Spines and shoes

My shoes still haven’t arrived! This is why I had to make a desperate move yesterday. I went to Dicks Sporting Goods and came home with the same shoes that are currently in the hands of the postal service and not wanting to be at their mercy any longer, I bought another pair. When they finally do arrive, I’ll have three new pairs of shoes.

So. Very. Tragic.

Cumulus 17
These are the Asics Cumulus 17’s.

When I went to try out some new shoes recently my first selections were all Brooks, since I’ve been mostly wearing Brooks for the past few years, but after mentioning to the experts at the running store that I have scoliosis they shifted gears. They brought out quite a few different shoes and then they asked me a few questions and finally I tried on the Asics Cumulus 17’s. The Cumulus is a model that I wore for years and always loved until I started wearing Brooks.

Let me be clear here and just say that shoes have never been my problem. My feet are also not the problem. Typically I wear a neutral shoe as I don’t really under or over pronate.
My hips are also not the root of my problem although they do bother me occasionally. My problems are all based on muscle strain and imbalances and all of those things originate from a curved and twisted spine, scoliosis.

It doesn’t bother me often but when it does it can be nightmarish. Running is actually healthy as it helps to keep my bones strong but long runs and poor form can be hellish for me. I didn’t realize that I had scoliosis until I was older so a brace was never an option. In fact when the physician mentioned my twisted and curved spine he was surprised I wasn’t already aware of it. I wasn’t.

About 10 years ago was the first time that I had any real problems due to scoliosis and that came in the form of sciatica after sitting for too long. That’s when I first learned about stretching and how beneficial it is for me. The sciatica went away and only returned when I would sit for long periods of time without properly stretching throughout the day.

When I started running again about 8 years ago I didn’t have any issues for several years but then came problems with my Achilles, next was issues with my hips and IT band. I also had a little trouble with my knee. What had changed was the fact that as the years went on I ran longer and the longer I ran the more lax my form became and that’s where my problems started.

asics shoesThe Cumulus 17’s are a bit different than the previous versions I’ve run in. To me they felt more like the Nimbus and I think that’s because the Cumulus 17’s have the built in FluidRide System that cushions the entire sole. It feels sort of like running on a cloud but it also has great traction and stability. It’s definitely heavier than any shoe I’ve worn in the last few years but it doesn’t feel heavy when you’re out running. I tested them this morning and I’m positive I made the right choice in going back to this shoe.

My Brooks Pureflow 5’s may still be an option in the future but for long runs and training I need a shoe that provides stability and extra cushioning. I’ll still have to stretch and work on my strength training regularly, and I may have to add some physical therapy into the mix but I’m confident with the right balance, I’ll be running as long as I want to.

Are there any obstacles you’ve had to overcome to keep running?

9 thoughts on “Spines and shoes

  1. aaaiiighhh i hear your problem sister. damn.

    i just had surgery late october 15′ (easy quick fix miniscus tear) …..and i was up and running 13 days after. The surgeon was a neighbor/friend, and he knew my general fitness, so he let me roll with the quick recovery. I’m a cross country coach and yoga instructor, so never went to physical therapy….so all was good…..

    until recently….mtherfcker. if my “runners knee” doesn’t come back if i up my miles over 40miles a week. AND my feet are starting to bother me now….time for shoe switch. I’ve been running in the same 3 (grids, kayano, then adrenalines) shoes for 25 TWENTYFIVE years! sigh.

    testing shoes is a painful process…..but here we go. damn.

    so here starts the saga.

    • Testing shoes is a painful process and I don’t really look forward to it either. Not only the trying out phase but I tend to be really brand loyal, especially if a shoe has been really good for me. But I think you are right and if your feet are starting to hurt it could be a sign you need to change those shoes.

      Oh, and also, running 13 days after surgery, You are officially a badass! And since you teach yoga, any suggestions for back stretches for scoliosis?

      • I’ve had several (4) teenage athletes with scoliosis….first off they were all stellar runners. Secondly, they were rarely concerned about their condition (they are teens). Their gaits were always of concern to me, as well as the strides down dirt hills, but they all seemed to manage well. Don’t mess with your natural gait. But be VERY careful with your shoes. Neutral, pronate, supernate, etc…..

        A couple of them went through my introduction of yoga to ALL runners the last decade and they all LOVED it….ALL my runners love it. it’s shocking. I don’t know what they like more…the racing or the yoga. I digress, my scolios never did deep backbends. just core and back strengthening. We do a “power Vinyasa”, lots of dynamic core strengthening and isolated stretches.

        Back stretches- child’s pose, cat, cow, down dog. then as you start to ease through these, move on to twists coupled with core back strengthening. It will do wonders for lengthening and strengthening. AND don’t forget to breathe!!…..go deeper on the exhalation. Relax and love the stretch….aahhhh feels good to just write about it. haha

    • Hi Karen! YOU ARE A RUNNER! But you need to take better care of yourself and buy more sneakers and running apparel. I know it can be expensive but this sport will make you happier and healthier. So if you don’t have the money then save up. But if you do have the money then you should go straight to the store this weekend and buy the goodies that you need to make the sport more enjoyable for yourself. Treat yourself really well!

    • No, you should call yourself a runner. It’s not what you have, it’s that you get out there and run. And as long as those shoes are working for you, run on sister! When the kid was little and the budget was tighter I never had more than one or two pairs of running shoes at most, (and many times they were the only casual shoes I owned so they usually racked up serious miles.) I love all the options that at are available but I also don’t think you need to own all of them. 🙂

  2. That’s hilarious that you now have 3 new pairs of shoes, and only a fellow runner would understand this . I’ve been running in Asics for 20 years and just recently bought the Cumulus lite show. I love them. You are running with scoliosis, I applaud you. I don’t have it but do occasionally have hip and IT band problems when I run too long. Also my right knee gets angry. I love your blog <3

    • Awe, thanks Jade! I am very lucky that my scoliosis is mild but it does wreak havoc when it rears it’s ugly head. One of the things that works for me is to stop every four to six miles on long runs and just stretch my back. I also tend to throw my hands up in the air when I’m feeling a bit tired or fatigued,it sounds so silly but what it does is help me to get back into alignment and correct my posture. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *