As I promised myself, I put the Saucony A4s back on Friday night and went for an enjoyable spin around the "bridges" in Perth - a 9k bitumen loop. Really scenic at night, which is why I waited til dark. It's quite deserted on the south side at night, too, so you can have delusions of being (almost) on a trail ;)
I immediately noticed a difference in how the A4s felt compared to the f-lites, but told myself to settle in for a bit, as my "hyper-focus" might have been distorting my perception. I learned this years ago when going to try on new shoes at a running store.... I would put on a new pair and feel like I was over-analysing everything "I think it digs in my arch" "I can feel the tongue" "I think the toe box is squishing my little toe"... I learned to stop and put my old shoes back on whilst trying on new shoes - then do the same hyper-fixating thing with the old (and loved) shoes.
Anyway, back to the river run.... Even after a few km, I still felt the difference. I had less 'connection' with the ground. My whole foot felt like it was riding on a plank. There was minimal proprioceptive feedback. There was cushioning; it wasn't a hard plank. But it seemed like my foot wasn't able to move naturally like it wanted in the shoe. Maybe the cushioning was deadening everything.
Arriving home, I put one of each shoe on. Goldilocks has found the one that is juuuuust right :) I think those extra couple mm of height/cushioning in the A4s and the extra rigidity in the shoe (it is less flexible) are dulling my 'foot' sense.
However, could I go this minimalist for a 24hr event?? I mean, a lot of people say you can't wear a racing flat more than a half marathon distance. I wear them in 24hr events. But could I go to f-lite for 24hrs? Tempting, seriously. We have barefoot Olympic marathon runners (e.g., Bikila), but do we have barefoot (and fast) ultra runners??
In the TNF100 betting pool, I'm up to 50/50, but still need a miracle performed on the foot. I'm putting the odds up 10% because (1) when I went to massage the last two times I didn't scream nearly half as much as before when he worked my feet. That must mean progress. And (2) because my foot did 53km +850 mtr in a 6 hr long run Sunday and it didn't get any worse. But three new tick bites. Grrrrrr! (None on my calves, though, thanks to Compressport calf guards - must wear quad ones now, too!)
On Thursday I'm going to see the physio and we're going to video
my gait to see if I'm doing what I think I am - running on the outside of my left foot, aggravating it further. And then we'll talk about the cost/benefit of the dreaded steroid injection again.
Lots of excuses for hill running this week, as I recce the PTS half marathon ("Half Truth"). We spent a few hours pruning bushes on the weekend to clear some overgrown trail. It's such a nice course. There are some great bits in that park that just haven't been maintained. It was nice to revive them!