Monday, March 8, 2010

Photos, disappointment, and naked feet

I have some links to photos from my most recent races.
Here is a photo from the HardCORE Serious Trail Runner 8k:

Here are some photos from the Xterra Thrill in the Hills Half Marathon:

I really should buy this one:

All smiles (it's blurry but you can see how happy I am to finally be doing my first half marathon):

On to the disappointment, big sigh. I met with Kay on Sunday morning to do a trail run at the USNWWC. I had high hopes of getting in some decent miles after a week of rest and stretching. Sadly I was only able to enjoy Kay's company for about 1.8 miles before I started to feel twinges of pain in my IT Band. Frak! Kay escorted me back to my car and tried to help me rid myself of the feelings of despair. I'm frustrated and angry with my body for not cooperating. I've tried everything to rid myself of IT band woes. I've worn motion control shoes and stability shoes to stop my over pronation, neither seem to help stop it. I stretch daily. I feel like I spend most of my free time stretching my IT band. I use a foam roller every day. I've also done strengthening exercises for my hips. None are helping. My wear pattern on my road shoes are pretty neutral, actually the left one (which is my problem leg) is more worn on the outside of the shoe than the inside, though it's still mostly a neutral wear. So I've decided it's time to try something I've considered since last year when this problem reared it's ugly head: Barefoot Running!

I'm hoping that barefoot running will help to strengthen my feet to help correct the misalignment that creates my over pronation issues on my left foot. Hopefully I will learn to land lighter and less on my heel. I've seen video and I really land hard on my left heel. I'm starting slow with the barefoot running. Yesterday I stopped by the park and ran 0.25 miles around a soccer field. Today I did 0.3 miles on our neighborhood streets. If it seems to work for me I might look into investing in some Vibram Five Finger shoes and maybe some trail racing flats. The idea is to take away the big cushy heel support so you don't heel strike hard and land more mid-foot. Minimal footwear should allow your body to do what is natural while allowing your foot to stay strong since there are no support systems in them, just enough protection from the elements. So we'll see if this works. I'm really at my wits end about this situation. I have set up an appt to see my sports medicine doctor next week, but I'm hoping to feel better and be able to cancel it. I'm not sure what he can do other than set me up with orthotics and send me to PT.

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