Sunday, 28 August 2011

time for new running shoes. the horror. the shame.

I love my Mizunos. When I first learned to run a couple years ago, I tried a lot of different manufacturers and struggled with knee and foot pain. Then I switched to Mizuno wave riders. And I started running barefoot as often as possible. And suddenly I was running pain free. There are some competing theories. Maybe it's not the shoes. I may have simply become a lighter, stronger, better runner.  But I'm now as superstitious as a major league baseball player.
Wade L'Chaim  Boggs
So I was stunned today to realise that the shoes I have enjoyed this passed year are Ultimas, not, as I had thought, Wave  Riders.  I have to go back to last year's Amsterdam Marathon expo to explain.  At the expo, I bought three pairs of shoes, including these Aero racing flats.  (They had great discounts.)

Aero racing flats

I also bought a pair of Riders and a pair of Ultimas, the latter after taking the Precision Fit quiz online.  In order to make my purchases easier to carry, I threw away the shoe boxes. And I mixed up the names of the shoes.  When I ran in my new shoes, one pair bothered my knees in runs longer than 8 km and the others didn't. Without actually checking the names on the shoes themselves, I thought it was the Ultimas that hurt. That's because I knew that Riders were my shoe of choice. And I didn't want to believe that shoes designed for someone of my (heavier) weight -- more cushion -- would be better for me. That notion interferes with my vision of myself as a barefoot runner.

So you can imagine the horror today when I pedaled off to the running shoe shop to buy replacements, only to realise I left without my (very wet) favorite shoes.  (By the way, if you are still reading, you can only be a runner.) I bought Riders, a half size larger than I usually wear, since the toe box felt a little tight in the 8.5. The guy first tried to sell me the new Enigmas, but I felt loyal to my current model and didn't bother to try them on.

So long story shortened, when I got home I looked at the label on my wet shoes. I was very surpised. I have been loving the Ultimas, not the Riders. The cushiony-fat-runner shoes.  

And worse, I now have a very expensive new pair of shoes that are possibly the WRONG kind. I would take the old Riders out for a run to see if the knee pain returns, but I can only find one shoe. Odie is the likely suspect. He carries shoes around when he wants to go out for a walk. 
Wave Riders

For a superstitious runner this is a major catastrophe. Whatever I decide, it will have to be before Tuesday, when I run again. And I will no doubt have to go back to the shoe store and possibly even admit that I was wrong and that I'm not such a big-shot runner. And that I prefer the cushiony-fat-runner shoes.
Wave Ultimas

PS. I took the quiz again and it recommends all their models. Some help.
PPS. I looked at the shoes I used for training and running the Rotterdam Marathon. Riders. So much for superstition.

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