I mentioned in my previous running post that I have been struggling with a little bit of an injury. Starting about five months ago, my knee would occasionally hurt after a run. The pain was always fairly mild and only lasted a couple hours before disappearing. About a month ago, the pain started staying around for longer and spreading into my IT band and hamstring. After an 8-miler left me in discomfort for a full 24 hours, I decided to go see a doctor. It is my personal belief that athletic injuries should be looked at by sports medicine doctors and not general practitioners – in my experience the sports medicine folks are the only ones who really get that “just take some time off” is not an acceptable solution to my problems. I want to get better WITHOUT taking time off! I’m tough to please, huh?
Anyway, my above prejudices led me to TRIA Orthopedic Center in Edina. I had been to TRIA last February for an ankle injury that they were extremely helpful with. This time, I was informed by the doctor that all my issues were stemming from weak muscles and I should attend a few physical therapy sessions to start doing regular exercises to strengthen my glutes. Booty camp it is!
I had my first physical therapy session this week at Institute for Athletic Medicine. I saw a trainer named Melissa, who seemed incredibly knowledgeable and carefully explained a lot about what might be happening inside my leg and how we could fix it. Her number one recommendation was to get new shoes by going to a running store with staff who could really evaluate my feet, stride, and what type of shoe would be best for me. Melissa’s first suggestion of where to go was TC Running in Eden Prairie. Not one to pass up an order to buy new shoes, I went as soon as I could this weekend.
You know any store with their own travel bus is the real deal:
The exterior of the shop is definitely unassuming…
…but the inside is a wonderland!!!
In addition to several large walls full of shoes, TC Running also carries an extensive supply of running clothes, accessories, and fuel. When I walked in, I was immediately greeted by a staff member who offered to help me find what I was looking for. He patiently listened to my running woes, examined my current running shoes, and brought out several types of sneakers for me to try on. For each sneaker, he evaluated how my foot looked standing and walking and then brought out new options that might work better for my foot.
During the process, I learned that some of my problems may have been caused by wearing over-supportive shoes. I have extremely flat feet and had previously been told that I needed a highly supportive shoe to compensate. I also, however, wear customized orthotics in my shoes. The problem is that supportive-shoe models are meant to provide the same correction as orthotics, so by wearing both I was – in fact – overcorrecting the problem, resulting in my feet rolling to the outside. There’s no way to know if this was directly related to my injuries now, but it certainly seems possible!
After trying about seven pairs of shoes, we finally settled on the Nike Pegasus. Extra bonus: they are purple!
*modified, 1/22/13: Unfortunately, turned out these sneakers weren’t so hot. I brought them to my next PT appointment to get the okay from the trainer. Turns out they really did not offer enough support, and I was told to return them and ask for a shoe with a stronger medial arch. Bummer…I really liked the purple.