28 July 2010

young me, now me



I was squeamish about wearing white socks and sandals but in the interests of recreating a photo of me from fifty years ago I reluctantly pulled them on. Please note, the ridiculous facial expression is deliberate!

25 July 2010

saucony progrid stabil cs running shoe

My arch pain has subsided enough to run and I've been back at it for three weeks. I have realised that my exisiting shoes have inadequate cushioning for longer runs and are far too flexible. I feel the root of my foot injury has been my low arches combined with over-use and the wrong shoe this year, so, after plenty of research I bought these online from Wiggle in the UK. I'm familiar with the brand and confident about sizing as I run in Saucony shoes.

Construction is solid and build-quality excellent. They feel heavy and rigid for a running shoe and make my Saucony ProGrid 8s feel decidedly lightweight. Sole cushioning is deep, firm and comfortable on hard surfaces. The ProGrid Stabils have an internal arch support strap which grips as you tighten the laces and holds the foot in line.

At first I found them a little "clumpy" and was conscious of the extra weight but they are comfortable. Time will tell if they can give the arch support I need. The biggest difference is the medial side of the sole which is flat to the road rather than arched as the following comparison of the right shoes shows.

NEW SHOE (right)

OLD SHOE (right)

This week I have run three times - six or seven miles each time and my initial reaction is positive. I still have some arch pain but maybe that will go eventually. For the past three weeks back on the road I have been adjusting my gait to compensate for the weak arch and have a number of little niggles as a result. Having run in the new shoes for the first time this week, there is some tenderness on the outside of my left sole where the new foot strike feels different.

Needless to say after such a long lay-off my times are way down and my stamina is poor. None of this is helped by the soaking humidity, daily temperatures in the high twenties and a dose of something a few days ago which put me to bed with nausea for twenty-four hours and left me with a weak appetite. I'm returning to normal now so hopefully next week will be easier on my muscles, heart and lungs!

08 July 2010

heat wave

Sunrise at 5:30am casts long sharp shadows heralding another day of blistering temperatures. By early afternoon it's twenty nine degrees Celsius with a stifling hot breeze, yet we are cooler than much of the rest of Canada. In central parts the "humidex" (I'm sure we didn't have that when I was small) is forty three degrees Celsius.

This is rather nice for someone like me who enjoys both hot and cold weather. However the heat and humidity sap energy, not useful when you are returning to running after an eight week injury break. There is still an ache in my foot but nothing like the previous severe pain. At the end of yesterday's five mile run I was footsore, heat-exhausted and somewhat dehydrated.

This morning the foot twinged when I first walked but eased up later. The latest setback has been lower back pain so nasty that you would laugh to see me attempt to regain the perpendicular from a sitting or lying position. I believe my gait is compensating for the foot injury and putting unexpected muscle strain on my back.

I have ordered some new running shoes with high tech "motion control" features that support the arches and guide the foot securely from heel to toe. I am keen for them to arrive soon as I have high hopes for them.