Shoe Drama

Shoe drama. I gots it.

I’m sure some of you knew this post was coming. Running shoes and I have always had a dicey relationship. I think I’ve found the perfect shoe but then it gets discontinued. Or I seem to find something wrong with the shoe, even if there might not really be anything wrong at all. Like my Brooks Ghost 5, for example. They are probably the shoes I should stick with because they never gave me a problem, they wear right in the middle which may mean I’m heel striking less, and they even lasted a crazy 700 miles.

I just can’t stand the sight of them.

Ugh. Denim blue. The worst. Those are dying to be worn with some khaki Bermuda shorts and a fanny pack. (Sorry, to those who wear these. I’m sure you look beautiful in them. Especially this girl.)

Lately, I’ve been alternating between the Brooks Glycerine 12′s and the Mizuno Wave Creation 14s. The Glycerines feel good and I like the look of them a lot.

But man, the flexibility is not there. They feel so stiff after six or seven miles like I’m in a pair of clodhoppers, so I’m hyper-aware they are on my feet. Do people still use the word clodhoppers? We should bring that back into common rotation. Try it. ;-)

The Wave Creations are decent, but they wear on the inner heel so I’m probably heel striking more. They make my feet look more gigantic than they already are but they’re cute so I forgive them.

Also, after about 11 miles, I feel like I need more padding in the forefront of the foot. These aren’t anywhere close to minimalists, so I’m not sure what that’s all about because I never had that issue during the two years I wore the 12s.

So basically, I can run shorter distances in both the Brooks and the Mizunos fine but they will not do for marathon training. So, I’m going to do what I do best: buy shoes I don’t really need right now but have convinced myself that I do.

Say hi to the Mizuno Wave Rider 17s (and to your mother) for me.

I can’t decide which color. Help!

I wore the 15s for awhile but they were a bit too narrow and rubbed on my pinky toe to the point where I was limping after a race. I’m willing to give the 17s a chance since they were completely redesigned and are freakin’ adorable. Adorable is important. When you look like I do after a race, it’s important to keep something looking good.

The 17s go on sale on December 4, so expect me to be bitching about them around the 18th. If they don’t work out, I’m giving up and going back to the Brooks Ghosts. Hopefully the 6′s didn’t change too much from the 5′s because I need this vicious cycle to end so I can go back to spending my money on less important things like rent and electricity.

 

A New Pair

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know running shoes and I have a dicey relationship. First I think I love them then they let me down and I write bitchy posts about them. I was in Mizuno Wave Creation 11s for over a year and they worked for me. Since my current pair have over 450 miles on them and are discontinued, I thought I’d look for something new. I considered the model up (Wave Creation 13s) but I had 4 different sales people at 3 different locations tell me that they don’t recommend them.

That was fine with me because the Creations aren’t cheap and I’d hate to cut into my redneck Bud Light budget. In the meantime, I’ve tried the Brooks Trance 11s, Nike Lunarglides, and the Mizuno Wave Rider 15s. All of them hated me. So much.

Tuesday night, I tried out my Brooks Ghost 5s for the first time. When I bought them, the guy said that they would allow an easier transition into the Saucony Kinvara 3s (which I also bought and picked up yesterday! Boom.) After he said that, I thought the Brooks might have a lower drop so I looked it up online. Nope. They are 11 mm just like my Mizunos and Asics. So, I didn’t really know what he meant but thought I would give it a shot anyway.

Well, I only ran 3.5 miles and I can tell they’re definitely different, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It feels like the shoe forces me to land more mid-foot than my usual (beloved) heel strike. I thought only minimalist shoes did that? Anyway, now I think I understand what they guy was talking about. I gonna stick with the Brooks for awhile and see how it goes. Plus, I don’t have the energy to keep trying new pairs.

Does anyone else wear the Wave Creation 13s? I have this weird feeling that I should have gone with them all along.

The Post Where I Stab My Shoes

So, remember that time I got my gait analyzed and bought those awesome new stability shoes with inserts and told you about it and you all thought I had man-legs? Well, about those shoes…

All my runs in those shoes have not been good. I did another speed run (mile repeats) on Monday and it was going so well for the first 3 miles until my shoes decided to take a big poop on me.

Mile

Pace

.30 Walk (warm up)
.50 10:00
1-2 8:49
.20 Walk (water break)
.50 8:34
.50 Dying
.50 8:34
.20 More dying
1 8:34  Still dying
.30 Walk (cool down)

Total miles: 5 running, 1.2 walking

Yeah, you noticed two consecutive miles at 8:49 too, eh? That’s how good I was feeling at that pace. And the only reason I walked after the second mile is because I needed water. It all went downhill from there. I had to walk not because I was tired, but because my calves were killing me again. That last faster mile is only because I’m stubborn and stupid and refused to leave the gym without doing a full mile at that pace without walking. (Do not do as I do.)

And then I limped off the treadmill.

My calves cannot handle those shoes.

I called the store where I bought them and talked to one of the girls. She told me that the inserts could definitely be causing the calf pain and that she would recommend breaking in the shoes and inserts slowly over 3 months.

When I bought the shoes, the girl helping me said to do a couple short runs to test them out and if everything felt ok, I would be fine to run Miami in them, which was 2 weeks later. So I did. And during the race, my calves were stiff, I was hyper-aware that the shoes were on my feet the whole time, and I ran one of my slowest races.

The girl on the phone told me to come back in with the shoes so they can reanalyze my gait, so I’m going to do that this weekend. I’m hoping to return them for another pair but I’ll see what they have to say.

Has anyone else had to break in stability shoes over time? I know this little birdy has and it worked itself out over time. But I don’t have time. I have 3 races in March.

 

 

Running Shall Love Me Again

Yesterday, I had my running gait analyzed. A couple of you asked how I did it and Ricole asked if I went to a Physical Therapist. I didn’t go to a PT but that’s one way you can do it. You can also go to a Podiatrist, like my friend Michelle. Both are probably more thorough analyses than what I got.

I went to Fleet Feet Sports, which is a place that does gait analysis for free. Basically, they put you on a treadmill and film you running at your normal pace (I picked a 9:30 pace) for about 45 seconds from this viewpoint.

Then they play back the video in slow motion to see how your feet hit the treadmill. They can recommend proper shoes from there.

I found out that I overpronate slightly with my right foot. My left foot is more neutral, but I strike on the outer edge of my foot and then try to correct it once my full foot hits the ground.

You can also get a general idea of how your foot hits the ground by how the tread wears on your shoes. (I brought in a pair with 600 miles and a pair with 300 miles, but they don’t they don’t necessarily need your old shoes to do the analysis.)

If you have a neutral running gait, all your muscles line up properly from your foot up to your neck. But if you over or underpronate, it causes improper alignment and can cause foot, ankle, knee, hip, lower back, spinal, and neck pain.

(source)

Until now, I’ve been wearing neutral running shoes which doesn’t do me any favors since I’m not a neutral runner. I tried on a few different shoes and insoles that the girl recommended and tested them out by running up and down the sidewalk in the shopping plaza – in jeans and a long sleeve shirt. After looking like a fool to at least three families and two hot guys, I settled on some new stability shoes – the Brooks Trance 11’s.

Stability shoes don’t fix the problem, but they help with it. For what I just paid, I think they should give me a back rub and tell me I look pretty.

I also bought some insoles (which Fleet Feet shave down to fit your shoe). They help keep your feet in place better than the factory insoles. Those aren’t cheap either, but they made a big difference in the Brooks for me.

I came really close to getting another pair of Mizunos (my shoe love) but the Brooks felt a little better. I’m kinda freaked out to be moving to a new brand of shoe. My feet and Mizunos have been a power couple for years.

These are the stability Mizunos I almost bought and now that I don’t have them, I kinda want them.

They are so ugly. But for some reason, I am drawn to them. I want to get a whole purple zebra striped unitard and wear it with those shoes.

Anyway, my thighs are super sore today so I hope my new shoes help out with all the random pain I’ve been having. I’m supposed to only run a few miles at a time to get used to the insoles so hopefully I can still wear them for my half marathon in two weeks. If the new shoes don’t help, I’m going to change the name of my blog to Eat: Watch: Cry.

Sneaky

They say running is a cheap sport, but all runners know that isn’t true. (Who is “they,” by the way?) We’re always buying gadgets, running belts, clothes, gels, new tunes, and all the other random items that make running easier or more enjoyable.

I was reading a post by Melissa, that inspired this post, about her quest to find the right pair of running shoes. That reminded me of the pain in the ass it was to find the right pair of shoes for me. I was buying sneakers left and right to the point where Michelle told me that if I wanted to buy another pair of shoes, I had to call and ask her permission.

Since I shared all my race medals with you the other week, I thought I would share my journey to the right pair of running shoes.

Nike Shox with Nike ID

I used to use only my Nike ID to track my miles before I saw my Garmin across a crowded room and decided to ask it for its number. The Nike Shox were my main running shoe before I started running races. These shoes a great – just not for running. I got so many blisters that I thought were from the mileage and not the shoe, that I would be limping afterwards.

Oh, I had these custom desgined on the Nike Website too. They have my initials on the back because I’m a nerd like that. I only use these for non-running workouts now.

Nike Shox with Nike ID

I really wanted a pair of black sneakers, was still using my Nike ID, so I picked these up. Because if the white Nike Shox don’t work for distance, the black ones certainly will. < —– clueless

I wore these during my first half marathon (the link is the race review). Mistake. I couldn’t get these shoes off fast enough at the end. I literally could not walk another step in them because my whole foot ached so badly. I love the look of these shoes, so that was a bummer. These have also been demoted to non-running workouts. So, in essence, I went black but still went back. (Terrible joke. It’s Monday, gimme a break.)

Sketchers D’Lites

Sketchers were my first sneaker purchase out of the Nike family. I saw pink and got all googly over them. Worst.running.shoes.ever. They have no support and rub in weird places. They put all kinds of hurt on my feet after a run. Never, ever buy a pair of Sketchers for running. The picture below is right before Warrior Dash. I donated them at the on-site donation pile before I left the race.

 

Adidas

Sketchers didn’t work, so I tried Adidas. I bought these online, so I didn’t know how they fit. Mistake. Everytime I ran in these, I felt like they were trying to take off my baby toe. Not comfortable. Also, they make my feet look like a size 14, instead of the size 10 they are. I tried wearing these a few times for a cardio class, but they are so big they made me trip a few times. I’m talking full on face-plant trip. These sit in my closet for no reason waiting for the day I shall give them love again.

Keep waiting.

Asics Gel Cumulus 12

This is the first brand of running shoes I bought that everyone else seems to love. I bought these because they felt the best at the running store and they were recommended by the salesman who determined this was the type of shoe I needed. They are also a half size bigger than my normal shoe size, but still felt like they fit well.

I did a couple long runs in these and they were great. I ran one half marathon in these and that was it. These shoes can make it till about mile 7 or 8 and then my feet start to ache and my left knee hurts. I still wear these for other workouts, but it’s a shame they didn’t work out because they were $100 and they’re butt ugly.

Saucony Prestige TR

These were on sale at TJ Maxx and I had heard good things about Saucony. I went with the theory that I’ve already tried the expensive $100 shoes, so I might as well try the cheap $40 shoes. Plus, I figured trail shoes would be more sturdy.

These worked well in a few long runs and they also worked really well in my second half marathon (the link is the race review). I ran a few more long runs in these and they started hurting my feet. WTH? I really thought I had hit the jackpot at first with such cheap, cute, and comfortable shoes. Now, they are demoted to regular workout shoes, but I wear these the most because I like their look the best.

Saucony Prestige

Again, these were on sale at TJ Maxx and since I liked my first pair, I bought another. I wore these for a few cardio classes and could tell I wouldn’t like them for running, so I haven’t even tried running in them. They don’t have much support on the sides, which was my indicator. I really need to stop buying things because they are pink.

Mizuno Wave Creation 11

These Mizunos were my second choice to the Asics Gel Cumulus 12. They didn’t feel as good in the store, so I left these behind. Big mistake. But it worked out, because Michelle had just bought the same pair and they didn’t work for her at all. So, I bought these off of her. (Friend score!)

They are a full size bigger than what I normally wear, but that turned out to be perfect for me since my feel swell while running. Toward the end of a run, the shoe isn’t tight as hell and suffocating my feet, which I think may have been the problem with the Sauconys. Mizunos were a little weird for me to get used to because all the cushion is in the heel, but after 2 or 3 short runs I was sold.

I.love.these.shoes. What I hate is that they are $130. Why must my feet have champagne taste and caviar dreams? I need another pair soon because they have about 350 miles on them. Oh, and I might go black…

Adidas

These aren’t for working out. These are for looking pimpy.

IMG_1742

I got these on sale at Nordstrom Rack and this was the day Michelle told me I needed her permission to buy more. :-)

Group shot!

Totally normal to make all your shoes pose together in a photo.

IMG_1743

I think the main thing I learned through this is that I need a shoe a size larger than what I normally wear. It allows for swelling and I can still walk in them after a long run or race without wanting to throw them into the flames of hell.

What’s your favorite pair of running shoes? (Mizuno for sure, but I’m tempted to try New Balance. I just hate wasting money and have a million sneakers already.)  What’s your least favorite? (Sketchers, I’m lookin’ at you.)