training for the Boston ½ Marathon, I have come to realize that it is incredibly hard on many levels. The diet alone is by no means easy for a person who is commuting between Boston and New York once a week, living on the budget of loans and a part-time salary, and working often 17 hour days. The easiest thing for me to eat is the frozen pizza that cost 2 bucks at the local grocery store. And let me tell you 8 miles on a frozen pizza doesn’t exactly calculate for the of best times.
But aside from the nutrition, hydration, stretching, and just plain putting in the miles, I’ve noticed that what I wear is really paying a toll on my miles. And I don’t mean the shoes or workout attire I’ve picked for the day; that I have solved. I am talking about what I walk around in on a day to day basis.
You name it; heels, flip flops, boots, sandals, new shoes, or even old shoes. Unless my feet are in a good pair of running shoes, they won’t have it. And it’s not just my feet that are taking a beating. During a simple 1.5 mile run, my calves felt as if they were being pulled apart by two vice grips while being set on fire by a blazing campfire. Is it really possible for your calves to cramp up before you’ve even stepped on the track?
Just like any good runner in training would do, I ran (no pun intended) to the internet and begin my educated search on Google. Ignoring the widely popular but untrustworthy Wikipedia, my search came up short on the cause, but received amazing advice for getting rid of the muscle strain: icing, the typical stretch, drink lots of fluids, and eat bananas.
It wasn’t until I begin cleaning my bedroom in a bout of research distraction that I found my cause. The cause that was attributed to the painful sensation that made my pathetic 1.5 mile run, seem like a marathon. Tucked beneath a bohemian dress and hidden amongst shoes just under the bed of my so called shoe rack lay the innocent brown cowboy boots I wore for the day.
At first glance these naïve boots contribute to a multitude of cute styles adding that western touch, but a closer look reveals the sinister soul of the boot and its evil gliding line to the base of a 3 inch heel. Here in lies the culprit.
I didn’t need a physical therapist. I didn’t need a coach. I didn’t need Rachel Zoe. It dawned on me like a 14 year old Tomboy who realizes dresses will get you boys faster than the dust you kick in their face. The muscles in my calves had been activated since pretty much 7 a.m. No leg muscle is going to want to run an inch after standing in heels for 12 hours. My evening run was shot before I had even laced up my tennis shoes.
It seems my need to be fashionable took a bite out of my calves. My feet enter a war zone every time I go out. Maybe I’m bandaging up an unwounded ankle to avoid BEING wounded by the Payless plastic of my faux fashionable sandals. Or it’s the archless defying flip flops offering a mere ¼ of an inch protection from the debris enriched sidewalks of the city. A mine field to destroy the two things I need most! From hip to toe, I have named my two legs my stylists for the next week. What they don’t like I don’t wear. Even if it means throwing on a bulky pair of tennis shoes in a skirt.
No one is going to disagree with my investigative work that heels aren’t the best thing for you to wear. Any podiatrist would throw a light bulb over my head and shout “DING!” But who would’ve thought it was more than my feet that would reap the destruction of the trendy fashion mutilation we like to call footwear?
So to say the least, until Sunday my feet will find refuge in a simple pair of ballet flats. But I can definitely envision a cute pair of blue boutique pumps that would go nicely with the blue dress I’ve wanted to wear after the race…