Yesterday, while running, I had an odd experience. About 4.5km in, my left leg went numb. I was afraid I was going to spill over on the sidewalk (or even into the road, that would have been fun, oh yes it would, HA HA NOT REALLY) so I slowed to a walk for about thirty seconds before gritting my teeth and powering through. After I finished the last couple kilometers I yanked out my phone and did some quick googling during the cooldown.
It turns out this is fairly common, and one of the things that can cause it is too-tight shoelaces. (Here’s a vid on cool ways to tie your laces around hot spots etc., by the way.) Of course that’s mostly for foot numbness, not the whole legs, but I was fairly sure I wasn’t having lower-back nerve compression or sciatic compression. (One more thing massage school did for me!) I’d had sciatic compression while I was pregnant, and this felt nothing like it. Plus, after I lost a ton of weight and started shovelgloving and later climbing, my back issues went away.
Besides, why worry about nerve compression first if you can just loosen your laces and try that? This is a difference between me now and me ten years ago. A decade ago I would have started fretting over what was wrong, what the worst was. Now I’m much more likely to go “eh, let’s see if something small’s the matter first.” Motherhood, running, and age have all cooperated to loosen me up a bit. I’m too damn busy to obsess like that anymore. In the immortal words of my writing partner, it makes me tired.
So today I loosened my laces, and paid attention once I hit 4km.
No numbness. No tingling. Loosened shoes didn’t mean blisters, either, I found great socks long ago by a stroke of luck and bought a ton of them.
So that problem appears to be solved, but I think I’ll parallel-lace my shoes. I’ve always laced my shoes extra-tight. It started with ballet, and then with combat boots. It just became a habit. Plus, I have huge feet, and I’m sure I thought maybe binding them would make them a little smaller. *snort*
I wonder, in how many other areas of my life am I lacing myself too tightly? I was always told I was lazy, not disciplined enough, so maybe the tightness I hold myself with comes from there.