"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Did It Take This Long?

I've had some pain in my lower legs for the past month or so. Nothing hurts when I run, but afterwards it's so tender that I can't even touch it. I started to get concerned about it around the beginning of March and it just hasn't gotten any better. After quite a bit of research from a number of different sources, it would appear as though I'm suffering from medial tibial stress syndrome, or shin splints. General causes include overpronation (check), worn out shoes (check, sadly), running on roads (check) and being female (so mark it down as 3 out of 4). Shoes are a weird thing. I get attached to my shoes. And I couldn't bear the thought that after only eight months I was in need of a new pair. So what if they had almost 600 miles on them, it's only been eight months!

My legs were killing me though, so I eventually gave in and went my nearest Roadrunner Sports to meet with Jenny, who has helped my dad find numerous pairs of shoes over the last little while. Jenny ran me (literally, even though I was in slacks, dress shirt and tie) through a series of diagnostics, looking at my weight distribution, landing patterns, arch measurements, foot flexibility and shape and and a few other measurements she needed to recommend a decent pair of shoes. She brought out three pairs, had me run on a treadmill in each of them, asked me which one felt the best (they all do, they're brand new shoes), and then offered some orthotics to help my arch support, which was lacking a little bit in my right foot. I ended up going with the Adidas Supernova Glide 2 model.

I've always wondered if paying the prices at these specialty stores was worth it. Were they really telling me anything earth-shattering? Why can't I just go buy a pair of shoes at an outlet store or online somewhere? Where's the value-added service? I was skeptical, but bought the shoes and the orthotics anyway (holy cow those things are expensive!). Jenny assured me that everything had a 60-day no-questions-asked return policy on them, which seemed decent. I will be very skeptical over the next 60 days. If my feet don't feel any better, I thought, they're going back.

Whatever commission Jenny is making is worth it. After just three runs the pain in my legs isn't gone, but its nothing like it was a week ago. Hopefully it will continue to improve. The recommended treatment for MTSS is 4-6 weeks of rest. And that is definitely not going to happen. If you are looking at getting a new pair of shoes, go find your nearest Roadrunner Sports. The equipment they use to do their diagnostic work is kind of cool. And then if you want to be a complete jerk, you can always take the info they give you and go buy one of the pairs they recommend online.

1 comment:

dovh49 said...

Have you been doing shin split exercises? In High School we did them by having someone put a little pressure on our feet while we lifted them.

Also, check out...
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/hit-the-ground-running-barefoot/story-e6frg8y6-1225842557276