Good news everybody: as of this summer, I am officially orthotics-free! You might not have realized that I even had them, it’s not usually something I brag about. Usually if I mention them, people say something like, “Aren’t those for old people?” Maybe they are, but they have also been for me, for the last 15 years or so. I won’t get into the details, because they’re super boring and involve the specific anatomy of my feet, but basically ever since I got heavy enough to bring a significant amount of weight down on my feet, I’ve been useless without orthotics (I don’t remember the exact age, but I think it was around 80 pounds or so).
I never needed them just for walking around, but needing them for running is annoying for several reasons:
- It’s inconvenient – I don’t always bring my shoes that have the orthotics in them everywhere I go, and when I don’t, I can’t (couldn’t) run.
- Shoes that are specially made to be ultra-lightweight are significantly less so when you throw orthotics in them.
- They require extra doctor visits. I got my last pair from a guy who was about to schedule foot surgery for me so he could shave down my navicular bone. I wanted to save my first bone shaving for something more special, so I declined.
- Orthotics are supposed to be for old people, like I mentioned earlier.
For a while, I would try running without them every once in a while, usually because I found myself in a situation where I didn’t have them with me. My ankles and knees would always hurt almost instantly. Then, this spring at Bridge to Brews I ran without them, and was totally fine. This was one of the most mildly exciting things that has ever happened to me.
I kept wearing them most of the time, but gradually I wore them less and less. Familiar pains would come back once in a while, but nothing too bad. Now I have completely stopped wearing them, and am completely pain free without them! I attribute this to the foot strengthening that all my yoga has done. Some credit goes to running and wearing flip-flops a lot, but mostly yoga. Hooray for my feet!
If you were hoping to read about anything besides my feet, you’re in luck. There’s a fascinating story circulating today about a man who has run every single day for 44 years. You can read about it here or here or here or here. And now here. That’s not a link, just right here where you already are.
|Mark Covert, streaking. I wonder how often he runs naked to make it a streaky streak.|
Apparently this guy named Mark Covert has the longest running streak of anyone in the country. That’s pretty crazy – I rarely even run three days in a row. I’m also 18 years away from being 44, so I really don’t have a concept of what it’s like to do anything for 44 years straight. I guess I’ll tell you in 18 years if I still think it’s impressive or not.
Miles run in 2012: 313