Friday, December 17, 2010

My Kingdom For a Shoe

A lot has gone on since the last time I posted a running update. First off, shortly after the Turkey Trail Trot, my left knee started hurting. I personally blame this on one thing:

If I knew how, I'd draw devil horns on this shoe.

I've been running in the Pearl Izumi Syncroinfinity successfully for years. Pearl Izumi in their infinite wisdom discontinued my shoe love and replaced it with the above monstrosity. In Pearl Izumi's defense, I made some questionable decisions with the new shoe involving the removal of my orthotics. Once I realized this was a bad decision, I stuck them back in. I know for sure that the above shoe without orthotics is a bad match. I can't say for certain whether the above shoes with orthotics is detrimental since I am not sure if it was just a continuation of problems that started when I went sans orthotics. Follow? For the time being, I've sworn them off until I'm doing low mileage runs again to test them out again.

I therefore panicked big time (I have two pairs of shoes in rotation now with 400+ miles with two marathons coming up in a few weeks) and scoured the internet to find the last pair of Syncroinfinities in my size.

My new babies. If only they could last forever.

I also bought a pair of Asics GT-2150's to try out since Aron used to run in my other shoe love (Kayano 14's) and was able to switch to these when Asics in their infinite wisdom "updated" to the crappy Kayano 16's. Does anyone else sense a stupid trend with running shoe companies? With the shoe problems I just went through, I'm not sure if I'll get to try the Asics out in time to utilize them for Goofy in January. Worse case, I'll take my old pair of Syncroinfinities for the half and use the newer pair for the full.

But enough shoe drama.... What about that knee pain? It slowly got worse and more persistent the week after Thanksgiving. I am forever grateful to @karinmp for suggesting I go and see a chiropractor. I was desperate to be seen by someone that day so while I couldn't get in to see her doctor, I found another guy in San Francisco who I am convinced can walk on water.

Besides having awesome bedside manner, this guy diagnosed what was wrong (tight quads pulling on the insertion at my knee), gave me a stretch to try, and the thumbs up to go for a 10 mile run the very next day (who doesn't love a doctor who doesn't just say, "Stop running for a few weeks?"). I stretched my leg obsessively that day and went on a ten mile, 99.9% pain free, including the fastest 4x 1600 repeats I've ever done, run the very next day. And you know what? The day after that I ran 11 miles which were 99.8% pain free. Hallelujah.

I am not out of the woods, though. After this miraculous turnaround in less than 24 hours, I'd say my knee has not gotten any worse, but it also hasn't gotten any better. I am aware of it every now and then, but I am eons better than I was before seeing the chiro. The fact that I've gotten through my two peak weeks and held steady does bolster my spirits a bit, though.

I went out on a drizzly 22 mile run today. I have one more double-digit run on Sunday and then it is taper time for Texas!

Garmin at the end of today's run.

The best remedy for frozen hands after a rainy long run?

Bunny nose!


aron said...

i was going to my chiro for adjustments weekly on my legs during training. maybe you should go back a few more times?

i hope you get to try the 2150s soon, especially since those are now discontinued :( i havent tried on the 2160s yet but i want to. also the kayano 17s came out, maybe they switched back to the good days?

Glenna said...

Bunny nose is the cure for everything.

Nicole said...

wow that is one wet watch! i bet you were soaked! :) what did you get mario for xmas? :)

Rabbits' Guy said...

Shoes and their builders - yech ...

I have generally had good luck working up the line with the ASICS 2000 (and now 2100) line although sometimes the next new version was a real clunker but fortunately places like RoadRunner Sports usually has the older model for some time. When i find a good version I usually buy at least two pairs, and with your mileage, maybe buy three!!!

Good luck with the knee.

L.A. Daze said...

But does Mario approve of the cold fingers on his nose?

Do you still knit those bunnies? I want one!

the dawn said...

in the midst of all the shoe drama and not talking about running, you've apparently gotten very speedy! does that watch say 10 min avg for 22 miles? that's amazing! good work on the 10 and 11 milers too!

glad you found something that helps with the knee pain!

The Fab Furs said...

Companies seem to know when they've made a thing too perfect and people don't want to buy anything else. That's why they discontinue models, to make people buy more, until they find something that works again. Best wishes on the knee rehab. Perhaps Mario not only enjoys the nose rubs, but is calculating: cold,wet nose rub = one bag of yogurt drops---at this rate I'll need more stockings!

cliff said...

HEY - where on the knee is the prob? if it's the muscle that comes down to the knee cap (inner part of knee), i used to get that prob (back when i was running), and i'd massage the crap out of it til it was bruised, but the pain would completely go away after. there's an easy trick to massaging it! if that's the prob, shoot me an email.

cliff said...

btw - you may be the only person i know who wears pearl izumi sneakers for serious running.

Erin said...

And what a cute nose it is!

Average A said...

I did the saaaaame thing when Brooks "upgraded" the Glycerin 7 to an ugly Glycerin 8. I scoured the internet for random pairs of the old shoe...

Great long runs, and so happy to hear you're running pain free! Can't wait to go on some runs (after your marathons, I assume, since I'm doing mostly speedwork for LA now!).

Hope you have a great Christmas!

Layla said...

Boy do I know about shoe drama! I also LOVED the Kayano 14s but have since stopped speaking to the whole line. I just tried the 17s, in hopes that they'd reverted back to the good old days. Suffice it to say that I am no longer speaking to all Asics shoes.

Sounds like you're on the right track with the knee. Strengthening quads has been key for keeping my knees happy. That 22-miler looks like you're almost back to new!

EndorphinBuzz said...

I also wish the show manufacturers would stop innovating and changing things. I'm still quite upset at Asics for changing up the lacing on the Nimbus a few years back. I've gone back to them now that they fixed the lacing somewhat but it's still nowhere near as comfortable as the 7s and 8s used to be. They should continue the old line "classic Nimbus" while they innovate with other lines and let the marketplace decide which one is better.

Mica said...

I've never run in PI shoes. That's too bad they discontinued your beloved model!

I'm glad the devil shoes didn't do any serious damage to your knee.

When it comes to shoes, I'm pretty lucky. I'm not terribly discerning about the fit of things, so I can switch from brand-to-brand, provided it's a mild motion control shoe.

Anonymous said...

The chiro is so helpful! Although I wish my insurance covered it so I could go more often :( I am currently on a shoe hunt since I am convinced that the shoes I've been wearing are the culprit...I wish shoe companies wouldn't change EVERY's annoying when the improvements aren't so great!

Nice job on the long rainy run!

audgepodge said...

What's the difference between 99.9% and 99.8% pain free? Inquiring minds want to know!!!