Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Running shoe blues

I miss having a pair of running shoes that I love and look forward to wearing. Since the neuroma in my left foot has reared it's ugly head again and again for the last 6 months i haven't been able to find a great pair of running shoes that are just right. I feel like Cinderella searching for my lost glass slipper that fit like a glove. For years and years I wore Asics Gel-Nimbus, but several injuries and the trend toward less clunky shoes sent me searching for something new. I went through a Saucony phase, but they discontinued the Cortana and the racing flats I loved for so long irritated my right foot and I had an ongoing battle with plantar fascitis for a few years. I have super high Arches, so it's tricky to nail down a shoe that's not too clunky, but still has support.
Last year I was lucky enough to test the new Nike Lunar Glide 5 and liked those a lot, I'm trying to think of why I stopped... Probably because I got a new test pair of Nike Flyknit Lunars and fell madly in love. I had that neon orange and purple pair from the Allyson Felix commercial and they were hot stuff. They gradually wore out and I was getting PF pain, so I sucked it up and with the help of a Nike gift card, bought a light blue pair. Oh, they were heaven, or so I thought. While they were terrible winter shoes (stretchy fabric +snow= brrr wet feet) I loved them so. Then the neuroma hit and my suspicion that they were too narrow for my foot became clear. A neuroma often occurs when shoes are too tight across the widest part of the forefoot because the nerves are pinched together and they really don't like that. Damn it, I would have to find new shoes. In the colder weather I'd been wearing a pair of Salomons, my second pair after running the first pair into the ground, but suddenly they were causing pain too. Cue the return of Asics, the softest shoe I could think of. I bought a pair of Gel Excels from the Asics store because they felt roomy, soft and didn't hurt my foot but are a reasonable heel to toe drop. Unfortunately, the cushioning is sooo soft that my ankles get sore after running in them as if I'd run a tough trail race. They are also pretty unresponsive as a result, I don't feel springy or quick at all. Another trip to the podiatrist led to orthotics and a trip to Jackrabbit Sports where I finally used my store credit from the indoor triathlon prize. I bought Hoka One One Stinsons which look like moon shoes but are super light and responsive. I was surprised at how great they felt while running because they look enormous, but then I noticed the blisters. The overlay is made of a sort of meshy material with lines of firmer material to give it substance, but some combination of that brings on big toe blisters just about every run. I added moleskin over the area inside the shoe and wear cushy socks, but to no avail. I wear my orthotics religiously but the neuroma still tingles and burns more often than not. I'm going back to the podiatrist next week and I'm not sure what she's going to say. The next option after orthotics is usually either denatured alcohol shots to kill the nerve or surgical removal. I don't know if we're there yet, but I am sick of hobbling around on a tingly, zinging foot. I guess I'll wait until after the appointment to make another trip to the shoe store for yet another pair. I'm out of gift cards and store credits, so hopefully my next pair won't be a flop.
I just miss having a great pair that I love enough to stock up on several pairs. I'm also really sick of having foot pain, something I'd really like to resolve before winter boot season makes me change everything again!

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The search for the perfect running gum.

I'm a big fan of running and cycling with gum in my mouth. Before you say "Aren't you afraid you're going to choke?" you should try it because it's really exactly the same as walking and chewing gum and you'll feel a little silly. Chewing gum keeps my mouth from getting dry while running and keeps my breath fresh should I encounter Daniel Craig on a run. This is Manhattan, after all, and you never know who you might run into.
So, my quest for the perfect piece of running gum continues because I think Orbit recently changed their formula and the flavor doesn't last long enough anymore. I am a fan of Extra for regular chewing purposes, but it's not strong enough for running, it completely falls apart. I guess it can't handle the intensity. Trident is okay in a pinch, but it too hardens and loses flavor too quickly. Orbit used to be perfect, the size is still right but now it turns hard and blah after a mile or two. At work I enjoy the Ice Cubes with unwrapped pieces in a little container, but I prefer wrapped gum in case I need to bring it to the start of a race. The types of gum in the blister packs, the chicklet types, also don't last very long and are too small.
I realize I am the Goldilocks of chewing gum, but I'd like to hear any suggestions for types to try. The only requirements are minty flavors and sugar free. I pay enough at the dentist already, thanks, no one needs sugary gum.
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