For as many things as I think I do right as a runner, there are some best practices that I somehow seem to neglect. Sufficient stretching is one area where I do not practice what I preach. (Strength training is another; I simply don’t do it.) And, as I discovered recently, replacing running shoes in a timely manner is yet a third running best practice that I let go by the wayside. Many, many times I have told new runners and fellow runners about the importance of not only having shoes that are fit to your feet and running style but that are also not past their prime. Running in shoes that are past their mileage expiration date is a great way to potentially get injured. I’m not saying that worn shoes will cause injury, but I do think they could contribute to otherwise avoidable aches and pains. Continue reading
I’ve seen a few posts here and there about the “taboo” topics in running and while I don’t feel compelled to touch on all of them I am finally ready to discuss the topic of runner’s feet. And it’s not so much that I want to ‘discuss’ as it is I want to lament, whine a little and make sure other runners know they’re not alone in this ‘badge’ of distance running. I will admit that I have a strange and sick fascination with what happens to my feet over the course of training but that doesn’t make it any better. The slightly consoling bit is that in researching on this topic I found I was not the only one looking to discover the mystery of runner’s feet, or more specifically, runner’s toes. Continue reading
I have said before that running is not a beauty contest. I think I have also posted along the way that somehow, despite the fact that I am not a ‘pink’ person (I trend toward purple, green, and earth tones) the bulk of my work-out gear and accessories seems to end up being pink. All my pink stuff is either what’s available, what’s in my size, or what was in the gift box. So when my husband saw my new hot pink and black Nike Frees and asked “what are those ugly shoes?” I responded that they are what will make me fast. Continue reading
Having just completed my first sprint triathlon, I am by no means an expert or even a well-versed triathlete. However, from that first experience I think I learned some things during the transitions and in hindsight have realized some things about the transitions that are definitely valuable to me as I prepare for triathlon number two. If for no other reason than to be able to remember them later, I wanted to share some of the thoughts I have on triathlon transitions and perhaps this information will come in handy for others as they prepare for triathlons. And please, if you have triathlon transition tips or suggestions, please feel free to share them!
The transitions were a part of the triathlon that I agonized over during training. Despite my anxiety over transitions the most I did to prepare was to go for a short run after half a dozen or so bike rides. I also talked to every person I know who’d done a triathlon to get their advice and my husband and I watched an ING triathlon on TV one day and I got to see how the pros do their transitions. Needless to say I was floored when I saw that they did not dry off after the swim, didn’t wear socks, and seemed to be in and out of the transition area in a matter of seconds. The only other real “preparation” I did was all mental; I visualized how I thought my transitions would go. I am one that definitely learns by doing so I knew that there was no way I’d really understand transitions and how to make them go smoother until I’d actually done them. Continue reading
Buying new running shoes, especially for experienced athletes, is not just a fleeting shopping moment or a purchase made on a whim. It is a thought-out, planned experience. For some, like myself, the process of buying new shoes begins months before it’s actually time to buy. For many athletes, the buying process includes researching shoes, studying their own foot type, or becoming familiar with local running stores–the act of buying new shoes is a very deliberate process.
Over a week ago my friend invited me to join her in her new shoe purchase. Like the athletes I just described she was well armed with information long before it was time to buy shoes. She knew what stores she did and didn’t like in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas, she knew why she was ready to move on from her trusty Asics, she could describe her fitness level and walk/jog work-outs, and she was well versed in the different arches of her feet and the orthotics she uses to get a comfortable fit with shoes. So when we met up at the new Charm City Run store at the Annapolis Towne Centre I knew it would not be your average shoe purchase experience.
I believe my first pair of “running shoes” was a pair of retired volleyball shoes that I used in college until they wore thin. Once I realized the value of actual running shoes I dabbled a bit with different brands. I started with Saucony and switched to New Balance, then ran in Nikes, and moved around between the three brands for a while. Most of my purchase decisions were entirely based on price. I had no knowledge base of how a shoe should fit when I was first buying running shoes.
A couple years ago, however, I started to really care about the shoes I was putting on my feet. I’ve had my share of blisters in every shoe imaginable from running shoes to high heels to flip flops so I often figure blisters are just part of the deal. After the Annapolis 10-mile run one year, I took my shoes off to find that my big toe had much more than a blister. My poor toe was bleeding, discolored, and looked just awful; it was the first time I’d seen my feet really take a beating from running. When I commiserated about this with friends, they instantly pointed to my shoes as being the culprit. They were not sized right for the amount of running I was doing and the A10 was the long run that finally took its toll on my feet.
It was time for a new pair of shoes. Continue reading