New Shoes, New Limits

After my meeting with my chiropractor last week, everything started to make more sense. Yes, I run far better off road than on. I’m more relaxed and my posture is totally different. I realise that the terrain has much to do with this, but so does my shoe. I run off road in old Nike Alvord 7s that probably stopped being made five years ago, but bought them from the Nike Outlet at Gretna just last year. They’ve only got 100 miles on them because my off road running tends to be only 3 miles long.

When I was on holiday in Harrogate last week I went along to Up & Running in the town centre. I wasn’t running yet because my back was still sore and I was certain that I needed to heal properly before going out again. A few days missing running are neither here nor there. I did a fair bit of walking to make up for it.

The guy at Up & Running was extremely helpful. He put me on the treadmill and videoed my running style wearing Brooks Ghosts. Not wanting to say anything against the analysis of my style done previously, he wondered if my style had changed significantly. Read into that what you will! In any case I do not over-pronate; if anything I have a neutral footfall. I don’t toe strike either though. I land mid foot, which is good. I watched the video with him and was really surprised how straight I run. I’d always imagined that my right leg, the twisted one, would kick out more, but it doesn’t really. I do a good job of straightening it out and putting one foot in front of the other. It’s very strange watching yourself running!

The short story is I left the store with a pair of Ghosts, a free pair of socks and good wishes for the Great North Run.


I didn’t test them out until Sunday when I ran into Harrogate and back for a 4 mile run. I’d forgotten that it was a Magic Mile run and I wasn’t really up for one, if I’m really honest. I should have just run my 4 miles at 11 min/mile pace and enjoyed it, but I did try to do a MM and failed miserably. I didn’t really know where I was running, I was crossing roads constantly and having to stop to do so and I wasn’t physically fit enough! My MM came in at 10:24, which is abysmal for me.

I did enjoy the easy run back though and I love my new shoes. They are comfortable and I had no issues at all and, wonder of wonders, my back was totally cured post run. I’d gone out feeling a bit tight and stiff and returned without a twinge.

Yesterday I took my dog for a trail run on my usual 3 mile route. It was very warm and humid and I said to my husband that I was just out for an easy 3. My Garmin had died so I took Jeff’s app and listened to the music – not something I do often on the trail. I started off easy and just ran. It was a lovely evening and I was enjoying myself. I found my running easy and I felt strong, even the uphill sections were easier, although I should have known that something good was happening when my core started to ache. When I finished I realised that my easy 3 had turned out to be the fastest 3 I’ve ever done off road. 3 miles in 30:19.

It’s lovely when that happens.

3 thoughts on “New Shoes, New Limits

  1. “Nice kicks” as they say ’round these parts. Hope you enjoy the Brooks as much as I enjoy my Brooks PureCadence shoes!

    Glad to hear you are feeling stronger! I wish my trail running were as fruitful and fast as yours!

    Speaking of trail running, I completed the 11 miler last Saturday, much of it on the actual race route I’ll run in Sept, and I had a great run up until about 8 miles when I went off road onto a single track trail and suddenly things got very slow as I had to concentrate on foot placement, etc., and not do something stupid and break or sprain an ankle one year following my ankle break. It actually is part of a trail they use later in October for a 50K and a 50 Miler race.

    So I ended the run in 2:07:02 (this is after cutting through 6 in about 63+ minutes and feeling great despite doing those hills on my race course – and you were right not to worry so much about them), OK, but out of gas in the legs, although not out of breath. Just felt like I couldn’t get the legs to turn over fast and that my hip flexors were kind of toast. Not painful, just . . . out of gas.

    Any suggestions on keeping up the turnover at the 9+ mark?

    Also speaking of trail running, and motivation – here’s a little video you might like from the Western States 100 Mile Ultra 2012 winner. This guy shattered the previous course record, running the 100M in under 15 hours (wow – you can do the math on _average_ pacing, and then check the course out on the video to realize some miles had to be cooking to keep that _average_). It’s a testament to human endurance.

    The music track is grand – very joyful and positive – at least I think so. Something to add to a running music playlist.

    Best to you and yours as you gear up for your 12.5 miler. BTW we enjoyed seeing the Olympics from this side of the Pond and seeing the success of the Host, including the success of several Scots (I know you’re a transplant from down South, but hey! There had to be sheer pandemonium after the Tennis men’s single Gold match, eh?).

    Cheers to you!

    1. Hi Eric! Thanks! I’m looking forward to my twelve and a half in my new shoes, just to see how they perform, although I have this niggle that says all those miles in new shoes, are you mad?
      When I was building up to 14 miles last time I had a lot of hip flexor issues and I just stretched it out. I also tried some dynamic stretches which you can find if you look back through my posts from last year. There’s a kinda leaping, high knee one that I used on walk breaks to loosen them off. You look like a total berk, but what the hell!
      I must say that this time, so far, I haven’t had the same issues so maybe it’s just about your body getting used to long runs?
      I missed the last week of the Olympics as we didn’t have access to a TV when we were away. I listened to Mo’s 5000 on the radio and was cheering him on at the top of my voice from the caravan awning!! I’ll catch up over the Internet once I get a chance! Team GB did amazingly well, for a small cash-strapped country. I’m very proud of all of our athletes and I’m looking forward to seeing our paraolympians in a few weeks.
      The videos are so inspiring. Have you read ‘Born to Run’? It’s an amazing book. I’ve just downloaded a book about running like a Kenyan; I don’t think I’ll have enough tips picked up by Sunday though! I’m a fan of endurance running, although I really don’t think that I have time to train for anything longer than a half marathon at the moment. Maybe I’ll tackle a full when I retire!

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