Sunday, May 29, 2011

Heil Ranch and footwear issues

Today's 3 hour tour was a nice hike up at Heil Ranch.  Haven't been up there in ages and I almost always go on my bike so it was nice to enjoy the trail at a slower pace.  I'm allowed to hike with the hamstring strain but I thought a more moderate trail was in order and this one fits the bill.  It's a good climb, about 2 1/2 miles to a trail junction, but more of the moderate ilk rather than super crazy steep.  We took a little side diversion on the Wild Turkey trail but sadly no wild turkeys appeared.  We did see one up at Hall Ranch several weeks ago but the weather looked iffy at the trail head so of course I didn't bring my camera with me.

Nice views from Heil

The road running over the saddle is Olde Stage which is part of the bike course for the Boulder Peak Triathlon.  It's a good place to see very fit triathletes from the Midwest puking their guts out.

I went to the Boulder Running Company this morning in pursuit of a pair of racing flats because the chiro/pt suggested that I get a pair so that I can feel what it feels like to run without striking heel first.  He was not a fan of the 5 finger type shoes for me which was a relief because they look so uncomfortable to me given all my various orthopedic issues.  While these shoes may be great for some people they're not great for all people and it's important to know your feet and your issues and not just dive into the latest fad.

The sales guy that helped me at the Boulder Running Company was amazingly helpful, he had a lot of personal experience with the whole minimal shoe thing and was incredibly knowledgeable about gait, mechanics and running styles.  I picked out a flat that had some good tread on it so I could use it on trails and for agility but it had a bit of padding in the heel.  The sales guy told me I would still hit with my heel first in them and he put me on the treadmill with the video camera to show me.  Sure enough I was still hitting heel first and I was pronating too much on my right foot (my bad knee leg) even with the orthotics.  The running shoes I have now are stability type shoes that work with my orthotics to help keep me from pronating and messing up my knee.

He said he could bring me true road racing flats and I probably would stop hitting heel first but they won't work well with the orthotics to control the pronation.  He also said that he's a forefoot/mid-foot runner and he still has had his share of injuries.  Calf soreness, Achilles tendon problems and plantar fasciitis are all things you can get with that running style which explains why I've never had those issues.  He told me a lot of other things too that were endlessly fascinating to me but I'll spare the rest of you the gory details.  The gist of it is that I decided not to embark on this little project for now.  I see the chiro. on Wednesday and I'll have another chat with him about it.


  1. VERY pretty trail!!!! Sounds like a good call on the shoes. My "racing flats" are just lighter trainers, I don't think I would do well with a true racing flat.

  2. I hate buying shoes. Stories like this make me realize why some people really like the idea of running barefoot. Sure maybe you'll step on a pop top sometimes but all the other shoes are maybe messing your whole body up a whole lot more.

    However, you're not going to find me barefoot even in my yard any more. Good luck!