Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Brain on Vacation .... Body to Follow

Leaving tomorrow afternoon for a 4-day weekend at the beach, and having a hard time staying focused on my painfully large to-do list. Is it a good sign or a sad commentary that I have my running and cross-training planned out for all 4 days, and am looking forward to that as much as lounging on the beach?

I gave myself my first exercise day-off on Monday in a long time (no running, stretching, lifting, biking, swimming, etc.) since I could tell my energy supply was running very low. Got in a run yesterday morning that didn’t agree very well with my foot issues, but I think I’m still adjusting to my Superfeet insoles and that the discomfort is less about the Plantar Fasciitis and more about some general soreness in my feet. Walked 1 mile to loosen things up, then ran 4 miles at an average pace around 8:30. Already crazy hot when I got started at 6:15AM, but it was a good sweat. Feet don’t feel any better or worse this morning, so I remain optimistic that my body will respond well when I ask it to start full-scale training in about 3 weeks.

Quick unscientific insole review for anyone interested. I used SofSole Airr insoles in my shoes for my last marathon training. These things feel really good on your feet (very cushiony) especially in the Gel Nimbus shoes since they are neutral shoes and also very cushiony. However, the Airr insoles don’t offer a great deal of firmness in supporting the arch, which I think contributed to my PF issues. Over the last month I’ve switched out the SofSoles, and tried the green Superfeet insoles, and the Powerstep Pinnacle insoles. These two generally seem to provide very similar support in terms of the heel cup and the more rigid arch support, but the arch support is much more forward (toward the toes) in the Powerstep than in the Superfeet, where the support is more towards the heel and feels better aligned with my feet. The Powerstep support also seems a bit higher than the Superfeet. At this point I’m going to go with the green Superfeet in pretty much all my shoes, and see how they work for me. In terms of running they are considerably less cushioned than the SofSoles were, but I think I may need a bit less cushion to strengthen the bottoms of my feet. I’m also learning that the arch in my right foot seems a bit higher than in my left foot, so I may end up with different types of insoles in my left versus my right shoes. So many variables … so much fun.

Another unsolicited review …. I’m trying out the Hammer gels since they’re on sale at REI right now, and since they’re the gel sponsor for the Outer Banks marathon in November (but mostly because they’re on sale). Thumbs up on the Apple Cinnamon. Kinda neutral on the Vanilla flavor. I’m a huge fan of most anything vanilla flavored, but I didn’t think the Vanilla hammer had much flavor. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very vanilla. I’d give the vanilla gel advantage to Gu, which I thought tasted pretty OK. Next up I’ll be trying the Montana Huckleberry, mostly because I like the name of the flavor. Admittedly my criteria for choosing which flavor to try seems to lean a bit less towards serious athlete, and more towards something my 8-year-old daughter would use. As long as I don’t start listening to Miley Cyrus while I run I think I can still take myself somewhat seriously.


  1. I swear by the green Superfeet inserts. I've struggled with PF for six years now, and those inserts are the best that I've been able to find. They were recommended to me by my physical therapist back when I couldn't run at all due to PF. My advice would be to stick with those. I'm not sure how long you've been dealing with PF, but serious stretching of the calf muscles and the use of the Strassburg sock have helped me to manage my PF so I can at least run without discomfort.

    Good luck with your training, and enjoy your long weekend at the beach. And no, there's nothing wrong with planning out your training runs on a holiday. I just got back from California, and I planned out my daily training in advance. They were the best part of my day!

  2. oh come on!!!!! You know you love to party in the usa!!

    how many justin beiber songs do you have rockin' your iPod? ;)

    Enjoy the beach!

  3. Ditto the green Superfeet inserts. If I hadn't torn my posterior tibial tendon and ended up having to use prescription orthotics, I'd still run in them. I have a pair of them in every shoe I own and the black ones in my work shoes.

    Have a great vacation!

  4. The last commentor mentioned prescription orthotics, and that might be the ticket.
    Podiatrist takes a mold of your foot and you get highly durable, custom fit inserts.

    I've put mine through hell and my feet still love me.

    Enjoy your workouts at the beach. They are very fulfilling.

  5. I've never used or had to use any inserts so can't comment on that. Enjoy the beach and any training while there!

  6. Enjoy the vaction

    add me to the green superfeet band wagon, I love mine

    If you like blackberries, you will like the huckleberry flavour

  7. I've never used any inserts but I do love my asic nimbuseseseseses. I never know when to end the plural of the shoe. :p

  8. Enjoy your vacation!

    I have been using the Powerstep Pinnacle and I like them a lot. But they are the only ones I have tried so far.