It was the Fall of 2015: my first marathon. At the time, I was an exercise science student at Skidmore College. Trying to apply both my physiology and nutrition background, I created my own training program. I incorporated a balance between short and long runs, along with non-impact cardiovascular training. On paper, my plan was perfect. In the weeks leading up to the big day, I started to feel a sharp pain in both the arches of my feet. Given that I had never run long distance before this training program, I figured that it was normal to be in pain after running countless miles. However, I started to notice that the sharp pain in my arches was starting earlier and earlier in my long runs - this is when I knew something was wrong. I, however, being an ultra-competitive person, was not going to let pain get in the way of my first marathon, no matter how bad it was.
On the day of the big race, I felt extremely nervous as scary questions sped through my mind. Was I going to make it? When would the pain start? Will I reach my goal? Fast forward to mile 18; I was at a slow jog, limping my body forward, one step at a time. I was bawling from the pain, but I knew that if I slowed down to a walk, it was over. Mile after mile, I pushed through the pain. Is this not supposed to be fun? I could not believe that I paid to do this. How is everyone still smiling? Mile 23. I was almost there. With the motivation of kind strangers, I kept pushing through. That is when someone told me.
“You are running in those?”
I look down at my feet, confused by what the stranger was referring to. They proceeded to pace with me and explain that my so-called running shoes were not suitable for long-distance running. I felt deceived by the salesman at the shoe store. That is when it hit me. The pain that I was feeling in my feet was not because of the duration of the run. I was essentially running in recreational, yet very stylish running shoes. At that moment, I definitely felt pain, and I definitely did not gain.
Last mile. I was literally dragging my body every single step. I could see the finish line. The crowd was cheering for the finishers, as family members swarmed their exhausted loved ones. Crying yet relieved, I claimed my medal as my mother rushed over to me with excitement. She ran her first half marathon that same day and finished painlessly. I was beyond jealous, but I must clarify that we did not run in the same type of shoes. While the excruciating pain in my arches made me want to quit for about a quarter of the marathon, I could not. I am not, nor will I ever be a quitter.
Fast forward to 2019. I still have foot problems that stem from running my first marathon in those terribly awful shoes. I was not sure if I would ever be able to run another marathon. I went to the podiatrist, where I spent a small fortune on customized orthotics, but the pain was still there. Then, learning from my mistake, I both researched and tried on countless amounts of running shoes. While the pain was definitely better, it was still lingering. That is when I discovered Alpha Sole. The compression socks that gave me hope to run another marathon.
Firstly, the socks comfortably supported my arches, and also increased blood flow in calves. This improved circulation and decreased muscle cramping since they allowed for more oxygen to get to my working muscles. The compressive nature of the sock also lowered the muscle vibration caused by the impact of pounding pavement, which also decreased my soreness after runs. Talk about a miracle sock! I also loved that the socks came in both fun and athletic patterns.
Finally feeling confident that I can run another marathon, I set my sights on the New York City marathon. This past March, I was lucky enough to get selected in the lottery. It was official. I was finally going to run another marathon. While the marathon is not until November, I decided that consistency is a key part of my training. With the help and support of Alpha Sole socks, I currently run moderate distances between two and three times a week. Having only ever experienced pain during long runs, I am shocked by the difference in both my current performance and running enjoyment. In addition, the combination of Alpha Sole compression socks and proper nutrition has made the recovery process significantly quicker. Come November, I will be crossing the finish line with a smile, rather than tears.
When I am not running, I use the Alpha Sole socks for other activities such as weight lifting, spinning, and equestrian riding. This sock is especially great for any activity that engages the calves. Alpha Sole compression socks allow me to maximize my performance and effort, no matter what the activity!
-- Olivia Minicucci
Use code "OLIVIA20" for 20% OFF your whole order!