Follow by Email

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shoe Crisis

Some of my running shoe collection

"Marathons are extraordinarily difficult, but if you've got the training under your belt and if you can run smart, the races take care of themselves. When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you end up figuring out how to excel."- Deena Kastor, Four time Olympian

Every hear a woman complain she has nothing to wear, yet has a whole closet full of clothes. Recently I found myself with a large assortment of running shoes and nothing to wear.

I have really hard feet to fit. They're wide, with high arches and hammer toes. Size 7.5 which I swear is always gone when I try to buy a pair of shoes.

When I find the rare pair of running shoes that works, I stick with it. I was in love with the Brooks Glycerin 9 and I wore them happily for several years. I ran my first Boston in them.

Last year I went to my local running store to get a new pair of shoes. Gasp, Brooks had changed the sizing and made other ghastly changes. My dream shoes were no more. I usually have several pairs of usable shoes. I break in a new pair while the current ones are being used.  I did buy a pair of Brooks and I had an old pair to still wear.  In the mean time I found a pair of my beloved shoe model on eBay. It was from an Australian seller and the price was $245. I forked it over, but the shoes did not arrive in time for me to take them to last year"s Boston Marathon.

I left for last year's Boston with an old pair of Brooks, needing to be replaced. I bought a pair of Newtons a couple of days before the race and did what no runner is supposed to do. I wore them for the first half of the race with a little bit of break-in.  They were OK, but I switched shoes half way through the race.

When my eBay shoes came, I happily wore them for the last year and my newtons and the new Brooks sat in the corner of my bedroom.  Two weeks ago those eBay shoes were done. I can always tell, the shoe feels different and just does not have the needed cushioning.

For an athlete with CMT cushioning is important. Our feet because of the high arches and lack of ankle flexibility make us more vulnerable to injuries. Also as we age we lose the natural padding of muscles on the bottom of our feet.

I pulled out the Newton's for a 15 K race. My hip and knee hurt the whole race. That never happens. Plus they have this raised area.

It hits right on the ball of my feet and it was really starting to annoy me.  So now the new Brooks were going to get their chance. I had a 20 mile run to do so these came out to play.

I love the color and no running shoe is cheap so I was hoping for good things when I wore them. My feet hurt and I mean really hurt during the run. They hurt the next day, like my knee hurt when I got a stress fracture. I tried them for an hour run on the treadmill and my feet hurt the whole time.

I wore the Newtons to work hoping to wear them in a half marathon. After wearing them for a day my ankles were both hurting. I got lots of questions from my co-workers about my cute shoes. I told anyone that would listen about my shoe crisis. Who says runners are not interesting.

During all this I searched frantically all over the web for another pair of my beloved Glyverin 9's; eBay, Amazon, Zappos, Runner's Wearhouse and countless other sites. I even posted a message on Facebook. No luck. eBay had them in every size except the 7.5 I needed.

I was out of options and had a half marathon race to do.

Desperate I put in an order for a pair of Hoka's from REI.  Several of my Team CMT members swear by them. They are advertised as having 30 % more cushioning and are constructed to help the foot roll.
The closest store that sells them is 60 miles away. I placed my order on line and crossed my fingers.  They did not arrive by race day, so it was back to the old Brooks. They held up OK, in the race, but I could tell the padding was gone and my feet had aches the next day. Two days after the race the Hoka's arrived.

 They look great. I put in my orthodics with the shoe insert and took them for a spin. They are super soft. It feels like running on marshmallows. That is a good thing. Because I left the inserts in, they were a bit tight in the toes.  I did the next run without the inserts and they were a bit roomy.  The soles are thicker and because of the foot drop my foot caught a few times. I will have to be careful when I wear these. Tripping or catching my foot is part of running for me, especially when I'm tired.

So I have one more long run to try these out, there is another set of thinner insert that came with the shoes. I am hoping they make the perfect fit. These shoes match my uniform colors. That would be a bonus for sure.  Hopefully my shoe crisis will be over soon.

In the meantime I found another pair of Brooks Glycerin 9's on eBay.  Even if I win them they will not arrive in time for Boston......but maybe next year.

It is still a bit of a risk wearing them in the marathon since hot spots could show up. Hot spots I may not realize are there because I have not had them on a really long run. Still I think this may be the best I can do.

Shoe crisis or not, I am off to Boston in just a few days.

Chris Wodke at 2013 Boston Marathon

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 149 members in 27 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.

CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT

No comments:

Post a Comment