"Hm," you're thinking, "I wonder why Rachel hasn't breathed a word about running since the half marathon in June?"
Well, the good news is that I had a blast doing the half and couldn't wait to sign up for another. The less good news is that I started having some pretty bad plantar fasciitis pain almost immediately after the race, and ended up needing to take quite a few weeks off. Kind of a bummer since I was so pumped and excited after the half.
But what can you do? My feet were saying to take a break, so I did. And I was surprised, actually, by how much I missed running during those weeks off.
After taking a few weeks off and taking better care of my legs and feet, I'm feeling so much better now, and have started easing back into running over the last few weeks with some shorter to mid distance runs a few times a week. It feels so good to get back out.
^ someone was very eager to join me for pictures, and came up with most of these poses/action shots on his own. A bright future in blogging, I'm sure.
Besides just sitting around and resting and self-medicating with plenty of chocolate and Diet Coke, I took a bit of action to get the plantar fasciitis out of the way. I bought a roller ball that I've been using daily on my arches, get massages focusing on my legs and calves as often as I can manage, focus on stretching my calves and feet after each run, and I swapped out my regular shoelaces for Racing Laces.
Racing Laces are a brand new product created by some good friends of ours who offered to send a few pairs for us to experience. Our friends discovered elastic shoelaces while training for competitive races, but were disappointed by the elastic laces they found on the market--low quality, flimsy laces that stretched out and were useless after a few workouts. So they created their own sturdy, heavy duty, high quality elastic laces that can stand up to some serious use (and after wearing mine for a few weeks, I can confirm that they have held up awesomely without stretching out or losing their spring at all!).
So what's the point of using elastic laces?
For me, the most appealing aspect was adding comfort to runs by allowing my shoes to expand and stretch while I run. Traditional laces don't have any give, so your shoes are fairly rigid and can put pressure on your feet, leading to pain and injuries. But Racing Laces relieve this pressure and allow the bones in your feet to move more naturally, so they can help prevent common running injuries like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and even stress fractures.
Also awesome is the easy-on, easy-off factor, and knowing that your laces won't ever come untied, even during long distances or obstacle courses (hello Spartan racers).
And I am kicking myself--kicking myself hard!!--that I haven't bought Forrest a new pair of sneakers yet to show off his new pair of Racing Laces. He's been overdue for new shoes for months, and I was hoping to show off his kicks complete with Racing Laces that he'd be able to take on and off by himself without help . . . but life being what it is, I ran out of time, so he's stuck with his crummy Velcro shoes for a little longer. But that's another little tip to remember . . . they're great for kids' shoes, and will get your little ones ready for school faster since they won't need help tying shoes.
Racing Laces are absolutely worth checking out, especially if you've dealt with any kind of foot pain or want to make sure you're doing everything you can to prevent it. And right now, you can enter to win a pair for yourself on Racing Laces' instagram page! Head HERE to enter.
And to wrap this post up, I made you a special treat. Forrest was so excited to jump for photos. I couldn't resist compiling them into a little gif. Enjoy.