About a week or two ago, I got an opportunity to get some medical advice from a friend-of-a-friend podiatrist over the phone, Dr Shelly Levulis (www.shellylevulisdpm.com). Obviously this advice was in regards to my bunion issues. My biggest worry with those issues was the risk of the unknown... I simply couldn't get consistent and detailed information through my online research, so I couldn't come to a conclusion if there was the chance of long-term risks of running with advanced bunions. Some of my research hinted that there was significant risk of irreversible damage by pushing through the pain of advanced bunions. Fortunately, by talking with Shelly, I first learned that my bunions are not in the advanced stage, but rather light to moderate. Additionally, (and definitely the best piece of news from the discussion) I have no reason to be worried about irreversible foot damage... irreversible, meaning not surgically fixable. This sounds like a run-of-the-mill piece of good news, but this was really a turning-point in my mindset for training for the double Iron... at this point, I was 100% certain that I had nothing in my way to do this race!! This was such a big deal with my mental preparedness that I remember the date and marked it as a major benchmark... Monday, April 4 :)
Now this doesn't really mean that I'm completely out the woods yet though, since I do have to find ways to manage and reduce the pain that I have to deal with on long runs. To help with this part of the problem, I had to take several steps that include new wide running shoes, wide cycling shoes, and (per Dr Shelly's advice) orthotics. Fortunately, I already got new running and cycling shoes, but still need to make my move on getting orthotics. After trying on several pairs of running shoes at Academy, I decided to go with Mizuno's Wave Rider 14 (wide)... I cannot express this enough, but I finally know what a good-fitting shoe is supposed to feel like!! I never realized that my previous shoes were a bad fit until I put these new kicks on... AMAZING!! And as for the running feel of the shoe, after getting used to the added weight and different shoe construction... my gait has become very consistent and controllable. I've always been a huge fan of Mizuno, and these shoes definitely get the Bernzy Stamp of Approval (BSA)! I also bought a few other goodies, as you can see in the pic below.
And, though you might not remember from my last post, but I was going to try to get a pic of the Rudy Project backpack that I got recently. In short, if you're looking for a good-looking, low-profile bag that stands up the mother nature's elements well... this gets a several BSA's!! Thanks Rudy, for putting out some really great products and standing strong to the big corporations!! For those who don't know Rudy well, it's a relatively small company that puts out some great eyewear and athletic gear for triathletes, golfers, shooters (aka gunmen?), etc etc... let me know if you're looking to by any Rudy gear and I'll likely be able to share my 40% discount :)
edit #2: I forgot one product review... the fuel belt that you can see in the first picture was something I bought since I knew I would need it for my very long runs planned for the HOT summer months. In short and to be honest, I wasn't impressed with this. I've always avoided buying fuel belts bc of concern that it would bounce too much for comfort causing chafing... also, I had a feeling it would make me feel sluggish bc of he extra weight. Turns out, both of those concerns are true... oh well. That said, some people LOVE these things and won't run without it... if you want to try it out, anyone is free to borrow mine. Just let me know