Thursday, June 16, 2011

three things thursday

1. I have terrible metro karma.  Something annoying and delaying happened on every train I got on yesterday.  I had to metro up to the Zoo from work for my PT appointment, and we got as far as Dupont when they made everyone unload and said they didn't know when the next train would be headed north.  And my appointment was in 11 minutes.  So what's a girl to do?  Why, haul serious ass 1.8 miles in dress clothes, laptop in backpack and not a single hair tie to be found.  Thank goodness I had a (very old & worn out) pair of running shoes with me.
Oh, and Connecticut Ave has only a tiny hill.  But fortunately it was only 81º out, not 104º like last Wednesday.  So after my PT appointment, I needed this to continue cooling down after my less-than-2-mile-run.
There's raspberry yogurt under there somewhere.  And I usually only get one gummy worm, but I went crazy and doubled up.  Hold me back, I'm losing control.  


2. Speaking of PT, I'm actually surprised that it (plus taking it easy on the running) seems to be going well.  My psoas has loosened up noticeably, although the immediate result of this after Monday's session was that my SI joint fell out of alignment FIVE times in 48 hours.  Turns out my tight psoas was holding it in place and now that it's relaxed, isn't doing it anymore.  I wonder what is actually supposed to be holding my SI joint in place?  Maybe I was just born without one of those?  But now that I know how to do squats correctly, I can actually feel my glutes every once in a while and the other night they were even tired!  Ridiculous.  Next week we're going to start working on drills to address my magical collapsing trick hip and Frankenstein foot stomp.  Color me excited.
3. On the subject of gait...last night the poet and I took a wander over to the sporting goods store, and while we were there, I decided to try on some of these happy pillow minimalist (even typing the word makes me cringe) shoes that many of you are preaching about.  I pulled a pair of Nike Frees and Sacucony Kinvaras off the shelf JUST TO TRY.  Calm down for a second, I'm not switching shoes, I'm just experimenting.  


It was, however, an incredibly revealing experience.  In the Nike Frees, I actually could not run with my normal gait, because the three steps I took with my fabulous heel strike sent massive shockwaves of pain up my leg and into my hips.  My body kind of naturally started doing something else that I can't even really describe, but it felt a lot lighter and smoother that what I usually do, which until the moment I put these unicorn shoes on, I would have described as not NOT light and smooth (didja follow that?  Sorry, grammar police).  The Kinvaras were different as well - they still kind of forced me not to heel-strike, but it felt like more of a natural compromise between my regular disaster of a gait and the Frees.  In the Frees, I felt almost like I had to run on my forefoot, in the Kinvaras I felt like I had to think about it less.  The poet actually videoed me taking a test jog in each shoe (and then in my own shoes, boy, did that look like hell) and to my extremely uneducated eye, it looks pretty different.  Here's the Kinvaras.
video
So, just a whole lot of food for thought.  When we got home, the poet asked me if I liked either shoe, and my honest answer was, I don't know.  I'm not sure how I feel about a shoe that changes my gait the way it did.  I mean, my gait is a mess but I'm trying to address that through PT, not with some kind of band-aid in the form of a hot pink fairy dust shoe (although BOY OH BOY do I want a pair of those hot pink shoes).  But if the strengthening I'm doing in PT combined with a slightly different shoe (not barefoot or VFF, just a different shoe) can make me a cleaner, healthier runner, then why wouldn't I do it?  I am SO against the minimalist shoe as a concept, but I'm trying to keep an open mind right now about my body and my running, especially while I'm working really hard in PT to get this injury straightened out.  And to his credit, the poet isn't prancing around in his VFFs/Kinvaras saying, "I TOLD YOU SO."
Happy Thursday, everyone!

24 comments:

  1. #1: metro sucks. that is all.
    #3: pink shoes!!!!

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  2. oh, the Poet. :)

    Maybe a different shoe would help- talk to the PT and see what they say?

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  3. I had to take metro the other day and I just barely missed a 2 hour delay!
    I hate running for appointments. I go to a doc in Dupont and I can never remember where I'm going and I'm always running late so I always end up running in my work clothes to get there - FAIL.
    Good luck on your quest to find shoes. I will be interested to see what you end up with.

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  4. For the record, my pink cushy shoes are just regular neutral trainers! They're definitely lighter than my Glycerins but not light enough to be considered minimalist.

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  5. I know we are lucky to have a metro system, but I still avoid it at all costs. Especially the red line!

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  6. um, when i'm running late, i'm late, i do NOT run up conn ave. you're a bad ass.

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  7. I am soooooo tempted to try out the Kinvara. But I'm so used to my smooshy regular Sauconys and if my "healed" hamstring is still tender in regular shoes and a crappy gait, what could less shoe do? I have no idea but I'm too scared (and cheap) to find out.

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  8. Don't fight it! You are destined to be in a minimalist shoe! And if you want more proof, go down to Shepherdstown next Friday night for the free session on running injury free: www.trtreads.com. You will love it.

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  9. I really like my Kinvaras, but according to race photos I still heel strike in them. :( I think it would be pretty interesting to have someone film me running, but I'm not sure I really want to see the results.

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  10. I know need fro-yo. Immediately.

    I am definitely cringing at the shoes, but you gotta do what makes you a better, non-injured runner. ;)

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  11. I despise public transportation!!! UGH, delays like that make me so enraged, I really should just calm down but it ends up festering! I'm glad you tried out the minimalist shoes...I bought a pair of Nike Frees but I ended up ditching them because I felt like I was on the brink of injuring myself (shocker) so now they are my commuter/kick around shoes :)

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  12. Yummy frozen yogurt concoction you have there! I understand how you feel about the minimalist shoe thing. I hope it does help you out!

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  13. Out of curiosity, why are you SO opposed to minimalist shoes? I think I'm neutral on the subject. For folks who tend to not get injured (me, knock on wood), I see no reason to change things. But for folks w/ injuries, it makes some degree of sense to run w/ the mechanics we evolved for running which in theory the minimalists more closely mimic. Barefoot, though, sounds ridiculous. In the city of Chicago you'd end up with glass, poop and good knows what else in your feet!

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  14. I wish I could weigh in on this, but as I said before, I am kind of in the same exact boat as you. Kind of against them, but no real reason, trying to be open minded, not sure how I feel about it. I haven't tried them yet, though. I should. I have thought about getting a lighter pair of "road racing" shoes, but that's about as far as that thought has gone so far:).

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  15. Once you've gone Bike you never go back.

    After all the PT, surgeries, rest, massage, cross-training, everything you've done to be careful, strengthen, train, work through these injuries ... I'd say it would make complete sense if the shoes & resulting gait are what have been doing you in.

    Honestly. You've tried EVERYTHING. Changing your gait/shoes doesn't seem extreme at this point.

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  16. i run in green silences, which felt more minimal than kinvaras even. they have changed my gait fo sho, but have done nothing for my weak ass and collapsing hip. but interestingly enough, my knee pain has diminished greatly. i think the shoes are a quick bandaid, i really need to do my PT, but im the worst PT patient EVA!!!

    that pic is cracking me up!!! and holy freakin abs!

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  17. Still very interested in how this whole shoe thing works out for you. You're certainly going into it with the right attitude—that you need to figure out your gait above all else. Check out this post from D.C. running coach Mike Hamberger on the topic: http://dcrunningcoach.blogspot.com/2011/06/barefoot-running-overrated.html

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  18. Since moving into a more minimal shoe, both racing flats and trainers, I have become a stronger and less injured runner. The minimal shoes may not be for everyone, but they do work for so many. I used to be a huge heal striker as well. The more minimal heal height has re-taught me how to run properly and it feels so much better. If you're concerned about support, the Saucony Mirage and Shadow are both highly recommended by our local running store. Best of luck on your journey to injury free running!

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  19. The metro always sucks! I haven't rode the metro two work in almost three years. I will walk/run/bike in the snow and the rain to avoid it!

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  20. You are definitely not heavy heel striking there, but thats all I can tell. I love the picture of T though. hahahaha. He's really good at knowing how to not get punched in the face :)

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  21. Are you friggin' kidding me! Those abs!

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  22. Hey, band camp, you're roll stepping when you run.

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  23. Putting on minimalist shoes for the first time is a WEIRD experience, but it seems like the minimalist running & PT work would go hand in hand. I highly recommend reading the book Natural Running by Danny Abshire. It's a quick read, but it definitely explains a lot and has some great drills in the back.
    Newton Running KNOWS what they're doing unlike some other companies that are just randomly jumping on the "minimalist shoe" bandwagon. Maybe find a shoe store in your area that carries Newtons and go try them out. Maybe you'll like them better. They follow a "natural running" approach, not a "minimalist running" approach.

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