I’ve been loathe to admit this y’all: there’s something…off with my right foot.
No no, not the part where I have the ugliest former-dancer-distance-runner feet known to man, more a stabby but achy and maybe actually injured kind of off. The problem with this sort of injury is that it hasn’t prevented me from running a step. It’s more like a nagging feeling that just won’t quite go away.
At first I thought I’d stepped on a rock funny and had a stone bruise. Then maybe a touch of peroneal tendonitis where it connects at the bottom. Then…stress fracture?!?! Gout??? Foot AIDS?!!!!??
Needless to say, when one runs alone all the time, the mind tends to wander and mine wandered right off the edge trying to figure out what the hell is going on. It’s been hurting on and off for awhile, so luckily the ultra didn’t cause it, and it didn’t seem to exacerbate it either (side note: the bruise pic in the last post on the top of that foot came entirely from the funky lacing system Brooks uses, and this pain is on the outside edge of my foot).
I have had the occasional injury before, but have been largely lucky to avoid them. The thing with past injuries though is that they’ve come on so sudden and forcefully that I’m literally stopped in my tracks. Running is simply not going to happen. But this, this hasn’t done so much as cause a hitch in my stride or anything! It’s just. Always. There.
Common sense would say to figure out what is going on, rest/rehab, and definitely don’t run another ultra on Saturday. Instead, I took the less advised route: frantically looking for ANYTHING that helps lessen the pain so that I can carry on pretending that I don’t have foot AIDS. I dug through all of my running shoes, trying and discarding pair after pair when I stumbled upon an old favorite: Brooks T7 I LOVE this shoe. Unfortunately it isn’t very long lasting as it is designed for racing, so I can’t really afford to replace it as often as I’d need with the amount of mileage I put in. But this shoe is FAST. It just begs to be run in. So I strapped ’em on and despite the fact that they are beat to hell with almost no life left in them…my foot felt fine!
So what is it about this shoe that helped? Although I wouldn’t say the pain is gone entirely, it is markedly improved in the T7s. The best I can come up with is in the heel to toe drop. Minimalist running is all the rage these days, with most lightweight trainers (and I’m obviously going to run in light shoes at my size/speed) showcasing a lower drop (most of my shoes are ~4mm). The T7s, for as light as they are, have a more traditional drop of 10mm. Could 6 measly mm be the difference? I guess so.
(This post is dedicated to the lovely Iris and her jacked up hip injury. Feel better soon darlin’!)