Over/Under: Its a gamble how my foot strikes

So here I was at the runners world web site thinking that I may want to send a shout out warning about the Brooks Trance running shoe.  I have warning that all should hear.  I know that Runners World is the forum for this but then I see it.

Pronation, Explained

Okay, well I thought I overpronate right.  Lets just confirm this.  Well that starts the problem.  There are these videos and some explainations.  I am into it and here is the first one.

Pronation

Well, it is all and good.  I am looking at it and I think this could be fun and then the next one strikes. (all puns intended)

 Over-Pronation

And to round it out Underpronation.

 

Now which am I.  Well this is the conundrum I am under.  All of these fine videos with explanations and the like and yet I am unsure what is what.  Sure I examine my stride as I run.  As a matter of fact I have pictures from races that show how I strike but my problem is that I do not strike heel first and role to the toe.  I am a toe stiker.  I have been since my track and cross country days back in high school.  It just feel right and everytime I try to heel strike it jars my legs, hips and entire body.  Lets just say it feels wrong. 

Well since this stuff cannot be totally translated I will have to use my amazing power of deduction.  After looking at the videos I do not over-pronate which would suggest that I roll from out to in too far.  As a matter of fact I do not even pronate.  As my foot strikes on the outside I tend to stay there and toe off from the out side.  It even shows in my shoe wear pattern. 

UnderWear

UnderWear

The outside is worn and the inside is barely touched.  So really when I get new shoes I only need a two tire change and not all four.

A life too short. Remembering a good pair of shoe tragically struck down in its prime.

It was not that long ago that I said goodbye to my Mizuno’s.  Oh how they ran.   I introduced you all to my new Pearl Izumi’s.  They were fantastic.  The insides were seamless and there was a little extra cushion in the mid sole.  Well, it took me a month to beat that out of them. 

It was fantastic.  I could lace those babies up and just run.  It was like scene where two lovers were running toward each other in a field with great big floating leaps like they were filled with helium except there voices were normal.  Kind of like that.  I remember you when you were all clean.  Your red was vibrant.  There was no exception to your reflective strips and the white parts were actually white.  It almost seemed like I was committing some crime when you got dirty.  I tried to clean you off but the miles were showing and I could not stop the antiqued look.

Pearl Izumi’s

We ran through these fantastic rains where my feet were soaked but we trudged on.  Mile and miles were put on.  This was base training and we were reaching our goal of nothing.  I was running just for the sake of running and you were what carried me there.  Remember that time when we were running on ice and we couldn’t keep traction.  I kept running in one direction and is was like were were doing the moon walk as we went the other direction.  It wasn’t your fault.  No running shoe was designed to handle that ice.  I am just glad I survived it so we could run together again.  We made up the tower, then ran for some Chili and finally tried to Catch a Leprechaun.  (Frank you are just too fast 🙂 )

Shoe Death

It was when I was at the Chili Bowl Classic when we noticed that something was not quite right.  Sure you still felt good and I had just stomped out a sub 24minute 5k.  But as I was stretching we discovered that you had been wounded.  You out-sole was wearing down to the plastic in the cushioning.  Oh no.  Back in the old days we would have invested in some shoe goo and tried to mend the injury.  But you are an advanced piece of technology where every part is specifically engineered and shoe goo would have turned you into the technical equivalent of payless sneakers. 

I decided to keep you in service because of other obligations you had signed on for.  We survived another couple of weeks till the Catch a Leprechaun 30k where you informed me at about mile 12 that you were ready to retire.  I was reluctant.  Since I started running marathons last year I had essentially had one pair of shoes for each marathon.  I was certain that you deserved that honor.  You were and still are but the timing was not right. 

We had a last horah with a 5k training run through a blizzard and about a foot of snow followed by a 20 miler the next day.  Again you served me well and I salute you for your efforts.  It is time to move on.  Another pair of shoes has come on the scene to protect my feet from the rigors for the road.  It has been a fantastic 436 miles and as I have said before you have been replaced but never forgotten.  Especially since you were stricken down much too soon.  Thanks again and goodbye old friends. 

Say Hello to my Little Friends (Is Size 12 Still Little?)

It was hard to put on the new pair today. My old pair were sitting on the floor waiting but I had just said good by.
It was my turn to try the Pearl Izumi SynchroGuides. I had gotten fit at Fleet Feet and they seemed to be a good fit. There was an excess of cushioning around the front mid sole where I impact. I am sure it is matter of time before I where that down. But back to this morning.
They were light and felt snug as I tied them up. As stepped out of the car at the MetroPark things felt good. That extra cushioning was there and kind of annoying but we shall overcome. The first few miles were uneventful. My legs felt heavy but that was about my limberness. At about mile 3 I stopped to stretch and the legs loosened up. So far so good.
On my way back I was about 4 miles back when I realized that my upper right foot was hurting. In my nervouseness about my new shoes I had tied them too tight. I was paying for it.
I found one of the hardest things to do during a run is to stop and adjust footware. I would get a boulder (the size of a large grain of sand) in my shoe on a towpath run and I would stop and remove my shoe to excavate it. Getting the shoe back on would never be quiet right. More of the same today. This time I was untieing and loosening and tieing back and repeating till it felt better. The real trick is getting the other shoe to feel the same pressure. It never works quite right.
I finished the run and most of the discomfort had subsided. This was a good 10 mile run. I am sure I will get the hang of my new friends. These pair will be with me for a while and in that time we will become closer to that point where I will feel bad when the new pair comes along.

Saying Good by to a Pair of Good Friends

It is so hard to say good by to an old pair of shoes. Especially when they have been so good to me like my Mizuno Wave Nirvana’s have. I still remeber my first run in them. It was on the Ohio-Erie Canal Towpath. I was in recovery from the Cleveland Marathon but that did not stop me from an early morning 15 mile run. The cushioning was still there and the Tow Path was soft as usual. It was like running on clouds. (without all of that plummeting to your death thing.)
These were the shoes I ran Bermuda in. I started off at the docks and worked my way up to the top of the island. There it was the Atlantic Ocean viewed from all directions. It was breath taking. I wish my sister was not injured so I could have shared it with her but my shoes were there. I proceeded to get lost that day and weave through the neighborhoods and narrow streets till I ended up back at the docks. I also ran by the Bacardi World HQ. It was kind of cool to see it.
I ran through some injuries, a horrible 10 miler and a mediocre 5k.
The miles of training that included the Akron Half Marathon which is possibly the best Half Marathon course for spectators. It finished around the warning track of the Akron Aeros Sadium.
All of that training led to the Marine Corps Marathon which again my pair friends didn’t let me down.
I spent the next three weeks avoinding the inevitable but I purchased a new pair of shoes a pair of Pearl Izumi SyncroGuides. I still owed my Mizuno’s one more week.
That week I ran the Fairmount Park Turkey Trot 5miler for the second straight year. It was a blast and a PR. (See previous blog).
On Saturday I put my last miles on them with a couple of laps around Wentz Run Park in the Philly Area. They still felt good but the cushioning was not what it used to be.
Well, through some good races, a plethora of training runs, some injuries and overheats, and some great moments to share we have had over 550 miles together. It is about time that I say good by and donate you for future use. I am sure that there is some one that doesn’t over pronate like I do that will get many more miles. Like the pairs before you have been replaced but never forgoten.