Just like my knees seem to be lately.
I noticed it a few weeks ago when I went down to the basement to do some laundry. Each step seemed to ache, just behind the knee cap. It didn't hurt. It wasn't uncomfortable. Just stiff and achy. I didn't think much of it at the time.
However, as time has passed, I've noticed it more and more. It's not necessarily more frequent or a stronger sensation but it's there. After each time I run, the steps are a bitch. Well, my knees are. The steps are just steps.
I decided that the answer had to be new shoes. If anything hurts and is related to running, the first answer is always get a new pair of shoes. I had already been drooling over the Ravenna 6 colors so a fresh set wouldn't be a hard sell.
Hello, I love you!
Finding the time to actually buy them and, to be honest, the money would prove a bit more difficult. (Miles will go to Pre-K this school year, and I basically sign away my paycheck every time a letter comes from the school.)
So I decided to think about what else it could be – too many plyometrics in boot camp classes, uneven road conditions on my regular routes and the stupid baby weight. I tried to reduce my ground contacts in class and reversed my runs. As for the extra weight ... well, I'm trying but it's stubborn and I'm frustrated.
I decided that I needed to get a little guidance before I splurge on shoes or get hurt. Via Facebook, I messaged the shoe guy from my running store. (You know my running store because if I owned it, I wouldn't worry about money for shoes.)
The conversation that occurred is why you need to find a good, local running store and stick with them.
• He remembered that I was wearing a lighter shoe last summer. He said that the heavier Ravenna might be too clunky for me now. The extra cushioning, too, could be causing my gait to be less efficient and thus causing the knees to be sore.
• He knows that pregnancy can change foot size and gait.
• He asked more questions. Where was the pain and when did I feel it? Where was I running?
• He recommended stretching and other changes before coming into buy new shoes.
There was a small part of me that was disappointed that new shoes wasn't the first thing I said but I was so impressed that helping me wasn't about giving me a pitch. He knows that creating a good rapport with a customer will lead to a sale. And not just one but many.
I could only hope that my knees are as nice as my shoe guy. I'm doing my stretches and getting down with the ice and Deep Blue oil, and I feel confident that things are going in the right direction. I suspect I'll head into the store in a month or two when the miles add up on my Ravennas. Then, he'll get the sale and I'll have some fresh kicks.