Yesterday I finally managed to try out my new running shoes! I think I kept calling them Nike shoes, but they’re New Balance. I don’t actually think they glow in the dark because I looked and they’re not glowing. Liars. But I prefer for my feet not to glow anyway. I had no idea they were a 10mm drop, which honestly, I realized doesn’t matter as much as I thought. I definitely prefer minimalist shoes for lifting still and do find them more comfortable for things like hiking, but when I run, I run so much on the front of my foot that my heel makes very minimal contact with the ground. So I don’t really notice that extra 6mm under my heel. The shoes were so light though and I really liked that. I also noticed that for the first time ever (I seriously think when I say “ever” that this may be legitimate) that the insides of my ankles didn’t hurt! I used to run in Asics and in a pair of Adidas that I had really liked and always had that inner ankle pain.
Howwweeever, my one complaint is that the toe box is narrow! I don’t even think it’s probably that narrow and I actually used to prefer a narrow toe box, but New Balance Minumuses (Minimi?) have a really wide toe box but are still tighter around the midfoot. That actually wasn’t even anything I had ever noticed in the past, but really realized how much I like that about the Minimiiii when I was running yesterday.
Also, my left knee still hurt. In my other shoes, the pain didn’t come on my last run until mile 6. This time, I went 2 miles and had pain after about 1.7. Total disappointment. This pain seemed slightly more generalized rather than such a specific location. So, that leads me to think it isn’t my shoes causing the pain (which honestly, I’m kind of excited about because I love my New Balance Minumus shoes… and I really hated them for a long time after buying them, but it’s love now). Despite my excitement that I don’t necessarily think it is the shoe causing the knee pain, it kind of leads me to wonder what else it could be.
(Also, in that 2 mile run, I felt like I was dying. Granted, I have realized that my first 2 miles feel like a warmup, my 3rd mile almost always feels good, as does my 4th mile if I make it that far. And if I ever make it past 4, I typically want to die for the rest of it too. But I need to run more and get back in better shape. School and work really impedes my running capabilities.)
The shoe store guy said it is more likely to be flexibility because the pain is so focal. I do think this could be a likely explanation because my flexibility sucks. I got made fun of at CrossFit regularly because my flexibility is that of a 50 year old man. Like, a 50 year old man that doesn’t ever do anything but sit at his desk and in front of the TV. I do stretch every time I run now and I’ve been lacrosse balling nonstop lately. So I can work on that. I also feel like it could be my gait. I know I’m a huge oversupinator (is that what it’s called?). I have the same pair of combat boots that I have worn from day 1 in the Army. I wore them on my deployment and to all my training. The outside is worn much thinner than the inside of my boot. And I do it even worse when I run (hence the ankle pain that I always have, but I always knew where that was coming from) . So I’m wondering if I oversupinate even more on my left side, causing tension in that area on my knee. That won’t be fixed by my shoe. I just need to really be aware of that to try and retrain myself.
Anyway, so overall, I liked the New Balance shoes. I think I’ll return the second pair to save $40 (and also because I don’t think Marshall’s will be nearly as lenient with me returning shoes after going for a trial run). I actually still really want to make my New Balance Minumus shoes my primary running shoe because I love them. But I’m open to trying new things and will probably alternate them while I work on my running technique/flexibility and I will just hope that my knee pain improves. I’m also really trying to set my goals of increasing my running/cardio coming up, but I won’t discuss that now.
I’m really looking forward to the day when I’m a more seasoned runner and have figured all of this stuff out. I’m also looking forward to the day when I don’t have to balance my running or working out with school and work! May can’t come fast enough! But I think it’ll be fun to look back when I’m (hopefully) running half marathons like it’s nobody’s business.