Posted by: Steven Hammer | June 29, 2010

Can’t seem to keep my shoes on…

Today was day one of training dedicated to the 50-miler in August. In fact, it’s just about 2 months away. I’m excited and nervous as you would expect.

So, day one. Due to a busy day, I had to run tonight (just finished, it’s just before 11). I did 8 miles at a 9 minute pace, and wouldn’t you know it–took my shoes off again. Same shoes as Grandma’s just a week and a half ago. Now, I know what you’re thinking: doing the same thing, expecting different results… I guess I’m just trying to be sensible in going minimalist, i.e., not go full time VFF and get some stupid overuse injury that leaves me unprepared for Lean Horse. But it seems that I can’t get and stay comfortable in shoes anymore. My left foot, left knee, sciatic nerve on both sides hurt when I wear shoes and when I take them off, sure, my feet get fatigued and are a bit sensitive, but no pain. It truly baffles me. I’m honestly not sure what I should do. I guess I listen to my body, let it make decisions on footwear.

I’ve really come to realize why I have so many injuries on the left side of my body. I think my left leg is longer than my right (it’s hard to tell when I’m sitting or standing, but I can feel it) because I really pound the hell out of my left foot/heel/leg. It’s hard to land softly and efficiently with shoes on, where if I go bare/minimal it is forced to behave. Good to know, I guess.

I wonder if I’m ready mentally. A secret: I really struggled mentally in Duluth. Yes, I finished. But mentally I hit a really big wall. I wanted to give up, and in some ways I did. I psyched myself out a bit. It felt a lot like some cross country races in high school: wasn’t feeling “it” and conceded. Didn’t drop out, but slipped into self-pity and “well, let’s get this over with, just finish with as little embarrassment possible…” You know, real Eeyore stuff. So, I’m a little psyched out right now. I’ll try to improve that during training I suppose, and I’ll bounce back. Always do.

Happy 4th weekend, friends. I’ll be off to the lake with my family for a little getaway! Vacation is good.



  1. Dude, you might simply have some hip rotation going on. Google rotated hip exercises, etc. and you should be able to find some good stretches to alleviate the left-is-longer issue.

    Peace, broseph.

    • I’ll check it out, man. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Try taking a tiny bit longer step with your short leg for a couple of runs – I had a physical therapist tell me to do that for my lower back problems.

  3. I know it’s been said before (by my old girlfriend, for one) but here it is from a non-runner: to me, the most admirable aspect of you being a runner isn’t your elapsed time in the “races” you run, but the lifestyle you have embraced and the training that you willingly endure. You’ve already won, man!

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