Thursday, February 4, 2010

2/4/10 - 4 miles with new orthotics

I got my new orthotics today and I also had my hamstring compression sleeve I had picked up last night so I tried them both out today and the combo seemed to work pretty good. I only did an easy 4 because I didn't want to overdo it with the new orthotics on the first day since my feet aren't used to them yet. The last thing I want is a bruised arch or something else that requires extra time off.

The orthotics have some serious arch support in them, but I think that is what I really need. I had orthotics that I wore the last couple of years of high school and my first couple of years of college but I stopped wearing them. They were basically made of a hard foam material and over time they just got beaten down and I didn't know if they were effective anymore or not since they lost a decent amount of the arch support. They were pretty big and bulky and I would train with them, but I would never race with them. They were too big to fit in my racing flats and they were pretty heavy and would add a decent amount of weight. Eventually I stopped wearing them after a season or two and my junior and senior years of college I battled injuries and I never felt like I lived up to my potential those years.

It will definitely take a little while to get used to the new orthotics, but they are very lightweight and don't seem that much heavier than the shoe insoles. The support is made of carbon fiber and they are light enough that I will be able to wear them when I race as well as when I train which is probably important. I also wore this new compression wrap on my hamstring and it seemed to work well. The one real difference I could tell is my legs and the tendons or ligaments across the back of my knees didn't bug me at all. When I run on uneven surfaces like grass or hit uneven spots on the path at the park, the awkward steps sometimes give me the disconcerting twinges as I think something bad is about to happen to the back of my knee. I hit a few of the spots today where I expected to feel something, but everything seemed very stable which was good news. My goal for tomorrow is doing 7 - 8 easy and then try for ~2 hrs easy Saturday morning which should get me 16 - 17 miles. While I'm working on ramping up my mileage, I'm going to try to concentrate more on total running time on my long runs instead of being fixated on mileage. Sometimes when I have a set mileage in my head, I may run too fast just to get it over with and if I'm not so concerned about hitting a certain number of miles, I can just relax and run for time whether I'm doing 6:40 pace or 7:30 pace.

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