Sunday, August 26, 2018

The shoemaker in me

My last post was about the frustration of having a messed up meniscus and the on again/off again/on again pain that keeps me from running the way I want, and what I am doing about it. It wasn't meant as a woe-is-me thing, but just expressing my frustration and exposing the folly of my chasing every glimmer of hope looking for a miracle cure. Most of my running friends know what I have been dealing with, and have been sympathetic to my situation. Some have encouraged me to just tough it out, which is what I have been doing for better or worse. I can't say trying to run through it has helped or hindered my recovery and knee health. As mentioned, the several different herbs and snake oil concoctions have helped maybe a little. a well-times pain pill seems to help for the moment. Super Beets has put a little bit of pep in my step--figuratively speaking.

I read a lot on knee issues such as mine, and I stumbled on an article that ties in overpronation with kee issues EXACTLY like what I have. Hello. My name is Ken Childress and I am an overpronator. 
I've been that way since I was a kid. see how the right leg rolls in just above the ankle? That could very well be my leg--well, maybe if I shaved it. There was no unfortunate accident that led to this mild deformity. when I first started running again in 2002, I wore road running shoes that had motion control, recommended by my favorite running store RunnersWorld-Tulsa and bought them from a shoe sales lady who ended up being my best friend. Road running shoes like Asics Gel Kayano and the 2000 and 2100 series have the inward side of the sole either built up a little and that brings that leg back into alignment. But I eventually found that I dislike road running and prefer trailz and trail shoes rarely have any pronation control features since every step is different on the trail. That never seemed to bother me.

But since my knee problems, which have been ongoing for four years or so, it seems while running on flat pavement that my right leg seems a wee bit shorter than my left leg. So I am thinking--a slight build-up on the inward side of my foot could possibility correct that. Could it be that easy???

So, I conducted an experiment. I have many many pairs of old shoes that I just cannot seem to throw away, so I robbed an insole out of one, and in the confines of my shoe research lab (aka the bathroom), I modified an old insole to correct my pronation.

Figure 1. Start cut in about the middle of the back of the insole, angling toward the right side about 1/3 of the length.

Figure 2. Admire handiwork, and go to the kitchen for a beer.

Figure 3. Inset modified insole into the shoe.

Figure 4. Put the removed insole from the shoe on top of the modified insole.

Figure 5. Done. Finish beer, and then try those puppies on.

Right away, I know I was on to something. Something wonderful. I walked around and within 50 steps, I got that "awwwww" feeling. It felt so right. My knee was NOT hurting. It was like there was nothing wrong. I wore my Hokas to dinner and then walked the dogs. Virtually no discomfort at all. Seriously, this does take pressure off of my bum knee. Now I know there may be a better solution like a new pair of Gel Kayanos or some other new and snazzy motion control shoe with a built-up medial post. But my experiment has me believing that this is the miracle cure I have been trying to find!!

Friday, August 24, 2018

a post with no pictures, and lots of aches and pains

In the last 7 weeks, I have ran a whopping total of 43.3 miles. That's less that .9 of a mile per day, and would not even qualify as a taper. WHY???

Well, a few reasons.

1. My on-again/off-again knee problem has just been more bad than good.

2. I have been way too busy at work, coming home too tired to run at night when I have in years past done most of my training.

3. My work, which frequently involves getting on a ladder, puts a lot of strain on my knee, and pain as spread to my hip.

4. I have made somewhat of a conscience attempt to rest by not running.

I hate all of the above. Running is who I am, it's what I do. My grand running season began it's crash with Honey Badger, and doing Urban Adventure, another 100, seems unlikely. Tunnel Hill, my goal race, is still in the plans, but any hope of a respectable finish is gone. I guess I am revising that expectation and embracing that sub-29:59:59 DFL as a victory.

What am I doing to work on my problem--besides nothing?

1. Diet. I have cut way back on sugar. Now understand that I LOVE my sweets. Can't say that I have totally wiped sugar off of my planet, but I am consuming way less.

2. Lots of supplements.
    A. I take Arthrozene, which is supposed to relieve discomfort and stiffness, increase flexibility and mobility, and work in as little as 5 days. I have noticed maybe a little--very little affect with these. I wild continue them for 35 more days and then decide if I will continue
    B. Joint FLX, which protects against joint discomfort and stiffness, support joint flexibility, and strengthen joint mobility. Ditto on the results. These two basically are supposed to be doing the same thing.
    C. Cardio Clear, which is mostly for heart health and cognitive function. I am a sucker for these 45 minute videos that promise a wonder-cure for all my ailments, and you have to sit through the whole stinking video to see what the stuff is, and by then I am caught hook, line, and sinker. I have another couple of infomercial concoctions in the way, each guaranteeing the miracle cure.
    D. SUPER BEETS. I hate beets. I have bad childhood memories of having beets on my plate and having to eat them. Eating them resulted in projectile vomiting--I just could not chew them or swallow them. Not eating them sometimes resulted in having my butt spanked. And if you don't eat your beets, you can't have any pudding. How can you haver any pudding if you don't at your beets? Pink Floyd used this in a song, I think. But SUPER BEETS boosts Nitric Oxide, provides healthy circulation, healthy blood pressure levels, and increased energy and stamina. My resting heart rate used to be around 60, and recently was as high as 82-83. Now it's down to 70. I do feel like I have more energy and stamina. Maybe the Cardio Clear has a little to do with this too? I nix SUPER BEETS powder with 12 ounces of orange juice every morning. I love it.
     E. CBD oil and salve. I have not noticed any difference with the oil, although I just had a small bottle and am out. The salve seems no better or worse than Bio Freeze or Deep Heat, or Ben Gay. I would not rule out using wither of these products, but an not particularly impressed.

3. Biking. Only once, but I do need to work more biking into my life. I have a so-so road bike and a good mountain bike. We also have a Peloton bike.

4. Massage. My friend Lisa Butler works my legs over every weekend. She is awesome, and after each session, I feel well. If that wellness would stay, that would be great. Besides knowing exactly where to do her torture, she is a wealth of knowledge on running and fitness. I feel privileged to have her as a friend.

5. Stretching. This started from how I dealt with lover back pains. Nothing bad, but pulling my knees to my chest really help me. Other stretches and rolling on the foam roller hurts yet helps.

6. Knee braces and wraps. I have boiught several, and at first they seem like they help, but  on warm humid days they slide around mostly downward and it seems they don't do much in anything.

7. My ortho-doc who did my meniscus repair a few years back gives me a gel injection every 6 months, and that gives my knee some very noticeable relief. It's an expensive procedure, but not really a cure. I may go see him for another MRI on the knee and hip.

Since I have had a couple if slightly better days, I think I will do a little slow running over the weekend. If you see me limping, don't feel sorry for me. If you know a miracle sure, I'm all ears.