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?
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 ;)
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!
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!