As you probably know if you read this blog regularly, I have issues with my arches. But I also have issues with my feet going numb on longer runs. All of my research has suggested that my shoes are either too small (nope) or tied too tightly (if I tied them any looser they would fall off my feet) or I have a nerve condition that is either un-treatable or requires surgery. Um, no thanks.
I do have wicked high arches, which means I lace my shoes kinda funny in order to give my instep (the top of my foot) more room inside my shoe. So all I could think of is that there’s still not enough room for my foot, especially since I wear orthotic insoles to support my high arches.
So I tried something I haven’t done in 2+ years. I ran without my insoles.
I felt fine for the first 1.5ish miles. But then my left arch (the good one) began to hurt. A lot. I have always described my arch pain – either when running or simply just walking in flats or otherwise unsupportive shoes – as feeling like someone is running a knife up and down the bottom of my foot. It’s unbearable. The one difference that happened around the 1.5-mile mark is that I went from running on the sidewalk to running on the gravel along the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, which is less supportive than the sidewalk. As soon as I got back onto the sidewalk, the pain decreased but it felt like the damage was done. I made it 2 miles before I called it quits, and decided to walk the mile home.
But then I walked past the 5K I was originally planning to run (the same one I ran a few weeks ago, and HATED doing because of the fact it’s 2 loops where you can see the finish line the entire time). And I got inspired. Walking for a few minutes alleviated the pain, so I decided to restart my watch and keep going. I ran that last mile in 9:41 to miraculously finish my 3 miles in 29:58. An hour earlier, I had made up my mind that I wouldn’t run – for the second day in a row. I had a long day at work and was just so mentally exhausted. But I reminded myself that even if I ran 1 mile, it was better than none. So to go from not wanting to run at all, to wanting to quit after 2, to finishing all 3 in under 30 minutes felt pretty great.
Unfortunately I am back to square one with the numbness. My left toes did start to feel a little numb yesterday, but nothing like how both entire feet have felt on longer runs. I ordered some new running socks in the hopes that the ones I got for Christmas have just stretched out and are longer providing the compression they once did. I switched from the CEP Dynamic+ No-Show Compression Socks (which were always slightly too big and don’t come any smaller than what they call a Size 2) to Feetures Elite Ultra Light No Show Tab. I bought these at the expo 2 days before the marathon and have had good experiences running in them since. They are very thin but also fit my tiny feet properly.