Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Newtons: An Update

Alternate title:  My Hips Don't Lie :)

I know you guys come here for the food, but there was some interest when I introduced them almost a year ago so I figured I owed you an update!  If you're not interested, I promise there will be something tasty next time :)



If you followed my tale (Week 1, Week 2 and Weeks 3+4 recaps), you probably notcied that things went well as I began running in the Newtons.  I felt lighter, probably improved my gait/footstrike, and got a bit faster.  After a trip to Italy (and a week+ of not running),  I wound up with an injured foot.  I didn't mention it too much (apart from my two DNFs) as I wasn't sure what was going on and why it happened.  Was it the shoes?  My feet?  (Lack of) orthotics?

Image Source

After various appointments, an xray, PT, I think the story (or at least the story as I understand it) is this:  the 1st metatarsal joint of my feet (especially the right one) is too flexible.  This flexibility predisposes me to the overpronation that led to my injured right foot (which was just rubbing between the calcaneus & talus bones, if you're interested in that sort of thing ;))   This flexible joint means that I will always need support, or orthotics.

As Newtons promote a mid- to fore-foot strike (right around the 1st metatasal joint), they are not the best shoes for me.  It will take some trial and error once I get my new orthotics, but hopefully I'll find a shoe that fits ;)

Image Source

The other part to this story, the way I actually reached the above conclusions.  I may have mentioned before, but for the past few years (maybe 5+ now?), I've been dealing with various issues that have never been successfully treated (read:  they were treating the symptoms not the underlying cause).  After chatting with a BPC coach about my hips after a run, she recommended seeing Aaron Brooks, an exercise physiologist/biomechanist.   My first visit was particularly revealing, as it confirmed that the alignment and rotation of my hips was out of whack.  Furthermore, my old orthotics reinforced my hip misalignment and functional leg length discrepancy.  Thus the re-evaluation that led me to the above...

What about my hips?  Well, seeing as they've likely been messed up since I had hip dysplasia as a kid, I wasn't going to be able to change it overnight.  I've been seeing Aaron since October, working through sets of exercises/stretches he has put together for me.  The programs seem to have aligned me, now I'm working at strengthening my hips in their new (correct) position.

Since I haven't been wearing orthotics, I spent some time in Vibrams

Downside?  I haven't run since October.  It's not pretty ;)  Luckily I have been able to swim, cycle and lift weights.  I'm trying to stay positive and think about what I can do...  like the one week I went for swim 3x!  I've never put in 3,000m in a week before!  And swim over a mile, at once?  Done and done.  That's gotta be something, right?  Whatever you do just don't ask what I'm signed up for this year.  The answer's nothing yet, as I'm still not running.  And I'm not thrilled about that either.  Moving on.

So the moral of the story, or why I'm sharing this with anyone who's still reading...  finding a good doctor/podiatrist/specialist, and one you like,  is important, and worth the time and money you may spend.  Make sure they take a detailed history and ask you lots of questions, and be sure to include any symptoms you may not connect, but may in fact be related.  Remember, too, that we're all unique, and solutions/treatments will likely vary as well!

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Don't forget about Dem Bones: your hips are connected to your thighs, are connected to your knees, are connected to your ankles, which are connected to your feet!  When we walk or run or cycle, we load all our weight down this "drive train" and when something's amiss, it's best not to forget that it's all connected!

17 comments:

Victoria (The District Chocoholic) said...

The injury is no good, but as a swimmer, I'm a fan of the extra swimming. Awesome!

Joanne said...

Ack! I had no idea you were having such issues! But I'm so glad you're getting them figured out. that stinks, babe. Congrats on the swimming though! Quite an accomplishment.

Jess said...

Wow, how frustrating and awful. Sounds like you are on your way to running again and you have a great attitude. Hope this begins to work soon.

Rosiecat said...

Oh, dear! You've got a lot going on in those legs of yours. I admire your dedication to the sport and wish you the best of luck in getting back on your running feet. Maybe some day we'll be able to go running together! Wouldn't that be awesome? :-)

Susie Anderson said...

Aww that stinks. You must be itching to get better!! I have only ever been able to wear Saucony's for running... I don't even try to test that fact anymore :)

I'm glad you can still swim and stuff! But I'm sure it's not the same as running :(

Sues

Tiny Urban Kitchen said...

Wow, so glad you were able to find out what was wrong! I seriously think I need orthotics as well (I'm flat footed!). I have been suspicious for some time that I'm misaligned as well! Thanks for the reminder that I need to find a really good doctor and that it's worth the time spent even though it feels like a pain sometimes!

Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

Wow - you really have been through quite a bit :( I agree that a good doc is so important - particularly one who listens and just doesnt recommend 'oh well dont run then' ?!

TiffersRunsTX said...

Sheesh, hon. I'm so sorry that you've gone through a booger of a time with your hips and foot. You're not alone with the injuries from Newtons. I have friends who swear by them, and others who have had a bad reaction (and not just a funny gait, but very serious injuries). Just further proves your point: Listen to your body; when it's hollerin', take it to the right person.

Awesome job on the swimming, wow!

Emily said...

As a new runner, I thought this post was interesting.

I'm sorry about your injuries. I'm sure things will get better soon! Congrats on your swim! That's awesome.

Erica said...

Wow- its amazing how much a good doctor can change things! Glad you're finding solutions to the pain! And hopefully you'll be back running soon.

Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

Glad you found someone you can trust. I'm SO frustrated with my back but I don't know if my PT is someone I can keep seeing. I'm secretly hoping it will go away on its own but obviously i'm in denial.

Meghan said...

Excellent post!!!! I'm so sorry this has kept you from running, but so happy that they have figured out what the issues are. I totally agree that with these high impact activities it's important to remember that it's all connected. Problems with the feet can move up into the body and problems from the body can cause problems with the feet. Brilliant as usual from you!

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

gosh, what a journey! I'm so glad your swimming is coming along though. That is a great outlet! I've heard great things about Newton. Hope they treat you well!
LC

sophia said...

God, that is the worst, when you don't even really know what's exactly wrong with you. Glad it's getting worked out. I admire your persistence to be positive about it all, though. You rock, Shannon!

Anonymous said...

Loved this post Shannon! Also loved that the trip to Italy got a shout out! Hope you feel better soon. I know how important running is to you!

Michelle

Reeni said...

I'm sorry you're going through this Shannon! It sounds like you are being well taken care of. I wish you the best - keep us posted.

Elizabeth said...

I had to stop running last spring because of a knee issue. I totally understand the frustration. Always interesting to hear other people's situations.

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