Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Running Store Revelations (or the treadmill never lies)...1600 & Fishing.

The treadmill never lies

Yesterday, while my boys went fishing, I went into the local running store and asked if they thought I had high arches (it kinda looks to me like I have them).

The gal there asked me to stand and bend at the knees with my feet shoulder-width apart. Upon her watching, she informed me, "Yes, and you're a neutral".

Whoa. Back up there, missy. "Are you sure?"

She rechecked. "Yes."

That's kinda funny, since I have been analyzed before as an over-pronator (most women are). "I have been running in stability shoes for two (almost 3) years, and you're telling me I am a neutral?"
She nodded her head.

"Really?" She nodded her head again.

I was in total doubt. I am a skeptic anyway...but this was pretty hard for me to believe.
"Sorry to push this, but I got analyzed before and I was wondering....Would you mind doing the treadmill video tape thing?"

She was confident. She cued up that puppy and let me run in my jeans for a bit longer than I did the last time 2+ years ago.

Then she played it back for me.

Sure enough. As she pointed out, I strike on the outsides of my feet and roll in, but only to the center (maybe a smidge more on the left foot, but not enough to warrant stability shoes.)

We talked some more..about what might happen if you are a neutral wearing stability shoes. Two things might crop up: ITBS and/or ankle issues. And it might explain the odd wear pattern on my shoes..to the outside on the right foot).

I purchased the sports bra I found on clearance and a few gels. I needed some time to take it all in. I left with my mom (who had the baby-- THANKS MOM!!!) and we talked. Then I doubled back and went for a pair of shoes (and ran into my friend Tami on the way back!...thanks for the fashion input!).

She was busy this time and I got a different clerk. We'll call him Specs. Specs was the guy who analyzed me in 2008. He didn't believe I was a neutral, so he made me do the standing test.

I mentioned to him I got injured about 5 weeks ago and had a marathon coming up. "I wouldn't do it," He said. I smiled.

"I am going to do it." (thinking..."If I can"...) "Airfare is paid for. I registered in October. And I have seen a doctor (kinda defensively)."

"You only live once." He said with a shrug.

He got me the shoes, I tried them on and ran in them. He recommended I take my time to get used to them (working them into my other shoes). I bought them.

While at the counter he asked, "What race is it?" I told him it was Boston.

"Oooooooooohhhhh. I haven't done that one."

"Why not?" I asked...curious to get into the brain of another runner.

"I really want to be in my best shape when I do," He replied.

I smiled again.

I took the shoes and left.

Being a neutral is like winning the lottery...Here I was running around in stability shoes, when I could have been wearing some nice Asics Piranhas the whole time!! The world of racing flats and discount deals is just beyond the door.

Training stuff:
I think I am still recovering from the 20 miler...or my calf was still sore from weights Saturday (quite possible), when I headed out in the rain today. I haven't done any speed work since the disastrous tempo that took me out for three weeks with a mysterious ankle injury.

Another blogger, Danny, (thank you) suggested that I do a few 1600's (but not too many) between now and the race.

I'll be honest here. I have not felt like my legs were ready for that yet. But I know my time left is very short. I decided to keep it near 6:18 each (if it could be possible to go that pace)I also decided to stop at two, just to make sure I could LIVE to run another day (if injury issues cropped up).

I wore the new Brooks and after 5 miles of warm up, I hit the first 1600. Really- I wasn't sure if I could even go under 7 minutes- but I misjudged where the mile marker was (it's been 6+ weeks!) and when I saw it, I had to hold on. I finished in 6:07. The about 1600 recovery, but I was still tired. This one was an easier effort and a slower 6:25. It's very hard to judge my fitness from just these two....But I feel better for trying.

I definitely want to get to my race in one piece, so I am not going to go crazy with this stuff at 20 days out. Just trying to regain fitness I lost. And tomorrow I may be able to run (at an easy pace). Each run is a GIFT.
Hope you all have a great week!!!
Fishing pics:

Thanks to my dad and Jon for taking the boys on a fun excursion (in Eugene)!
They had a good time- even though the fish were very tricky =D Monday.


  1. You will run good at Boston and the boys will catch fish.

  2. hard to judge fitness? with a 6:07? I'm getting out my bike.

  3. Interesting but also exciting that you find that out now. I’m a neutral and my last injury was in 1995. I do hope this will sort out your problem. Enjoy the new shoes! You are fast!

  4. I always thought I was neutral and wore the shoes that went along with that. Two years ago I was told I was overpronating and put into different shoes and that is when I ended up with the ankle injury and was re-evaluated at PT and told I was in the wrong shoe. I feel like we should be getting a second opinion at running stores these days!! and then maybe a third :D

  5. I've been told I'm neutral and also that I pronate a bit. I usually wear ASICS 2150 or 1150. Hope the news about your feet helps soon. Just read your post about vitamin D - I take 2000mg. I haven't noticed a difference in how I feel (I feel fine, though), but hopefully the next blood test will show improvement.

  6. yeah, I am not too "in" on the diagnostics/evaluation of what shoes runners should be wearing according the "running store clerks". Plus, I think our strides/gait change over time as well. The arches typically are the best indicator of the shoe needs a podiatrist friend told me once. Before this I had a clerk tell me I was in need of stablity shoes because I suppinate. Injury after injury told them they were wrong afterwards. Neutral (high arches) I am now and have been for many years. My supinating issue was too minor to warrant wearng stabilty shoes.

  7. Be careful with the rest of your training! Its difficult to make up fitness in 2 weeks. Better to keep yourself rested and healthy for Boston!!

  8. I used to be an overpronator, but my strike has corrected over the years and I am neutral now. I do have high arches, though:)

    Those miles are speedy. Smart to do a bit of speed now as opposed to high mileage, since the race is almost here.

  9. Wow. well hopefully that will help solve some of the problems you having been having. You will still be ready for Boston - you are smoking fast!

  10. I've never tried duck fishing before. I bet it's a challenge getting the hook out.

  11. I drank up every word of this post. I could so relate to the feeling of figuring out that I'm a neutral..I don't even know what it was but I was excited. Excited to wear my Brooks Launch and racing flats and more minimal shoes. :) Your mile repeats are crazy awesome! I am so impressed. Great story about the conversation between you and running guy. "I wouldn't do it" That would be hard to bite my tongue and be nice and not say something like "I didn't ask you." :) no, I'm usually pretty nice. :)

  12. CUTEST PICTURES!!! I am SO happy you are running again...you give me hope:) GIRL, YOU ARE SPEEDY!!! That is so crazy that they told you the WRONG type of shoe that you needed. Keep up the amazing running woman and I can't wait to meet you!!!

  13. Yay for the Brooks!! My smile would definitely come with a middle finger in my pocket in that conversation-ha!

    Those repeats are so dang fast considering you haven't been doing speed. You have to feel SO good about that. I HAVE been doing speed, I am nowhere near 6:07!!! I really think you have some big potential for this race still! 20 days:)

    Love the fishing pics of your boys! We would make good neighbors. I think our boys would hit it off!!!

    91 not quite 122:)

  14. wow, good thing you got tested again. I wonder if your injury changed your gait?
    Love your boys, too cute!

  15. Love the new shoes... very pretty. :) Also, I love that the clerk said, "I haven't run that one yet" as if he was trying to impress you with "all" the marathons he has run. Just a guess but I would imagine he hasn't run "that one" yet because he hasn't qualified for it.

    You are soooo speedy! Hope these next couple of weeks go well for you. Stay healthy!

  16. I have never gotten tested for gait analysis and so glad you re-did yours!

    If I could have your fitness after not running hard core for 5 weeks, it'd be a miracle! You are so talented!! In awe of your effortless pacing!!

    You only live once! I will be cheering my heart out for you Raina!!

  17. haha, Laurie. I bet you have met that clerk before!

  18. The technology helps, now the treadmill test is very important to find the best shoes for us.
    Enjoy the new shoes.
    I am sure you will run a fast marathon.
    Have a good week end.

  19. Thank you for your comment on my post today! Thank you for sharing what your FIL had said to you, I like the optimism! You are so great! :) Great job on your 1600s by the way, it sounds like you are still in pretty darn good shape! I hope your running continues to go well!!

  20. I was put in stability shoes at my first fitting as well but I am neutral. Go figure. Yay for Boston! I'll be there in spirit this year!

  21. Interesting about the whole shoe type issue! That is great that you now figured it out! It was great reading your post recently about visiting the sports doctor, my visit there went pretty well too (seems like it is never as bad you think it is going to go). Boston is almost here for you!

  22. First of all: so speedy!
    Second: Very interesting about the neutral vs. stability issue. I am also skeptical myself. Very smart to get a second opinion...

  23. Hey you! Thanks for the comments! Insider tips on the Race for the Roses course or Boston? Boston...I have none because I remember very little about the race. :) Race for the Roses...can't wait to try it again! So many things I learned from running it this time. Like so many places where you can just give it your all and then have the chance to let go on the down hills. The end is where you can really work it and then kick it in because so many people slow down on the huge hill at the end. more if you ever run it...

  24. i totally agree with you. being a neutral runner WOULD totally be like winning the lottery. and actually, i'm not that surprised that your gait would have changed. my over pronation has gotten much less exaggerated over the years that i've been running. i do know that most running store people have a tendency to just put you in the same *type* of shoes that you were given when first analyzed.

    i'm not sure i like the guy from the running store. i totally get the idea of wanting to be in good shape to run at boson, as a sign of respect and all...especially with the cost...but really, i'm running it knowing that i'm not in my best form. things happen. and its BOSTON. i'd walk the whole thing if i had to, just to be there!


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