Monday, June 02, 2008

the saga of the sleepy feet

So, I'm training for a 10K run on the Fourth of July and my training hasn't been going very well because my feet were falling asleep whenever I ran more than a mile. And let's face it, it isn't fun to run when you are in bad shape. It's even worse when you can't feel your feet.

I talked to a lot of people about my "condition". I visited several running blogs and spoke with my boss, an accomplished triathlete for advice. Most of the recommendations I heard were to go up a shoe size and make sure my laces were loose. My boss also added that if my feet were falling asleep when I was running, then clearly, I wasn't running HARD enough.

And if he wasn't my boss ... he might have received an uppercut for that comment.

This past weekend, a sports doctor came to our running practice. After listening to him talk about a host of injuries that can occur with running, I posed my problem for his consideration.

His first thought was that my shoes were too tight. However, I am wearing a full size and a half larger than I typically wear because I bought my running shoes soon after I had given birth to Henry and my feet were still at gargantuan proportions.

His second thought was that perhaps I was anemic and when I would vigorously exercise, blood which normally carries oxygen to all parts of my body, would be reduced to delivering it to my primary organs. As a result, my lower extremities would be deprived of oxygen and doze off. I've been borderline anemic several times in my life, so I suppose this is a possibility.

His third and final thought was that perhaps I had a condition wherein vigorous exercise would cause my big burly calf muscles to restrict the blood flowing to my feet and they would go numb. Apparently, there are some stretching exercises that might help with this.

Before I begrudgingly took off on my run, his assistant showed me a new way of lacing up my shoes and whoa ... this simple fix made a huge difference. Here I had been feeling all cynical like "NO! My shoes aren't TOO small. NO! I don't have them laced TOO tightly. Who do you think I am?? An IDIOT?!" And well, I'm not going to answer that.

But, I AM going to show you this new lacing technique in the off chance it helps someone out there who has feet that fall to sleep when they run.

Have you ever noticed that your running shoe has an eye hole that seems to be sitting back there, all alone and unlaced?


If you can't feel your feet when you exercise, you might want to consider using it.


Apparently, this eye hole was specifically designed for people to use when lacing their shoes. Why it is that I've spent 37-years on this planet and never once used that eye hole before is a MYSTERY.


After you lace your shoes up as you normally would do ... you feed your lace in to the oft ignored eye hole - from the outside, looping in.


You make a loop with your lace ...


And then bring it across to the tongue of your shoe, feeding it in to the loop on the other side.


Repeat this process by bringing the other shoe lace across. Then, now this is important, before you tighten the laces, you want to make sure that your heel is positioned in the far back "heel box" of your shoe. The best way to accomplish this is to push your heel down in your shoe, and flex your toes up. This will help to "seat" your heel correctly. Or so they say.


Next, tie your laces as you normally would.


Once I take an iron supplement, exercise my calves and lace my shoes more loosely, maybe, just maybe, I'll have the stamina to get OFF the couch and play hide and seek with my children.



If I should dare to dream.

29 comments:

  1. WOW! Is that what that hole is for? I think a memo should go out at to all of the Foot Locker stores in the US, because I have never had a salesperson lace a shoe like that!! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Hmmm, just teach the kids to count to 100 and you might be able to have a nice dinner (or at least dessert) with just you and the hubby!

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  3. I hope that you can fix your sleepy feet!

    My husband worked in a shoe store during high school and he learned that lace trick. I remember when he showed me--I thought it was so amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. NO WAY! I used to run all the time, and my feet ALWAYS fell asleep. But I never knew about the right way to lace your shoes! I am totally going to try that...maybe if I have them done the right way, I will run more often!

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  5. Thanks so much for the lace trick - I am going to try that tomorrow night when I run! I've been using those holes but not lacing them like you show. I can't wait to try it now!

    Also, my kids have a similar concept of how to play hide and seek. Except they like to hide under a blanket that I put on them. And then I have to count and pretend I don't know where they are. It's one of my favorite games BECAUSE I can play it while sitting on the couch!

    -Christine

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  6. Interesting on the shoes!!! And I love the hide and seek video!

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  7. I have my shoes laced correctly and I have had a good laugh.... off to train now. Do you have anything to curb all this excitement I have about moving this lugtub of a body? That video is priceless, my little 18mth watched it atleast 10 times in a row. She figured out how to replay it. LOL

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  8. that is, without question, the funniest thing i have seen all week.

    i love your kids.

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  9. The video of "hide and seek" is just as cute as can be!!

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  10. so that's how ALL kids play hide and seek? i just thought my 3 year old and 2 year old didn't get it. :)

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  11. I can't even believe it! I would have guessed that the closer to your ankle you lace the tighter the shoe ... not the more "well fitting" ... huh!
    THANKS! :D
    p.s. I LOVE that Regal Theatre link. Thanks again!
    Have you heard of "Shakespeare by the Sea" ...? I don't know if you hvae it in San Diego, but we have it here in L.A. A troupe of actors put on two Shakespeare plays each weekend for FREE at a park, at a light house, ... at another park. And it's totally FREE and totally HILARIOUS cuz they keep on mixing with the crowds. They start early in the summer and end early in the summer. Just goggle "Shakespeare by the Sea" and it will pull it up if you have it. It makes a GREAT date night. Bring a blanket. (And they do collect tips on their break, should you wish to donate.)

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  12. well ... you could goggle it or you could GOOOOOGLE it. The latter would be so much more effective.

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  13. That was the most amazing game of hide and seek ever!

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  14. Glory be! I bet you've just solved MY exercise problem--a tingly left foot on the Stairmaster. Never been able to conquer it. I can't wait to try out this tip!! I've always liked loose shoes and thought skipping the extra hole would do that. Go figure.

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  15. Hmm, my feet always fall asleep on the eliptical. Thanks for the tip.

    Your kids hide and seek game is precious.

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  16. Thanks for sharing this tip! I'm looking forward to trying out the new lacing technique. (But definitely NOT the running part!!!)

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  17. OK - you just totally changed my life! I'm a lurker who reads your blog because you're really funny :), but who knew that I'd find the answer to a problem that has been plaguing me for over a year!!

    Can't wait to go for a walk tonight!!!

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  18. Back for an update. The lacing (sp?)worked fabulous on my right foot but not so well on my left. Whatevoh darn feet:) We have a huge tank 2.4million gallons of gas on fire 15 miles from my house right now. Lightin struck it. UNBELIEVABLE Flames! You have talked me into making a 10K a goal. So Aug 30th my number is up. I am only looking forward to the new tech shirt I will get:)

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  19. I had the SAME problem and went to purchase new sneaks. I wasn't training for a 10K, I was just trying to walk on my treadmill. So the person who re-sized me for my sneakers (they were too small) also taught me the shoe lace trick and I was floored. My sister was with me and I made him do her sneakers too.

    Alas, I still have the foot falling asleep problem, and mine is actually sciatica. Crazy I know, but it goes down into your foot and can cause issues...just in case the sneaker thing doesn't work...another thought ;)

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  20. Hoping the lacing does the trick! You are a true inspiration! I'm thinking about running a 5K in Sept, and I am NO runner. Rock on mama!

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  21. Love the video:) Hope your marathon training kicks up a notch with your new lacing trick!

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  22. Oh you crack me up. To think I've been running around here looking for my kids. Why didn't you show us that trick a year ago????

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  23. Did not know that! I've known that something has been sleeping for a while when I run but always thought it was in my mind!! Glad to get a grasp on why those holes are there! ;)

    Love the video!! Marg

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  24. Backwards hide and seek, I love it!

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  25. Amazing, the things you never know till someone shows you.

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  26. That's the best way to play hide and seek EVER. I say, if it's not broken, don't fix it! =)

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  27. OMG, that video is too funny! LMAO!

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  28. ~Cindy! :D6/7/08, 2:19 AM

    *AMAZING*! So *THAT*S what that offset little hole is for! :O I never woulda understood it without the pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. :)

    Thanks! ~Cindy! :)

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  29. heh, interesting game of Hide-and-seek.If I were you, while you were counting. YOU go hide while they aren't looking, that'll get them thinking :)

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