Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Run Happy....Yes, Please!

Yesterday I bought a new pair of running shoes.
I wasn’t really planning on buying yesterday. My original plan was to buy at the expo in three weeks or some time shortly thereafter. Once the half is over I will be into full blown marathon training. Well, technically I am already into my marathon training, 8 weeks into it actually, since I planned my marathon training around this half marathon.
However, once the half is over I will start seeing longer runs during the week and on Saturdays so I wanted to transition into a minimalist shoe (instead  of a barefoot running shoe) with a bit more cushioning. As it is now, my feet start to feel like they are taking a beating towards the end of my long runs. No blisters or rawness or anything like that, just the side effects of having not much between my feet and the ground while taking about 180 steps per minute and still being overweight.
I knew that although the shoes I currently run in are by far the most comfortable running shoes I have ever worn and even though I love running in them that there would come a day where I needed a bit more cushioning.
Then on Sunday I was reading the latest issue of Runner’s World and saw a new pair of Merrells that caught my eye. They were similar to what I was already running in but with a bit more cushioning. Seemed like it could be exactly what I was looking for. Since I am not a big fan of ordering shoes online, running shoes in particular, I decided yesterday on my way home from work to run by the store near my house that carries Merrells to see if they had the shoe I was looking for.
Jackpot! They did!
BUT…it didn’t fit right. What? How? I was so sad. I really, really wanted to love that shoe. On paper, it was exactly what I wanted. But, it was too tight through the toe box and I knew that if it wasn’t comfortable in the store it would not be comfortable running in. Boo…
Oh well, no biggie. I didn’t NEED new running shoes. I wasn’t in any hurry. I had weeks before I wanted to buy new ones.  I knew I would find something that would work for me when I start seriously looking.
And as I turned to leave, I saw them.
The Brooks Pure Connect.
The shoe I almost bought months ago but opted for the Merrells instead.
And they were on sale.
So I had to try them on, right?
I asked for an 8.5/9 (couldn’t remember what size I tried on previously) and they only had a 9.5
It couldn’t hurt to try them on could it? I mean it is a bigger size but maybe they would fit.
And they did. Perfectly. With about a fingers width between my longest toe (my second toe, I know- I’m weird) and the top of the shoe.
Whole Earth Provisions even offers a 15% military discount on their sale items. So I had no choice to buy the shoes, did I? They retail for $90 and I paid less than $60.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind paying full price for good shoes. But if I can get the shoes I want for 2/3 the retail price why would I say no?
I am now the proud owner of my first pair of Brooks! Yay!

And as soon as I paid for them the internal debate began…
Do I attempt to break them in and run the half in them or shelve them until after?
I decided that I would start running in them right away, as in this morning. I have about 50 miles of running on the schedule between now and the half so I think that is plenty of time to break them in. I will run in them the rest of the week and if I am feeling good come Saturday I will use them on my long run.
This morning was intervals so I logged just over 3 miles in the new shoes. No complaints. I found it easy to maintain my running form and I even think the bit of cushioning in them helped add a little extra spring to my step.
Don’t worry though, if I feel any weird pains or develop blisters or have issues maintaining my form I will definitely not run in them for the half. I have worked too damn hard to let a pair of shoes ruin my run. J
What are your thoughts? Is 50 miles/3 weeks enough time to break in new shoes? Any tips (dos/don’ts) on breaking them in?
“Run Happy” ~ Brooks Running
Run Happy photo taken from the Brooks Running website