The Connection Runners + [What Makes a Runner]

MCM Monday #6: The Shoe-p Nazi

One of these days I'll have content besides Marine Corps updates. Until then, thanks for sticking with me every Monday or wheneverthehellIgettopostingtheselamepostsdayz.

Week 6 Recap
Monday: 4 mi @ 9:51 (stroller)
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 6 mi @ 9:42 (tempo w/ stroller)
Thursday: 3 mi @ 9:57 (stroller)
Friday: off
Saturday: 14 mi @ 9:57
Sunday: 2 mi walk w/ the beebs

Week 6 Notes
Last week was full of highs and lows. I shat glitter and rainbows on Wednesday when I successfully completed my tempo while pushing Charlotte. Although my tempo splits weren't great (9:14, 9:29, 9:23, 9:16 - they should've been down around 9:09), it was quite a feat for me to keep those paces as I manhandled that stroller.

I also discovered that shoving blankets in the seat keeps her from falling over. The bonus naptime isn't too shabby either.

So then I was feeling all John Travolta in the opening scene of Saturday Night Fever when I pulled out the stroller for Thursday's easy three, thinking that since I kicked ass on Wednesday, I'd obviously be amazing again. Not really. With the exception of pacing some teenagers from the local high school's XC team for a hot minute, the run was miserable, my legs dead from the tempo. Case in point: I ran my 14-miler at the same pace as those easy three. ICK.

Whatever. Onto bigger and better things this week, including getting my CRIM ON.

Week 6 Marathon Musing
My sister, who's looking to buy some new running shoes, recently asked me, "What kind of running shoes do you wear?" at which point I realized it would be way more fun to make her sit through my lame, quasi-informed explanation while we looked at my glorious collection upstairs.

I busted out the three pairs currently in my marathon-training rotation...

  • Mizuno Wave Inspire 7's (long runs only)
  • Mizuno Wave Elixir 7's (mid-distance and speedwork/tempo runs)
  • Saucony Kinvara 2's (short, easy runs)
... as I attempted to sound all professional-like while explaining important termz like pronation and heel-to-toe drop. Eventually, I summed up my pointless utterances by telling her to go to our local Running Fit store for a proper fitting by someone who knows more about shoes than what they gleaned reading the bi-annual Runner's World shoe review guides.

The situation was funny to me as I realized that I've gotten rather particular about running shoes through the years.

Back in 2003, when A&F miniskirts and Nextels were still cool, I bought my first pair of "running" shoes - a generic Nike cross-trainer found on the Dick's Sporting Goods clearance rack for $35. I don't recall even trying them on.

I ran a handful of hungover miles and a few 5k's in them before they were retired to a life of mowing lawns and painting things. Despite their short life, they never did me wrong. No blisters, no black toenails, no odd foot pains.

And I never even tried them on!

So when, then, did I become all uptight about my footwear? When I started running more miles five years later? When I started reading those bi-annual Runner's World shoe guides?

It reminds of this post I wrote a while back about what makes a runner. When that anal-about-running-shoes bug bit my ass sometime between 2003 and 2008, I think I became hooked on finding every little thing that might make me a better runner, and shoes were Number One on my list. Maybe the shoes are responsible for improved PR's, but maybe not.

Perhaps it's more that I've just figured how to run for myself.

In any case, I can't very well give up now, ankle-deep in a 3-shoe rotation, but maybe one day, when marathon training is a thing of my past (like A&F jean skirts and Nextels), I'll buy a pair of running shoes for the hell of it. We'll log guilt-free, not-gunning-for-a-PR miles and relive the days when a run just meant something fun to do.

How do you shop for running shoes?