May.

Hopefully it will be neither of these things, it will clear up on its own, and I’ll be good to go in a few days. I’m hoping yoga tonight will distract me by getting in a workout that avoids foot pain. Let the waiting and worrying continue…