Alright, so time to talk about running shoes. I never felt like I had to a problem finding running shoes. Before this time. How did we find ourselves here, feet?
The story goes like this:
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a girl who was learning to love to run. She ran and ran and ran. Just 5ks. Until one day, a 10k. And a half marathon. And another. And then, she thought she’d tackle a marathon. So she registered. Nashville was on the books.
But it was not to be. Not at this time. For she had some serious and persistent IT band issues that kept her from running loooooong. What a pain. Literally and figuratively. Seriously.
She could muscle through 13.1 miles. The first nine were good. The last four were always pain. (I grimace just thinking of it.) Marathons would have to wait.
Eventually, a physical therapist prescribed Superfeet inserts. Some strengthening exercises. Foam rolling (“therapy”… you may recall my feelings on this. And if not, you can find out here). Ah, relief was ahead, right? Wrong.
Years of supportive shoes and Superfeet seemed to do just enough to keep running tolerable. To keep 13.1 within reach (and within her pain tolerance).
And then one day, someone recommended custom orthotics. Well, what the heck. It made sense. Fix the base and the rest would fall into line. Funny enough, it worked. Three glorious years of pain-free running passed, a few more half marathons (faster and faster half marathons!), a 70.3 and a marathon (!) and things were seeming pretty good for our heroine.
Sigh. What a lovely story.
But wait. All good things must come to an end. Three years of near-constant training. Miles upon miles took their toll. Custom orthotics break down, need replacing. And easy fix, right? Ah. Wrong again.
Fast forward to two months ago. The 1st replacements were much too small and much too narrow for running shoes and had to be reordered. And the 2nd set (nearly a full month later) – went into a new pair of the same running shoes I’ve been running in – weren’t a good fit in the new shoes. I felt like I was running on the outsides of my feet. Like I was double-correcting by being in a custom orthotic AND supportive shoes. Possible… yes. But that was also the dynamic duo that got me through 13.1, 26.2 and 70.3. Huh.
So back went the shoes. Out came another pair. A neutral pair with a smaller drop from the heel to the toe. Good, except my fat feet, sitting on top of the inserts, were rubbing along one of the outlays along the outside of the shoe along the outside of my foot. As a side note, my sweet sweet hubby insists I do not have fat feet, just that I have “a part of my foot right under my pinkie toe that seems to be slightly wider than the average”. So sweet. Fat feet. But I digress.
So back went #2. Out came #3 (less support than #1, more than #2) for a run. But potentially too narrow. And? Well. The jury’s still out. They’ll be running with me again.
I think deep down, the answer is: they don’t work. But at this point, I just. Want. Shoes. Shoes that work. And I’m totally totally totally willing #3 to work. You know, so my feet can have their happily ever after. I don’t want to be the fat-footed running Cinderella. When, oh when did finding shoes get to be so complicated?