New Runnin’ Shoes

Monday I rode over to Jus Running for the Monday evening group outing, as I’ve been doing pretty much every week since the beginning of October. It was quite a bit cooler than it has been, temp about 50 when we started out and six miles later it was down around 40. Also the first time after DST so we ran with lights and/or reflective clothing. Did our usual 6 miles and by the time we were done, my feet were killing me. I’ve been long past due to replace my now 4 years old Asics Kayano 15s. They’ve got nearly 450 miles on them. 300 is usually recommended and if possible I’ll push as far up to 400 as I can. 450 is way to far.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I do run more than 100 miles a year. The Kayano 15s are my road shoes and the majority of my running is done on trails. Also.. I bought two pairs at about teh same time back in 2009 and didn’t start wearing the second pair until a couple year ago.

Even so… I pushed them way beyond where I should have (although they were good enough to get me to a marathon finish line in 3:59).

Since we do the run after the shop closes at 6PM, and I showed up at 5:55, I didn’t get a chance to try on a new pair. So Jane, Jus’ Running manager and Monday run leader extraordinaire, checked real quick and set aside a pair in my size to try out later in the week.

On Tuesday I headed back over to give them a looksie and go for a quick spin. It it always amazing to see how vastly different a brand new shoe feels when compared to a worn out one. I put one of each on my feet and the compression on the old shoes was so bad I could literally swing one foot back and forth without touching the ground while standing up straight. To be sure I wasn’t leaning or that my legs aren’t different lengths… I swapped the shoes and the same thing happened. A very short run of only a few hundred yards told me everything I needed to know…. ring me up!

I had pretty much made up my mind before I walked into the store. For the past couple weeks I had debated whether I wanted to buy the 19s now or wait for the new 20s that are just coming out. Jus Running won’t have them until January and that’s too long. I had to make a purchase now or I’ll destroy my feet when the “real” marathon training starts up in December.

After checking out with my new kicks, I rode over to Asheville Brewing Company for the Tuesday night Brewery Run with my Meetup group. I haven’t been doing this run the past few weeks since I started running on Mondays. I don’t normally run on consecutive days. But since I had new shoes, well…

We had a large group of 17 I think, split between a 3 mile route and a 5/6 mile. I had thought I’d only do the 3, just enough to break the new shoes in a bit. Instead I ended up doing about 5.5. The shoes were fine but my feet and legs were not. As suspected, I had been doing quite a bit of damage running on the old shoes. Not only that, but I made the mistake of lacing up the new left shoe way too tight and once my foot swelled a bit it got really painful. I stopped once midway to try and loosen it up, which helped some, but not enough. Rather than hold up my buddy Marcos who was running along side me at the time, I just toughed it out and finished the run. The minute I got back to ABC I pulled the laces and redid them. Everything was immediately better so after a few days off to let my heels and ankles recover a bit, I’ll head back out for another spin.

On a related and rather silly note, somewhere in boxes in the garage and scattered throughout the house I have every pair of running shoes I’ve owned for the past.. oh I don’t know… 15-20 years? Even back when I wasn’t running I wore running shoes. I’ll have to dig them out and see if I can remember far back enough to line them up in order purchased and get a photo. In my head I can go back as far as when I started training for Ironman FL, and here’s what I remember: 19, Cascadia, Sensor, Attack, 15, 15, 15 (walking), 2150, 2150. There’s at least a half dozen others before that and since I didn’t run at all those lasted a lot longer. All Asics except for the Cascadia trail shoes that Jane talked me into, which are Brooks. And quite awesome I might add.

Why do I still have all these dirty, smelly broken down old shoes? Not sure really.. nostalgia I guess. And to take silly pictures. Eventually, some day, maybe, they’ll go to a recycling facility, but for now I just keep ’em hangin’ around.

Just in case any of you uber- and/or ultra- runners who might be reading this and are thinking “that’s not many pairs of shoes, why is he going on about this?”, well… just remember that I ride bikes far more often (and more far distance) than I run. And that I started this out by saying I push those shoes well beyond the 300 recommended miles before replacing. At $150 a pair for those damned Kayanos, even with a club discount I can’t afford not to.