Sunday, May 29, 2011

Snow, 15-miler and Shoe Ponderings

Dear Mother Nature,
It is less than 48 hours from being June. Please turn off the snow and raise the temps at least a little.

Yeah, I ran my 15 miles in a snow storm this morning! The roads were just wet, but there was literally inches of snow in the grass, it snowed (hard!) the entire 15 miles, and the temps didn't get over 30. Seriously?? Then I came home and read on blogs about runners already battling super high temps and humidity. I can't even imagine it!

It was a good run though. I had an average pace of 8:40, I had negative splits for the run and I felt really good. Jenny is out of town so I was on my own. It was REALLY tempting to just go back to bed when I got up and saw the SNOW and knew no one was waiting on me, but I am glad that I went (as always).

We had a really fun day yesterday. We went out of town to eat, shop and go to the movies. We split up and half of the family saw Pirates of the Caribbean and the other half saw Kung Fu Panda 2. We did some stocking-up at Target, took my little Amanda to have her ears pierced for her birthday (she will be 10 this week....didn't even flinch and LOVES her new earrings), and ate at ChuckaRama. My kids LOVE buffets, and  you don't even want to know the kind of damage my family can do at a place like that. I was really careful about what I ate since I knew I had a long run this morning, but I must have fueled well because my stomach was happier than usual.

While we were out of town I stopped in to the new running store in Idaho Falls. Fun! I am like a kid in Toys R Us in a running store. I hadn't had a running analysis done in quite awhile, so I decided to do one (free). I was interested in seeing what they would say because I have gotten some conflicting advice from various professionals in the past.

On one hand I have been told that I run on my forefoot, and since I do, I "can't" pronate, and don't need shoes with support.

On the other hand I have also been told that I have very low arches and therefor will always pronate and will always need some type of support in my shoes.

They put me in a minimal shoe and then had me run on the treadmill while they videotaped it. Then we watched as they played it back in slow motion and zoomed in at different places. The guy seemed really knowledgeable and pointed out that -

-yes, I definitely do run on my forefoot (I knew that... the heels on my shoes have almost no wear at all, even after hundreds of miles)

- I do still pronate, mild on one side, more moderate on the other. The pronation was definitely obvious on the video, especially on the one side, however the guy pointed out that since I am running on my forefoot, the amount of time that I am pronating with each stride is pretty short.

I have been running in my Brooks Ravenna 2's (and before that the Ravenna's) for over six months now. Brooks says they are for mild overpronaters. They are light for a support shoe and feel fast. I have been able to run 50-60 miles a week without injury and have used them for all of my races, long and short. They are the only shoes I have worn since I started wearing them.

When I first started running they put me in Brooks Adrenalines with inserts. I switched to the Trance with inserts, then (thinking that I was running in more shoe/support than I needed) I "moved down" in weight and support to the Ravenna's. Then I ditched the insoles. I had a little bit of soreness for a few weeks as I got used to running without the insoles, but nothing that kept me from running, and I have felt awesome (and been injury free...knock on wood....every since). I definitely feel like I am a faster and stronger run now. Is that because of all of the training? The change in footwear? Combo of both? Who knows.

With all the hype around minimal/barefoot shoes right now, it is hard not to be curious and want to try them, but I am also super afraid of injuring myself with all of the races I have planned.

I do believe in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" line of thinking, but at the same time, even though nothing was "broke" when I was running in the more supportive and heavier shoes with inserts, I feel like I am better off and running better now in "less" shoe and no inserts, and just wonder if I have found my happy shoe place or if less shoe could be better for me.

So what do you think? Is there anyone out there who DOES overpronate some and is able to run long distances in minimal shoes? I know that you need to transition slowly, but are people able to eventually run all their miles in these shoes? Or do you think for me that I will always need some level of support in my shoes?

I am excited for the Brooks Pure Project shoes to come out in October... they have a new line of more minimal shoes coming out and two of them have some level of support in them.

The guy at the shoe store tried to sell me some crazy Biom shoes that cost $200. No thanks! I did get a pair of shorts and some sun screen and had fun looking around.

Ok, I am off to take the kids to church and then come home and enjoy some much-deserved rest. Happy Sunday everybody!!

Hey, do you love to run? Do you love hoodies? Do you want a chance to win a really super awesome one? Check out my RUN Hoodie giveaway here and please help spread the word. Thanks!!


Amanda@runninghood said...

I will check out your hoodie in a sec. Way to get out there in the snow girl! I know crazy almost June weather here too...cold! Just thankful for no tornadoes. :) I love running stores...I have to really try to control myself. :) Not the best to give shoe advice but I really love my Brooks launch after being in something more feels good to be in a neutral shoe and so far so great! Good luck with that. YOu are awesome. And great run!

Penny said...

My hat goes off to you for running in that snow . The weather here has been cooler than normal and cloudy it is so hard for me to get motivated to run. I just want to stay in bed. Good for you on getting out there and running those 15 miles. I am trying to tranistioning into vff's. I love running in them but the you have to transiton into them very slow which I'm finding out. I think stop running for a week to give my ankle some time to feel better. When I tell people that I am trying to run in vff's they think I'm crazy. I absolutely love the way I feel when I am running in them, compared to running shoes. Running shoes seem to feel so much heavier compared to vff's. Have a great weekend.

Janice {Run Far} said...

Girl... you are awesome, and my new favorite blog.
I was born in Riverton Wy.... but moved to California when I was 2 and then to Utah when I was 8... now I live in Ky with my cute little family. I can't believe you are still having snow storms. We are so hot and humid here.... *90 and 80% humidity. UGH.

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

I would love to start transitioning down to more minimalist shoes. I think once I get through my A races this season I'll get a more simplistic shoe and make my way down.

As far as "can you go further?," I think you could. I'm sure there are plenty of over and underpronators that run minimalist or even barefoot. Like you said, it's just a matter of transitioning correctly. I'd say give it a try at least - what's the worst that could happen? You find out you prefer your current shoes and you stick with them. At least you'll know.

Emily said...

It seems to me like you are doing really well whatever you are doing, but if you want to transition to a more natural form, I would first try running barefoot a little. If you are not used to going barefoot, start just going barefoot around the house. Then try a little outside. Of course, with the snow it could be difficult. :) Since you are already running on your forefoot, it shouldn't be as difficult to try out barefoot running. I have transitioned completely to minimalist shoes/barefoot running and will never go back, but I am still trying to build up my feet for longer barefoot mileage. My feet really do feel best when I've got nothing on. I have overcome plantar fasciitis by going minimalist/barefoot and am so grateful for what I've learned. I recommend Barefoot Ken Bob's website and book if you are interested.

Sarah said...

I run in minimalist trail shoes, the New Balance MT101's, and I really like them over the bulkier running shoes I had before. Because I switched all at once, my stride changed and one of the muscles in my lower leg (the flexor hallucis longus, I just looked it up) killed me for a couple of weeks until it got really strong, but I went from heel striking to forefoot landing all at once. That was a while back; now my legs have adjusted to the more natural stride and I don't get tired as quickly. I actually got those specific shoes because that's what Liza Howard, a local-ish ultrarunner, wears and she's one of my heroes. Ultimately they're your feet and it's your body, so that's pretty much the answer, isn't it?

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

ok i can't even fathom snow, I am sweating my ass off at 5am to even try to run here in miami. crazy!

i want to see both of those movies, guess I should have been with your fam this weekend :)

Terri said...

funny- I run on my forefoot too- and have had conflicting advice on whether i pronate or not etc. I have run in Brooks addiction, and in Gel Asics- more supportive shoes-... I tried Nike frees after I ran Boston in 2011... and they were fine. My word of caution to you would be don't change now before the race and also- theNike frees wear out faster. I got my stress fracture in my fibula because I started training again in them- and should have replaced them first and then started training in the new shoes... Good luck Erin! I splurged on the Newtons- and love them...I think i supinate more than pronate- ironically contrary to expert opinion :) live and learn... trial and error:)