Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tricks of the Trade: Fitting and Laces

Ok, so I have been MIA because I have been busy pouting about the never ending winter that is 2014. I know, I know. February is a winter month. I am just tired of the snow and subzero temperatures. Oh well! I will get over it now that I am turning to the treadmill as there is snow blocking all the places I could safely run otherwise. Hopefully the snow will hold off long enough for some to melt. I'm not holding out for the snow to stop completely yet because I am tired of having my spirits crushed. So today I am bringing you my first Tricks of the Trade post! Here are ways to re-lace your shoes for the most comfortable fit for your foot. I see a lot of crazy-resourceful things working in a running store!

The Gap

Skipping a hole, or two, can work best for someone who has a wide mid-foot or sensitivity in the top of the foot. I personally lace my shoes this way because I have a wide mid-foot, and I get a painful ache in my feet when I run if I don't lace them this way. I have seen other people come in with their shoes laced this way, and one man told me that the top of his foot is very sensitive, so he skips a hole at the highest part of his foot.

Bunion Business

There are tons of different tricks for bunions, and that's likely because they can be very painful, and avoiding pressure is an important step in avoiding surgery! Skipping the hole on the inside bottom or the two bottom holes is a great way to relieve some of that pressure. *Make sure you are already choosing a shoe with a wide toe box if possible to avoid extra pressure. Everything from the width of the toe box to the placement of the logo/design on the shoe makes a difference in comfort for a person with bunions! 
(Extra Secret Tip: ASICS and Brooks tend to have the widest toe box!)

Narrow? Not a problem!

There really is a use for that last hole that is never laced up on a running shoe! This trick is great for people with a narrow foot or an extremely straight or narrow Achilles. This will lock your foot in place in the shoe so that there is no sliding or slipping in the back. Just lace in toward the foot, through the loop created on the other side, and then tie the laces normally! This will occasionally call for longer laces than the shoe originally came with. 
(EXTRA SUPER SECRET TIP: Parents, in the middle of a growth spurt, buy the shoe a half to full size bigger, and use the laces to hold the foot in the correct position for the week before the shoe fits correctly on its own! A half size is only 1/16 of an inch, so you really aren't getting too much extra space, so don't worry!)

If these tricks still don't seem to be giving you the right fit, then see someone at a local running store to find out if they can use a Brannock Device to measure the width of your foot. Chances are, they can order you the correct width if they don't already have it in stock, and you may not even have to change the style or brand that you are currently wearing! And don't be afraid to get your foot measured often because your foot will grow and change your whole life!! Remember, size is just a number! Don't get hung up on the number. Just make sure those feet have a good fit to keep your body happy and those feet in motion!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Runner's Rambles: Super (weird) Sunday

I'm not usually at a loss for words. I talk about running all day long, but I have found myself at a loss for words. I have had trouble getting myself out for all my weekly training runs since stopping the streak. It's hard to convince myself to run in snowy or cold weather without the motivation of the streak, but the weather was gorgeously spring-like this weekend, and I got in two solid runs. I did a four miler on Saturday and a slow but steady 7 miler on Sunday. So, where do I start?Let's start with the strange, and then move toward the revelations.

I was at 6.90 miles as I neared my apartment, so in order to finish a full seven miles on Sunday, I had the choice to run a tenth of a mile in the parking lot at my apartment, or I could run up the hill next door to the apartment complex. I opted for the hill since I know that I have multiple hilly races this spring. Well, some old man was crazily flailing, yet sprinting down the sidewalk on the hill, which forced me into a pretty busy street. I was a bit perturbed, but I finished the seven miles and turned around to walk back to my apartment.

When I was walking through the parking lot to my building, the old man ran up to me! He told me his name, and the clubs he runs with, and his occupation, and a million other things all while running in small circles around me and creating a moving barrier between me and my apartment building. I couldn't really get him to realize that I wasn't interested, and he kept asking me to run with him sometime. I said, "sure...sometime...I'll probably see you around," in a voice that was meant to just brush him off, but he just kept running back and forth in front of me blocking my path to the building. He wouldn't take no for an answer, and he asked for my phone number, which I didn't give to him. I ended up giving him my email to get him to leave me alone. So here I am thinking that it is crazy to just go up to a stranger and ask to run with them. On the other hand, I'm sure he's a nice person, but I am not sure how to proceed from here. Honestly, I don't really run with other people. AND I don't know this person!!! Why do weird things always happen to me?

Ok, so I have come up with a new strategy for pushing through hills or keeping my pace up near the end of a run. I know that I look like a crazy person when I run, and I have referred to it in my blog before as the psycho factor. It's true. So when I started to feel the crazy creeping up on my face yesterday on a steep hill, I dug deep for my yoga deep breathing and focused on relaxing my face. I noticed that if I relaxed my face and breathing, then I could push myself further. I'm going to keep testing it out, but I am really thinking I'm on to something here! Then again, maybe if I looked a bit crazier at the end of my run, then I wouldn't have had a stranger trying to talk to me.