Shoes. When one talks about Cinderella, they talk about the shoes.
A few days ago, I had my own version of a Cinderella story… this isn’t the story of pumpkins or Prince Charming, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself here. Let me start from the beginning.
For the past few months I’ve been training for the Soldier Field 10 Mile, increasing my mileage and pace at a moderate, but doable rate. Everything was going along wonderfully until it wasn’t. I started getting calf pains on my longer runs. Then I started getting pain on my shorter runs.
Finally, I could barely run a mile without almost paralyzing cramps/pain along the inner side of my calves/shins. Lesson learned: I should have addressed my discomfort much, much sooner. Turns out, it seems likely I’m currently suffering from shin splints, which is disappointing with a race a few weeks away.
I’ve been (actively) resting with yoga, the elliptical and strength training. And most importantly, I opened my eyes to a brand new pair of shoes. Thanks to a running specialty store in my area, I had my gait analyzed and was fitted for a high-quality proper shoe. I’m now the proud owner of a pair of Brooks Ghost 5.
I took them on a short test run this afternoon (I’m still not completely pain-free) and I loved them. I felt lightweight, quick and cushioned while running. To say these shoes are an upgrade, would be a major understatement. The only problem is I’m getting antsy waiting to get back to running the way I was prior to the injury.
I’m not sharing this story to help Brooks sell shoes or to seek sympathy, but just to shed some light on how important it is to have a solid pair of shoes beneath your active feet. That and above all, listen to your body. Pushing through pain doesn’t make you strong, it makes you vulnerable to injury. Strength comes from being in tune with your body and allowing it to do what it needs.