Part of the Solution – At Least I Hope
Okay, most of you have heard me whine a little about this minor injury that is plaguing me this time.
You know, a little thing called a stress fracture in the left tibia. Not a big deal in the overall scheme of things, but enough to put way too many DNR “Did Not Run” entries my running log until at least mid-July, but more likely into Early August.
Yeah, that sounds like forever at this point…but it gives me time to figure a few things out.
First up is what part did my running shoes play in this injury.
Let’s be real though, this post is more for me to get stuff out of my head, think about what part my running shoes did play (probably a very small part) and document my thought processes over the last week while I was deciding the direction I would go next with my running shoes.
I have run pretty much major injury-free since October 2018 in Adidas Tempo 9, New Balance Beacon v1, and Nike Epic React v1. Yes, a few minor niggles here or there, but nothing serious. However, when I started wearing a pair of Nike Zoom Fly quite a bit over the last month because I was running great in them, it was then that I got injured.
It might only be a coincidence, but the Zoom Fly is the only running shoe that has changed that my normal gait that I can remember, which in turn allowed me to run faster with less effort. As evidenced by the Milestone App graph of the changes from a fairly consistent middle leg swing to one that was much higher.
While changing my leg swing was not a bad thing. The resulting change to my gait/leg swing probably changed how I land/take-off just enough to make me feel great about my running prowess, but it came with a price. Feeling that great encouraged me to run too fast, too often, without enough recovery in between runs (that training stoopid thing that I do all too often).
Those factors subjected my left tibia to stresses that it was not used to or ready for.
Resulting in the stress fracture.
It doesn’t mean that I am going to throw out the two pair of Zoom Fly (V1 and SP) that I have, but it does mean that I will be a lot more selective about when and how much I run in them going forward.
After I heal up and get the legs back in shape to run in them.
Even though the other running shoes I have had in my rotation have worked very well for me. Unfortunately, each of them had something I wasn’t completely satisfied with and that kept me searching for something different to replace them. Which meant that this time I needed to search for something that was a bit more supportive, but still not a lead weight or dead feeling for when I am able to get back to running.
I also wanted to get the running shoes now to have them available when my body tells me that I can start running and can get them broke in before then.
When I started my research about which shoes I needed, I went to my usual go-to running blogs, especially Sam Winebaum’s – Road, Trail, Run, who has what I consider some of the best and most in-depth running shoe reviews on the web.
What was I looking for:
Actually, my preferences haven’t changed all that much, other than being more supportive and a touch firmer midsole, since I wrote a blog post last year, so instead of making this any longer than it needs to be, you can read the rest of my running shoe preferences in my I Can Dream – Yeah It’s About Running Shoes post.
What did I find?
Salomon Sonic RA Max v1 – size 8.0
From everything that I read the Salomon Sonic RA Max line seemed to check off most if not all of the things that I am looking for in a pair of running shoes.
Most of the reviews that I read gave the RA Max v1 and V2 positive comments and yes, they pointed out some areas of concern as well. Like the potential heel slippage/blisters from the pods in the heel pocket in V1 and some higher than usual wear on the outsole on both, which concerned me a little, but not enough to stop me from getting the shoes.
Probably the biggest thing that made up my mind to go with the RA Max was the Vibe technology that supposedly dampens the amount of vibration in the tibial area of the leg.
This dampening of the vibration to the lower leg is very important to me since I am and will be rehabbing a stress fracture in my left tibia. You can read more about the Vibe technology in this Road, Trail, Run Review that gives a really good and down-to-earth explanation of what it is supposed to do.
Next was finding the best price for a pair of new RA Max. The newest version (V2) lists for $130, which is about what a decent running shoe goes for, but it was above the budget that I have for an experimental pair of running shoes.
Which meant I needed to find a pair of Version 1 on closeout at a decent price. After searching several sites, I ended up buying a pair of new RA Max v1 for $69 through a seller on eBay in the colorway that I wanted. There were cheaper offerings, but based on prior experiences on eBay, I believed that this was the best deal I could find.
They came in the other day and I have worn the RA Max around the house, done a long walk and did a gym workout in them. I took a chance on the size 8s and am very happy that I stayed true to size, the length and toe box fit is just right.
While walking in the RA Max and riding on the stationary bike they felt very comfortable.
I also was very surprised at how little they weighed. At 8.6 ounces for my size 8.0 they are quite a bit lighter than I expected, which I think is phenomenal in a shoe with this much cushioning and support.
How they will work as running shoes is still to be determined, but at least the fit feels right and they were comfortable for an extended wearing around the gym. A good test of the Vibe technology will be this weekend when I wear them while wandering around the Acadia National Park carriage roads, and spending time with D2 and her husband.
The reality is that
I don’t really know if my running shoes were part of the problem or not, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they did play a part in a cascade of events that lead to me having a stress fracture in my left tibia.
Although, I am pretty certain that training plunders on my part were the biggest culprit and I have no one to blame but myself for not being able to run. More on those blunders in a different post.
Only time will tell if the Salomon Sonic RA Max v1s are part of the solution, but the initial impression is pretty good.