how to achieve the midfoot strike by running with a German Shepherd

I had a fantastic, snowy, negative-windchill trail run yesterday with Kate and her two tireless German Shepherds and learned that if you want to get off those heels and see what the midfoot strike is all about, just grab onto the leash of a German Shepherd who thinks she is part puppy, part cheetah and part dingo, and don’t let go.

I swiped this photo from Kate’s facebook page (O HAI KATE!). These girls don’t mind running in the snow at all!

I love my new Adidas Marathon TRs. It was probably the best first-run-in-new-shoes run I have ever had (except for one caveat, which I’ll get to in a minute). I didn’t even feel like they were on. They gripped the snow and felt incredibly light and sturdy at the same time. I felt like I was flyingel Garmin is not very accurate in the park, but after doing these trails for a few years now, we pretty much know how far we’ve gone and can judge our pace by the time it takes to finish (or rather, Kate can, since I have absolutely no sense of direction or internal gauge for distance whatsoever). But whatever the pace, me + these shoes = love.

Here’s the bad news: I totally tripped over a tree root and pulled or sprained something in the back of my foot.

I know.

Seriously, do I get hurt more than anyone you know?? I know there’s a difference between random aches vs. actual injury injuries, but come on. This year I’ve had random butt pain, shin pain, calf pain, knee pain, tendon pain, a lingering case of plantar fasciitis, and now this.

I don’t blame the shoes, though. I sorta got caught up in the whole runner’s euphoria of plummeting down a snowy incline faster than a speeding locomotive (or so I told myself), and forgot to look out for hidden roots, rocks and the various other hazards of trail running.

Remarkably, I was able to finish up the run. (Looking back, this was probably not the brightest idea, but we’ve already gone over that euphoria business.) I knew immediately when it happened that I’d done something beyond just twisting my ankle, but I insisted that we keep going and I felt pretty much okey dokey until it was over.

As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t landing smack on my heels, so I was staying off the area where it hurt. It’s funny: I could have run around on it all day long, but as soon as I tried to just walk, the pain became unbearable.

What’s baffling is that it is not swollen at all. You might remember me complaining about a sprained ankle a couple years back? Talk about your cankles, that thing was as fat as a football. I’ve never had an injury like this that’s not accompanied by massive swelling.

And after icing, anti-inflammatorizing and elevating it all day yesterday, the pain hasn’t really subsided at all. Buzzkill.

Luckily, I had this beer to cheer me up.


I was saving this for a special occasion and what is more specialer than a stupid f***ing injury?

It is a “kinda sorta Belgian-esque style golden ale” brewed with green cardamom and 35% aged in oak brandy barrels. 9.5% ABV. Sweet honey, spices, wood, booze. All I dreamed it would be and more.

Anyway, if this little foot issue doesn’t clear up soon, I might be headed back to my friendly neighborhood sports physician.

If he knows what’s good for him, he won’t tell me to quit running trails.


5 thoughts on “how to achieve the midfoot strike by running with a German Shepherd

  1. ooohhhh… crappy about the new injury. No swelling, though? That’s strange… maybe you should get it checked out? But you don’t have to listen to me- I like to avoid doctors until the point of having to drag myself there. I live dangerously.

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